Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 23 May 2019

The age of the Airbus A380 - in pictures

Airbus will end production of its flagship passenger jet in 2021

If you've ever flown to the UAE you are likely to have arrived on one, but the end of the runway is nigh for the popular Airbus A380.

By 2021, the final jet will roll out of Toulouse, ending a chapter in aviation history akin to the demise of Concorde or the iconic jet the A380 initially aimed to topple - Boeing's 747.

Emirates, Airbus's best customer, agreed to take 14 more A380s, as well as 70 smaller airliners from the European planemaker.

The superjumbo, which is loved by passengers, contributed to Dubai International racing ahead of London Heathrow as the world's busiest passenger airport while combatting runway congestion in the process. Hundreds of jam-packed 544-seater flights take off or land in Dubai around the clock with the airport celebrating one billion passengers in December.

But lacklustre sales elsewhere meant chief executive Tom Enders toyed with ending the project two years ago. He was persuaded to give the A380 a chance, but the giant plane's days were numbered - and perhaps will never be romanticised quite like Concorde and certainly didn't have the staying power of Boeing's Queen of the Skies.

The world's largest passenger jet will not enjoy a life of cargo like the 747 either - it was always designed to be the ultimate people carrier.

Above is a gallery of the A380's greatest hits - from the first order by Singapore Airways in 2007 to a truly memorable fly-over at the Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Updated: February 14, 2019 12:37 PM

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