The 251st copy is a topic of conversation.

The airline Emirates has brought its latest double-decker Airbus A380 to Berlin for the ILA Air Show.

For the manufacturer Airbus it was the last giant aircraft, the last of 251 construction contracts that went to just 14 airlines in the world.

However, at the air show, which otherwise focuses on efforts to make aviation more climate-friendly, it has also become an issue whether the swan song to particularly large passenger aircraft was perhaps premature.

Timo Kotowski

Editor in Business.

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Tim Clark, head of Emirates, was instrumental in ensuring this.

At 123, the airline had taken delivery of almost as many A380s as all other airlines in the world combined.

And Clark now left no doubt that he wants to use all of the 119 A380 aircraft currently in Emirates' portfolio again as quickly as possible.

Almost 70 are currently in service, but with the lifting of corona restrictions, long-distance air traffic is increasing again.

Deutsche Lufthansa is also considering a turnaround.

As recently as this spring, the group had categorically ruled out allowing the A380 to return to service.

Exams are now underway for next summer.

Large aircraft still needed

The A380 has long divided aviation, passengers and pilots praise the comfort, controllers complain that there are only a few routes on which the giant aircraft can be operated with good margins.

Lufthansa had therefore announced a partial farewell to the A380 even before Corona.

Meanwhile, Emirates boss Clark seems convinced that aviation will even have a need for new, particularly large aircraft in the next few years.

On the fringes of the conference of the aviation association Iata in Qatar, which ended before the ILA, Clark is said to have even said that the Airbus product range was too small.

It is currently ending with the A350-1000, the largest passenger aircraft model after the end of A380 production, with around 400 seats in three seat classes.

Emirates can board up to 517 passengers in the three-class version of the A380.

The fact that such aircraft will continue to be necessary in the future is justified by the tight take-off and landing windows at major airports such as London Heathrow.

For capacity reasons, it is not possible to carry an identical number of passengers there with more smaller aircraft.

However, the new joy in the big Airbus also has something to do with the competitor Boeing.

Lufthansa CEO Carsten Spohr justifies his new ideas about a second life for the crane A380 with the fact that the 777X, the new version of the currently largest Boeing model, has been increasingly delayed.

The first aircraft were originally supposed to be in service, now they are expected in 2025.

Because deliveries of the Boeing 787 long-haul model were also halted at the same time due to problems, Emirates is considering placing more orders with Airbus – including for the A350-1000.