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Fri, 15 Feb 2019

Airbus to End Production of A380 Superjumbo

Thursday was a sad day for Airbus A380 lovers the world over, as Airbus announced that it will cease deliveries of the passenger-pleasing A380 superjumbo in 2021.

While the decision was made after Emirates reduced its A380 orderbook from 162 to 123 aircraft, it is not Emirates' fault. The simple truth is, an aircraft with four engines is always going to cost more to operate and maintain than one with two. That is why aircraft such as the Airbus A330 and A350, as well as the Boeing 777 and 787 are proving so popular, as they only have two engines.

Airbus A380. Picture taken by Steven Howard of TravelNewsAsia.com Click to enlarge.

Airbus currently has 14 A380s in its backlog yet to be delivered to Emirates.

“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,” said Tom Enders, Airbus CEO. “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.”

Airbus will now start discussions with its partners regarding the 3,000 to 3,500 positions potentially impacted by this decision.

His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive, Emirates Airline and Group, said, “After many months of discussions, we have come to an agreement with Airbus and Rolls-Royce. Emirates has been a staunch supporter of the A380 since its very inception. While we are disappointed to have to give up our order, and sad that the programme could not be sustained, we accept that this is the reality of the situation. For us, the A380 is a wonderful aircraft loved by our customers and our crew. It is a differentiator for Emirates. We have shown how people can truly fly better on the A380, and Emirates has set the standards for that by introducing customer experiences that are unique to the A380 like our Shower Spas and Onboard Lounge. The A380 will remain a pillar of our fleet well into the 2030s, and as we have always done, Emirates will continue to invest in our onboard product and services so our customers can be assured that the Emirates A380 experience will always be top-notch.” 

The Airbus A380, which could carry up to 853 passengers depending on configuration, operates more than 300 commercial flights per day, taking off or landing somewhere around the world every two minutes. Singapore Airlines was the launch customer of the Airbus A380.

To date, Airbus has delivered 234 A380s.

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