Stock - Emirates A380
Falcon Aircraft Recycling will design and manufacture unique collectibles 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. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Emirates airline has signed a contract with UAE-based Falcon Aircraft Recycling to "repurpose" its retired A380 aircraft. The jumbo-jet will be “upcycled and recycled, dramatically reducing the environmental impact of the deconstruction process and drastically reducing landfill waste”.

After completing its last commercial mission, A6-EDA - the first A380 ever delivered to Emirates - was retired from service and brought to the airline's Engineering Centre where serviceable components such as engines, landing gears and flight control components were retrieved. The aircraft was then deregistered and handed over to the Falcon Aircraft Recycling team to begin the process of carefully breaking it down.

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The materials recovery and repurposing activities will be entirely conducted in the UAE, further reducing the project's environmental footprint.

Easy on the environment

"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," said Tim Clark, Emirates President. "It's an elegant and fitting retirement solution for this iconic aircraft and our flagship."

Increasingly, retired aircraft are flown to remote locations and left to languish after being stripped for parts. Traditional salvage and recycling projects focus on recovering only profitable components, thereby leaving behind a substantial portion of the aircraft and materials that go into landfill or sit idle for years. Also, many aircraft items can be difficult to recycle or dispose, for instance fire retardant fabrics and composite materials.


"This is our most ambitious project to date which will see the first deconstruction of an A380 outside of Europe,” said Andrew Tonks, Director of Falcon Aircraft Recycling. “Approximately 190 tonnes of various metals, plastics, carbon fiber composites and other materials will be removed from the aircraft and passed on for recycling or repurposing via our upcycling programme with Wings Craft.”

A portion of profits from the sale of all items upcycled and recycled from Emirates' first retired A380 will benefit the Emirates Airline Foundation.