835 passengers, 80 meters wide, 73 meters long... The A380 is the largest airliner of all time. Overly costly in terms of fuel, but also overly expensive to acquire, the end of its brief history was in the works even before the pandemic, only 12 years after its entry into service. At a time when long-haul experiences are a thing of the past, the superjumbo is evoking nostalgia for a time when it was much easier to reach the ends of the earth.
All Nippon Airways offers an experience on board a grounded A380
At the beginning of the pandemic, the Japanese airline came up with the idea of "flights to nowhere," operating its A380s, which usually fly to Honolulu, Hawaii. An idea that came at a great cost to the planet since the flight lasted only 90 minutes and essentially consisted of a tour over the airport of Tokyo-Narita. All Nippon Airways finally found a plan that used the A380 but was better for the environment: skip takeoff! According to France24, 360 passengers nostalgic for their past jetsetting lives, crossing the planet in the air, purchased tickets for the equivalent of 80 euros in economy class and 470 euros in first class to simply relive the emotions associated with life on board. A full catalogue of series and movies to watch, distribution of meal trays, everything is carefully orchestrated to reawaken the desire for air travel.
Parts from Emirates' very first A380 transformed into furniture
Engines, landing gear, flight controls... The very first A380, which flew under the Emirates banner, is being dismantled at the airline's engineering center. Falcon Aircraft Recycling has been commissioned to transform these parts into collector's objects. In the coming months, nostalgic fans of the superjumbo, which made commercial aviation history as the largest passenger liner, capable of carrying up to 835 passengers, will be able to purchase these items, including custom-designed furniture. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Emirates Airline Foundation, which funds international programs to help children in need, such as foster care projects for young AIDS patients in Chennai, India, and orphans in Zimbabwe. Emirates' investment in the A380 is no small matter, as it is the airline that made the aircraft part of its signature flight style. The Dubai-based carrier has a fleet of 123 aircraft, almost half of the A380s built.
Keychains with fuselage from a Singapore Airlines A380
A company based in Cologne, Germany specializes in a very specific trade, that of key rings produced from dismantled fuselage. And the superjumbo is no exception! Airplane enthusiasts can find steel tags specially cut from this aircraft that for ten years flew around the world, specifically between Sydney, London and Mumbai, under the Singapore Airlines brand. The price is about 38 euros for one of these collector's items. Aviontag -- that's the name of this company -- offers a whole range of souvenir tags, made from famous aircraft such as the Boeing 747, the legendary plane recognizable by its characteristic hump at the front of the fuselage. The collectibles are listed by airline and type of aircraft -- you can even buy pieces of military and vintage aircraft.