Ex-Airbus Engineer Wants to Create Hotel From Upcycled A380 Aircraft

  • A former Airbus engineer is planning to create a hotel using a retired A380 aircraft.
  • Frédéric Deleuze started making plans during the pandemic amid uncertainty over its impact on jobs.
  • Deleuze said the aerospace-inspired hotel will have 31 rooms.

An ex-Airbus engineer is hoping to create a hotel using a retired A380 aircraft.

The Envergure hotel, meaning “wingspan” in English, will have space for 31 rooms and will be located five minutes from Toulouse airport in Southwest France, according to the project leader and former Airbus engineer, Frédéric Deleuze.

Deleuze said he was inspired to start planning the aerospace-inspired hotel when the pandemic made him realize his job at Airbus might be at risk.

“When you’re working in Airbus you know that you’ll be working in Airbus for your whole life,” he told Insider.  But at the start of the pandemic, with widespread concerns about its impact on the econmoy and jobs, he started to formulate plans for a project of his own.

Airbus A380

Airbus A380.


The aeronautical engineer, who worked at Airbus for 15 years, always wanted to start his own business but the pandemic pushed him to consider how he could use his skills elsewhere. 

The aeronautical engineer said he was inspired to develop the theme of his hotel after learning that some A380 aircraft were being retired.

The Airbus A380, the world’s largest passenger airliner, first took to the skies in 2005 but low demand from carriers prompted the manufacturer to discontinue production in 2021. The last of the superjumbos was delivered to Emirates Airlines in December. 

“It was like a crazy idea that I had in my mind, and I was starting to speak about this project and to get some contacts to test the idea,” Frédéric told Insider. Eventually, the project came together, he said.

The hotel will use the shell of the retired aircraft. The engines will be removed and the plane’s interior fittings will be replaced by 31 rooms, including two suites. Deleuze said the hotel could be built in two years.

Rooms will cost around 130 euros ($148) per night for a standard hotel room for 2 people, while family rooms and suites will cost around 200 euros ($228) and 300 euros ($342), according to Deleuze.

Deleuze told Insider that the hotel will be connected to a “classical building,” where a restaurant and meeting rooms are planned.

Situated within an aerospace hub surrounding Toulouse airport — which also features the Airbus headquarters and the aerospace-themed Musée Aeroscopia — Deleuze hopes to attract tourists, professionals and people fascinated by aeronautics. 

He could not confirm to Insider how much the project will cost but estimated that it would hit several million euros.

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