Airbus to auction parts of former Emirates A380 superjumbo

Aviation enthusiasts can bid on lamps, cockpit equipment, handrails and trolleys from the world's largest passenger jet

Airbus is auctioning parts from an A380 superjumbo, once used by Emirates, for its humanitarian foundation. Unsplash
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Fans of the world's largest commercial aircraft can look forward to owning a piece of aviation history via an Airbus auction coming up in June.

From June 23 to 25, Airbus' in-person and online sale will auction nearly 500 parts from the world's biggest passenger aircraft.

Comprising cabin lamps and stairs, handrails, trolleys and even cockpit escape ropes — used to assist in the event of an evacuation — the majority of the lots going under the hammer come from a former Emirates A380 aircraft.

The passenger jet that reimagined flying

Seventeen years ago, Airbus’ first A380 took off from Toulouse airport for its inaugural flight.

The nearly 600-tonne superjumbo marked the start of a new era for aviation, with an aircraft that would soon be loved by travellers all over the world.

Airlines embraced the jet, putting their own stamp on it and using its large fuselage to house showers, bars and even flying apartment suites.

Emirates has long been one of the double-decker's biggest fans, and the Dubai airline now has a fleet of 123 of the jets, the last of which was delivered late last year after Airbus produced its final A380 aircraft.

Now, superjumbo fans sad to see the end of this era nearing can opt to own a part of it by getting involved in the Airbus' A380 auction hosted by auctioneer Marc Labarbe.

Most of the lots in the auction come from A380 MSN 13 — a jumbo jet that formerly flew for Emirates.

Having made its first flight in October 2008, the superjumbo flew travellers from its Dubai hub around the world in a three-class configuration complete with in-flight shower spas and the airline's renowned passenger bar, once promoted by Jennifer Aniston.

Capable of flying nearly 500 people per trip, the jet was decommissioned last year by Tarmac Aerosave, a company focusing on sustainable end-of-life aircraft management, with advanced dismantling and recycling techniques.

“When Airbus came to us with a project of dismantling an A380 it was a big challenge, but knowing it was for the Airbus Foundation, knowing it was to keep a piece of the legend … gave us a real motivation to do things perfectly,” said Lionel Roques, vice president of sales at Tarmac Aerosave.

Some other parts included in the sale, such as the business class seats, will come from other A380 jets.

Proceeds from the auction will go to the Airbus Foundation, which funds humanitarian initiatives. Other proceeds will be donated to the AlRitage, an organisation that protects aviation heritage.

Updated: February 22, 2022, 6:47 PM