On December 4th, Emirates took delivery of another Airbus A380, leaving just seven superjumbos remaining to be delivered. The aircraft departed Airbus’ Hamburg facility in the evening for an overnight flight to Dubai, arriving in the early morning hours of December 5th. Could this aircraft be equipped with the airline’s new Premium Economy cabin?
Emirates’ newest A380, registration A6-EVL, departed from Airbus’ Hamburg Finkenwerder site on December 4th at 19:24. After flying north over Denmark’s west coast, the aircraft took a big u-turn over the North Sea and headed towards Dubai for its overnight flight. The aircraft arrived at Emirates’ home at Dubai International Airport at 05:28 the next morning, December 5th.
While we are much more accustomed to seeing large Airbus aircraft depart for delivery from Toulouse, the planemaker does have an A380 delivery center in Hamburg as well.
Opened in 2008, the site was intended for European and Middle Eastern customers to receive their A380s, while deliveries to A380 customers located further away would take place from Toulouse. The following is what Airbus said of the site in 2008:
“Airbus will be able to perform the entire process of aircraft delivery in one place, from aircraft and cabin inspection up to all legal and administrative processes. 20,000 square metres of concrete pavement outside the building will provide enough space for two A380s. The building will also host A380 engineering teams and a staff restaurant.”
Is premium economy on board?
For well over a year, we’ve been eagerly anticipating the launch of Emirates’ new premium economy product. However, it seems as though it has already been installed on A380 aircraft waiting to be delivered to the UAE carrier.
According to FlightGlobal , Tim Clark spoke about the new premium economy cabin in an online interview hosted by Arabian Travel Market. While the details were kept brief, he said that the first A380 to have the new premium economy cabin installed is sitting in Toulouse ready to go. This is something we reported on in June and A6-EVL is the first aircraft to be delivered since the story was written.
According to a November 25th article by Bloomberg, Emirates was to receive three A380s by the end of the year, adding that at least one will have a premium economy cabin.
We asked Emirates about this but have yet to receive a response.
Seven A380s remaining
The December 4th delivery means that just seven A380s remain to be delivered for the entire A380 program. All aircraft will go to Emirates, and as noted above, two more are expected this year, with the other five coming in 2021.
AIB Family Flights provides some insight into the progress of a few superjumbos:
- On December 1st, A6-EVN took its 7th flight (A6-EVL had 12 flights before its delivery)
- On November 30th, A6-EVR was spotted in primer for the first time with its engines installed
- On November 23rd, A6-EVQ was seen conducting a taxi check and rejected take-off
It looks like the next A380 that will be delivered is A6-EVM, as its 10th flight took place on November 20th. It would also make sense that these A380s will be delivered in registration alphabetical order (EVL, EVM, EVN, and so on).
Do you think this latest A380 delivery is the first to have premium economy on board? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.