Emirates has announced plans to upcycle and recycle “most” of its first retired A380 superjumbo.
Aircraft registration A6-EDA was the first A380 to be delivered to the carrier in 2008, and it made a total of 6,319 flights during its lifetime, visiting 62 airports.
Its first commercial service was between Dubai and New York JFK on August 1, 2008, and its last commercial flight was from Singapore back to Dubai on March 8, 2020.
The aircraft has since been retired and taken to Emirates’ Engineering Centre, where engineers retrieved serviceable components including engines, landing gears and flight control components.
The superjumbo has now been handed over to Falcon Aircraft Recycling, which will “design and manufacture unique collectibles and retail items from the materials and parts removed from the aircraft”.
Items including the first generation of the carrier’s A380 onboard bar will be transformed into bespoke furniture, and “a range of aviation memorabilia and retail items” will be released for sale in the coming months.
A portion of profits from the sale of upcycled and recycled items will go to support the Emirates Airline Foundation.
Commenting on the news Sir Tim Clark, President Emirates airline said:
“We are delighted to partner with Falcon Aircraft Recycling on this first-of-its-kind project. That all repurposing activity will be fully executed in the UAE also speaks to the strong aviation eco-system and capabilities that the nation has built up in its short history.
“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. It’s an elegant and fitting retirement solution for this iconic aircraft and our flagship.”
Meanwhile Andrew Tonks, Director of Falcon Aircraft Recycling said that the contract was the firm’s “most ambitious project to date”, with around 190 tonnes of metals, plastics, carbon fibre composites and other materials being removed from the aircraft and passed on for recycling or repurposing.
“Our teams are currently busy with the breakdown and final concepts for the first batch of unique upcycled items,” added Tonks. “We look forward to unveiling more information on the retail items soon.”
Emirates is not the first carrier to upcycle aircraft parts – last year Lufthansa unveiled its second collection of products made from A320 aircraft parts, and earlier this year Finnair announced it had successfully recycled 99.2 per cent of one of its A319s.