Emirates is turning its first-ever A380 jumbo jet into furniture to sell to fans

Emirates' first-ever Airbus A380, registered A6-EDA
Emirates’ first-ever Airbus A380, registered A6-EDA NYC Russ
  • Emirates is converting its first-ever delivered A380 into furniture and memorabilia to sell to fans.
  • A part of the proceeds will go to the company’s charity foundation that helps children in need.
  • Repurposing the plane’s materials will reduce Emirates’ carbon footprint by lessening landfill waste.

The pandemic took a toll on the industry in many ways, like forcing airlines to suspend routes and lay off employees. One notable casualty was the mass retirement of the beloved Airbus A380 jumbo jet.
Airbus A380
A380 Airbus
Source: Emirates
The mammoth plane has been sent to the boneyard by a handful of carriers in the past year, like Air France…
Air France Airbus A380
Air France Airbus A380 roibu/Shutterstock
Source: Emirates
… and Singapore Airlines.
Singapore Airlines Airbus A380
Singapore Airlines Airbus A380 Vytautas Kielaitis/Shutterstock
Source: Emirates
Now, Dubai-based Emirates, which is the world’s largest operator of the A380, is beginning the process of dismantling its superjumbos, with the company’s first-ever delivered A380 already being stripped. The plane flew 6,319 flights in its 12-year life.
Emirates' first-ever Airbus A380, registered A6-EDA
Emirates’ first-ever Airbus A380, registered A6-EDA NYC Russ
Source: Emirates
When a plane is retired, it is typically flown to a remote location to be deconstructed, with only its most valuable pieces recovered, like engines, landing gears, and flight-control components.
Aircraft engines at Pinal Airpark in Marana, Arizona - Pinal Airpark Tour 2021
Pinal Airpark in Marana, Arizona. Thomas Pallini/Insider
Source: Emirates
Then the plane sits stagnant indefinitely, with a large portion of the aircraft’s materials left to rot or sent to landfills.
A stored aircraft in Pinal Airpark in Marana, Arizona - Pinal Airpark Tour 2021
Pinal Airpark in Marana, Arizona. Thomas Pallini/Insider
Source: Emirates
However, Emirates does not plan on letting its iconic A380 become a forgotten piece of metal.
Emirates Airbus A380
Airbus A380 Emirates
Source: Emirates
Instead, the airline has partnered with UAE-based Falcon Aircraft Recycling to save valuable parts of the plane from landfills. They’ll be repurposed for a second life as furniture and memorabilia that can be bought by customers and fans.
Emirates Airbus A380
Emirates Airbus A380 kamilpetran/Shutterstock
Source: Emirates
Valuable features of the cabin will be salvaged and turned into unique furniture, aviation memorabilia, collectibles, and retail items designed and manufactured by UAE-based Wings Craft. The company specializes in transforming aircraft materials into customized merchandise.
Emirates Airbus A380
Emirates Airbus A380 cabin M101Studio/Shutterstock.com
Source: Emirates
The most notable piece of the aircraft to be recycled is the fan-favorite first-generation onboard bar.
Emirates onboard bar
onboard bar Emirates
Source: Emirates
The products are planned to go on sale in the coming months and a portion of the proceeds will benefit the Emirates Airline Foundation, which is the company’s non-profit organization that focuses on helping children in need.
Emirates and Airbus teamed up to ship relief goods to the UN depot in Hamburg in 2017
Emirates and Airbus teamed up to ship relief goods to the UN depot in Hamburg in 2017 Helmut Hofer/Airbus
Source: Emirates
In addition to being a charitable project, recycling airplane materials is also favorable because it significantly reduces the amount of landfill waste and decreases the environmental impact of dismantling a jet.
An aircraft in reclamation Pinal Airpark in Marana, Arizona - Pinal Airpark Tour 2021
An aircraft in reclamation Pinal Airpark in Marana, Arizona. Thomas Pallini/Insider
Source: Emirates
The material-recovery process will be done completely in the UAE, further reducing the company’s carbon footprint. It is also the first time an A380 will be deconstructed outside of Europe.
Emirates Airbus A380
Emirates Airbus A380 ZGPhotography/Shutterstock
Source: Emirates
“Approximately 190 tonnes of various metals, plastics, carbon fiber composites and other materials will be removed from the aircraft and passed on for recycling or repurposing via our upcycling programme with Wings Craft,” Falcon Aircraft Recycling director Andrew Tonks said.
Emirates Airbus A380
Emirates Airbus A380 Sundry Photography/Shutterstock
Source: Emirates
“Through this initiative, 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,” Emirates President Sir Tim Clark said. “It’s an elegant and fitting retirement solution for this iconic aircraft and our flagship.”
Tim Clark speaking after inaugural Airbus A380 flight at New York's JFK airport
Tim Clark speaking after inaugural Airbus A380 flight at New York’s JFK airport Reuters
Source: Emirates