- 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.
The mammoth plane has been sent to the boneyard by a handful of carriers in the past year, like Air France…
… and Singapore Airlines.
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.
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.
Then the plane sits stagnant indefinitely, with a large portion of the aircraft’s materials left to rot or sent to landfills.
However, Emirates does not plan on letting its iconic A380 become a forgotten piece of metal.
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.
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.
The most notable piece of the aircraft to be recycled is the fan-favorite first-generation onboard bar.
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.
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.
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.
“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.
“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.”