Aircraft geeks and Emirates enthusiasts are rolling up their sleeves to buy one-of-a-kind merchandise made out of parts from its first Airbus A380 as soon as they go up for sale. We track this exciting news that was announced at the recent Dubai Airshow 2021.
Remember all those life-changing conversations you had over drinks at the bar at the rear of business class aboard Emirates’ Airbus A380? Well, now you have a chance to bid to make that very bar (and other collectibles) your own as Emirates takes apart its very first such aircraft and sell various parts for charity.
Earlier in November, Emirates, the Dubai-based carrier, revealed that they were all set to scrap their first Airbus A380 aircraft in Dubai. Emirates is the largest customer of the four-engine, double-decker aircraft produced by Airbus and has 119 of these in their fleet, with two jets yet to be delivered to them.
While the A380 is an engineering marvel and loved by passengers, it has unfortunately not been very successful commercially. Airbus has decided to close production after handing over the last two jets to Emirates. Emirates, on its end, see a long future for the A380 in its fleet and expects them to fly for decades.
However, Emirates has decided to retire the first Airbus A380 they ever received, registered as A6-EDA in the UAE aircraft registry. The aircraft will, however, not go to the landfill. Emirates has revealed that the plane will be put to good use, with parts of the aircraft to be upcycled and sold to interested customers. Proceeds from the sale will go to charity.
The 14-year-old jet was the eleventh A380 jet ever produced by Airbus and made its last revenue flight in March 2020. Over its lifetime, the aircraft flew over 6,300 flights and visited 62 airports across the globe.
When Emirates decided to retire the plane from its fleet, it was sent to the Emirates Engineering Centre at Dubai World Central (DWC) airport. Here, reusable aircraft parts such as the engines, landing gear and cockpit components were reclaimed from the jet.
The aircraft has now been handed over to UAE-based Falcon Aircraft Recycling, which will upcycle the fuselage and cabin into collectable parts and furniture. On offer are all sorts of aircraft parts, from business-class seats to panel windows, anything can be extracted and preserved for you. To take apart the whole airplane will take them 12 weeks, and the process has just started.
Falcon has partnered with Wings Craft, another UAE-based firm that specialises in producing custom furniture and merchandise from aircraft materials. Falcon Aircraft Recycling will design and manufacture unique collectables and retail items from the materials and parts removed from the aircraft. These items will be launched for sale in phases over the coming months.
Sir Tim Clark, President, Emirates, says, “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 landfills 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.”
On display at their stall at the Dubai Airshow 2021 were clocks designed out of the windows of the A380, as well as unique window cut-outs. Getting one of these window cut-outs, polished to a mirror finish, as a conversation piece for your home, could set you back by USD 2,999. Falcon also mentioned that one of the business-class seats from the plane could cost upwards of USD 6,000. All of these prices are local prices in the UAE, and shipping to any part of the world is extra.
We talked to Falcon Aircraft Recycling at the Airshow, and they told us that it was hard to upcycle things such as seat covers. The seat covers are fireproof and waterproof, so they can’t be destroyed. So, they are going to be converted into laptop bags and other such items. There could be many other products up for grabs, such as bag tags produced from the metal skin, and coffee tables made from the wheel hubs of the aircraft.
And yes, you could own that legendary bar we talked about too. Although there is just one of those and you’ll have to outbid others in an auction to bring that precious piece from the skies into your home.
Watch the social handles of Emirates to know more about when these aircraft collectables will go to sale. And keep your wallets ready.
Ajay Awtaney (Live From a Lounge) writes about aviation.