Airbus to end production of the world’s biggest passenger aircraft – the A380

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Airbus is to end production of the world’s largest commercial scheduled aircraft the A380 – due to the lack of order backlog and it will cease deliveries in 2021.

The move came after Emirates, the globe’s biggest operator of the A380 reduced its orderbook of the aircraft by 39 from 162 to 123 aircraft.

Following a review of its operations, and in light of developments in aircraft and engine technologies, Emirates said it was reducing its A380 orderbook. It will take delivery of 14 further A380s over the next two years.

As a consequence and given the lack of order backlog with other airlines, Airbus will cease deliveries of the A380 in 2021.

Emirates has also decided to continue growing with Airbus’ newest generation, flexible widebody aircraft, ordering 40 A330-900 and 30 A350-900 aircraft.

Airbus chief executive officer (CEO), Tom Enders said: “As a result of this decision we have no substantial A380 backlog and hence no basis to sustain production, despite all our sales efforts with other airlines in recent years. This leads to the end of A380 deliveries in 2021.

“The consequences of this decision are largely embedded in our 2018 full year results.”

“The A380 is not only an outstanding engineering and industrial achievement. Passengers all over the world love to fly on this great aircraft. Hence today’s announcement is painful for us and the A380 communities worldwide. But, keep in mind that A380s will still roam the skies for many years to come and Airbus will of course continue to fully support the A380 operators,” Enders added.

President of Airbus Commercial Aircraft and future Airbus CEO, Guillaume Faury said: “The A380 is Emirates’ flagship and has contributed to the airline’s success for more than ten years. As much as we regret the airline’s position, selecting the A330neo and A350 for its future growth is a great endorsement of our very competitive widebody aircraft family.

“Going forward, we are fully committed to deliver on the longstanding confidence Emirates is placing in Airbus.”

Airbus will start discussions with its social partners in the next few weeks regarding the 3,000 to 3,500 positions potentially impacted over the next three years. However, the ongoing A320 ramp-up and the new widebody order from Emirates it said will offer a significant number of internal mobility opportunities.