In a moment to remember the last Airbus 380 rolled out of Station 40 at the Lagardère Final Assembly Line at Toulouse in southern France on Wednesday.
The CNN called the aircraft a magnificent beast made of four million parts from 30 different countries. The Airbus A380 is the world’s largest passenger airliner, and its era is almost at an end.
Initial assembly was recently completed on the last ever superjumbo, after it was announced in 2019 that French airplane manufacturer Airbus was discontinuing the plane’s production.
The aircraft was spotted by a freelance photographer at the Jean-Luc Lagardere plant, a purpose-built Airbus facility at Toulouse-Blagnac Airport in southern France.
Since the superjumbo’s first delivery to Singapore Airlines in 2007, more than 240, A380s have rolled off the line here.
In a Tweet, Julie Kitcher, EVP Communications and Corporate Affairs of Airbus and a member of the Executive Committee said: “What an aircraft!” She mentioned that the past and present teams had gathered when the last A380 aircraft was rolled out.
A report by CNN said that initial assembly of the final double-decker jet, serial number 272, appeared to have been completed, with manufacturing Station 40 now out of work. “There’s still plenty of additions still to be made, with fixtures and fittings and livery-painting still to happen,” the report said. This aircraft will be delivered to Dubai-based Emirates.
In February this year, hundreds had turned out in the French village of Levignac to see the wings, fuselage sections and horizontal tailplane or horizontal stabilizer transported by truck for assembly.
The CNN in its report on the Airbus 380 said that putting together the aircraft was a gargantuan task, with 1,500 companies involved in manufacturing all the individual parts, from rivets to bolts, to seats and engines.
Fuselage sections came from Hamburg, Germany, and Saint-Nazaire, France; the horizontal tailplane was manufactured in Cadiz, Spain; and the vertical tail fin was also made in Hamburg. The parts’ pilgrimage to France was made by road, sea and air.
The Toulouse facility is also the site of the Airbus corporate HQ and flight test department, and where single-aisle A320s and wide-body A330 and A350s are built.
The Airbus A380 was developed at a cost of $25 billion and, with a capacity of up to 853 passengers, it’s the largest mass-produced civil airliner in history.
“It’s a painful decision,” Airbus CEO Tom Enders said in February 2019, announcing the decision to discontinue the airplane. “We’ve invested a lot of effort, a lot of resources and a lot of sweat into this aircraft.”