MIAMI — Dubai-based Emirates Airline has retired its last Airbus A330 and A340 aircraft, making it the first and sole carrier to operate an all-Airbus A380 and Boeing 777 fleet.

The carrier retired its last A330-200 (A6-EAK • MSN 452) on October 29, after serving flight EK523 from Trivandrum in India to Dubai. According to the airline, the jetliner joined Emirates in 2002, and had flown for over 60,000 hours, traveling close to 45 million kilometers during the 14.5 years of service with the Middle East carrier.

Emirates operated a fleet of 29 A330-300s, including A5-AEK. (Credits: Aeroprints via commons)
Emirates operated a fleet of 29 A330s, including A6-AEK. (Credits: Aeroprints via commons)

On the same retirement date of the A330-200, Emirates also phased out its last A340-300 in service (A6-ERN • MSN 166) after completing flight EK863 from Muscat to Dubai. The aircraft, originally delivered to Singapore Airlines in 1997, joined Emirates’ fleet in 2004.

Emirates operated a total of 28 Airbus A340. including 10 of the A340-500 ultra-long-range variant. (Credits: Mark Harkin)
Emirates operated a total of 28 Airbus A340. including 10 of the A340-500 ultra-long-range variant. (Credits: Mark Harkin)

The retirement of older aircraft is balanced by the arrival of more modern aircraft into the fleet.By the end of 2016, Emirates will have taken delivery of 36 new aircraft over 12 months – 20 A380s and 16 777s.

To date, Emirates is the largest operator of the Airbus A380 and Boeing 777 with 85 A380s and 160 777s in its fleet. Out of the 244 aircraft in service, the carrier has in its backlog 57 Airbus A380 and 235 777s. Of these, 150 will be the new 777-8 and 777-9, with planned deliveries starting from 2020.

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