Nothing is lost, everything is transformed: Emirates’ first A380 to be recycled into furniture and works of art


Emirates has signed a contract with Falcon Aircraft Recycling for the recycling and reuse of materials from its first A380, which was withdrawn from service last year. This unique end of life for the aircraft will reduce the environmental impact of the disposal process and minimize the amount of waste to bury and / or incinerate. Material recovery will be entirely carried out in the United Arab Emirates, which will further reduce the environmental footprint of the project by minimizing transport.

Falcon’s task will be different from the end-of-life process typically used in industry. Traditional projects seek to recover and reuse only profitable components. Once these are obtained, the rest of the aircraft is scrapped or remains in storage for years. Additionally, many aircraft components can be difficult to recycle.

The traditional end of aircraft life, where only what has economic value is salvaged and everything else is stored in the desert, often for decades.

Tim Clark, President of Emirates, said: “We are proud to be a part of this project, which offers an elegant and tailored solution to the retirement of this iconic aircraft and our flagship. Thanks to this initiative, fans will be able to take home a piece of aviation history ”. On the other hand, Andrew Tonks, director of Falcon Aircraft Recycling, noted the ambition of the project, “which will be the first dismantling of an A380 outside Europe”. As part of the process, “approximately 190 tonnes of various metals, plastics, carbon fiber composites and other materials will be recovered from the aircraft.” These materials, according to Tonks, will be recycled or reused.

The aircraft, which had operated for Emirates since 2008 under the registration A6-EDA, was the first A380 delivered to the airline. After completing its last commercial operation – Singapore-Dubai on March 8, 2020 – it was transported to the airline’s engineering center at Dubai International Airport. There, Emirates staff removed usable components (engines, landing gear, and flight control parts). It was then handed over to the Falcon team to begin the disposal process.

The iconic Emirates A380 first-class bar will be sold. In addition, other aircraft components will be sold, with part of the proceeds going to the Emirates Foundation.

Wings Craft, another UAE-based company that specializes in making custom furniture and items from aircraft materials, will work with Falcon to design collectibles from materials and pieces retrieved from the ‘airplane. According to the airline, these will be offered for sale, in phases, in the coming months.

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