First-Ever Airbus Beluga Retired

The Airbus Beluga is the main way of transportation for Airbus aeroplane parts. Sadly, Airbus recently retired the company’s first-ever Airbus Beluga aircraft. Through this article, you will find out everything you need to know about the Airbus Beluga being retired.

Airbus Beluga
Airbus Beluga – Photography of Brian Bukowski (Creative Commons)

What is the Airbus Beluga?

Nicknamed the Airbus Beluga due to its beluga-like shape,  the Airbus A300-600ST is Airbus’ Aircraft Supertransporter. The aircraft is used to transport aircraft parts and outsized cargo to the assembly plant. With its first flight in 1995, it is without a doubt that the aircraft is getting old. Due to this, a new type of Airbus Beluga called the Beluga XL, based on the newer Airbus A330, was created to replace the ageing fleet. This resulted in the first Airbus Beluga being retired recently.

Airbus Beluga Number 2 on Touchdown.

What is the aircraft being retired?

The aircraft being retired is a 26.6-year-old Airbus Beluga with registration F-GSTA and is the second of the type to be removed from Airbus’s fleet. As of the time of writing, the aircraft is currently in Hamburg for removal of useful parts that can be recycled and is expected to depart for storage in Bordeaux soon. This aircraft retirement is to be followed by many others of the type so that the new and advanced Airbus Beluga XL can replace the fleet.

Airbus Beluga Number 1 – Photography Of Airbus

What is the Airbus Beluga XL?

The Airbus Beluga XL, also known as the Airbus A330-700L, is a replacement for the current Airbus Beluga. So far, Airbus has only taken delivery of two Airbus Beluga XL aircraft, with two more to come soon. Airbus has stated that the Beluga XL can carry more cargo as compared to the older Airbus Beluga ST.

Are you sad to see the original Airbus Beluga being retired? Comment below.

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Sohail Sawlani
Sohail Sawlani
Aviation Reporter - Sohail is an avid aviation enthusiast and having been a previous Editorial Intern, is now an Aviation Reporter with Travel Radar. With a passion for Commercial Aviation and the machines behind the operations, he regularly contributes to the News & Analysis sections at Travel Radar. Outside of TR, he can be found on the Twitter realm as 'Planeopedia', posting about all things aviation!


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