Emirates has signed a contract with UAE-based Falcon Aircraft Recycling on a pioneering initiative, where its first retired A380 aircraft will be upcycled and recycled.
The airline argues the decision will dramatically reduce the environmental impact of the deconstruction process and drastically reducing landfill waste.
The extensive materials recovery and repurposing activities will be entirely conducted in the UAE, further reducing the project’s environmental footprint.
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 indefinitely for years.
Also, many aircraft items can be difficult to recycle or dispose, for instance fire retardant fabrics and composite materials.
Tim Clark, president of Emirates, said: “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 landfill 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.”
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 Emirates engineers retrieved serviceable components such as engines, landing gears and flight control components.
The aircraft was then deregistered and handed over to the Falcon Aircraft Recycling team to begin the process of carefully breaking down the aircraft.
A portion of profits from the sale of all items upcycled and recycled from Emirates’ first retired A380 will benefit the Emirates Airline Foundation.