Scrapped Emirates A380 superjumbo parts to be recycled as furniture, including its famous bar

For many aviation buffs, the image of Emirates' first ever A380 being scrapped will be a sorry sight, but the airline is promising an "elegant and fitting retirement solution".

The aircraft, which operated as A6-EDA, is being dismantled at Dubai World Central Airport. On Tuesday, Emirates' Chief Commercial Officer, Adel Al Redha, posted photos on Instagram of the breaking up of the superjumbo.

While it marks a sad end to a plane which only had it's first commercial flight in 2008, the airline is promising to save as much of the aircraft from landfill as it can.

It has signed a deal with Falcon Aircraft Recycling to repurpose as much as possible of the superjumbo, including one of the most famous features of the Emirates A380 – the onboard bar.

It is going to become bespoke furniture which will go on sale in the coming months. The airline is promising to give a portion of profits from the sale of all items upcycled and recycled to charity.

Approximately 190 tonnes of various metals, plastics, carbon fibre composites and other materials are to be removed to be recycled or repurposed and the airline's president, Sir Tim Clark, says it is a fitting farewell to the aircraft.

"Our customers and fans can take home a piece of aviation history while saving valuable materials from landfill and contributing to a charitable cause through the Emirates Airline Foundation," said Clark.

"It's an elegant and fitting retirement solution for this iconic aircraft and our flagship."

A6-EDA was delivered to Emirates in July 2008, and flew its first commercial flight a few days later from Dubai to New York JFK airport. Over the years it made more than 6300 flights and visited 62 different airports. The last commercial flight was in March 2020.

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A6-EDA was delivered to Emirates in July 2008.

A6-EDA was delivered to Emirates in July 2008. Photo: Emirates

There is quite an industry in collecting souvenirs and items from retired aircraft. Parts of the first Airbus A380 superjumbo to enter commercial service were turned into luggage tags, while aviation fans can head to Boeing Store to choose artefacts culled from planes passed their use-by date.

The A380 was first introduced into service in 2007 as long-haul competition for the beloved Boeing 747. For a while the superjumbo ruled the skies, but that didn't last long and competition from the likes of smaller, more economical aircraft such as the Dreamliner 787 and A350 saw it quickly fall out of favour. In 2019, the first A380 ever built was moved to an aircraft storage facility in France where it was dismantled for parts and scrap.

While production on the A380 has now ceased, there has been a revival of sorts thanks to the pandemic.

Airlines including Singapore Airlines, Qantas, and Qatar Airways have dusted off the cobwebs of their fleet to bring them back into service.

Singapore recently announced that it is to use one of its remaining A380s for a short hop lasting just an hour. The superjumbo has been scheduled on an "ad hoc basis" for "operational reasons" on the Singapore-Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia route, reports CNN Travel. The distance between the two cities is just 298km.

British Airways is also looking at the superjumbo to use on short-haul flights from London to Frankfurt and Madrid as a bid to refamiliarise crew to the aircraft ahead of using them on transatlantic routes.

Stuff.co.nz

See also: Singapore Airlines brings back superjumbo to Australian route

See also: Why do Australians care so much about planes?