Airbus carried out the first flight of the A380 MSN 272 on Wednesday, the last unit produced by the largest passenger plane in the world and which will be delivered to Emirates Airline in 2022.
Still lacking the airline’s paiting scheme, the four-engine took off from Toulouse Blagnac airport at 12:54 pm (local time) and flew over the Airbus factory to mark the moment, which occurred almost 16 years after the inaugural flight, on April 27, 2005.
On Twitter, Airbus CEO Guillaume Faury commented: “Another remarkable day in Toulouse: the last A380 has taken off for its maiden flight. Well done TeamAirbus for your contributions over the years – looking forward to supporting this iconic aircraft & its customers for many years, delivering best-in-class passenger experience.”
Five pending delivery planes
Airbus managed only 251 firm orders for the A380, 246 of which have already been delivered. The five units being completed all belong to Emirates Airline, by far the largest customer for the two-deck widebody.
The carrier currently has 118 aircraft, but most of them are stored waiting for the resumption of long-distance passenger air traffic.
Emirates recently announced that the five A380s will be delivered until 2022 and will remain in service for many years, despite market pessimism about their high passenger capacity and prohibitive operating costs.
Interestingly, the day before the A380 MSN 272 flew for the first time another unit, MSN 006, would be on its way to dismantling. The jet, which was operated by Hi Fly until the end of the year, was transferred on Tuesday to Tarbes Airport, in France, where the company Tarmac Aerosave dismantled the first retired A380s.