Tuesday, 23 April, 2019

Airbus to end production of A380 superjumbo jet

Airbus to stop making struggling A380 superjumbo in 2021 Airbus to end A380 production in 2021, Emirates cuts order
Priscilla Morrison | 14 February, 2019, 14:40

However, the market started to change near the turn of the decade when airlines realized they could buy planes that could fly just as far, but easier to fill up with passengers (and cheaper to fill with fuel).

Airbus is killing off the A380 double-decker superjumbo jet in what CEO Tom Enders is calling a "painful" decision.

But sales of the industry's largest four-engined jets have fallen due to the improvements in lighter twin-engined alternatives, such as the Boeing 787 and 777 or Airbus's own A350.

As for their airline customers, Emirates has made a decision to reduce its total Airbus A380 from originally 162 aircraft to 123 remaining A380s (Most of which will replace the current fleet operating), and will buy 40 smaller A330-900 and 30 A350-900 aircraft.

But from early on, the world's largest commercial passenger plane had a hard time, both technically and commercially.

Airbus reported net profit of 3.1 billion euros over past year, up from 2.4 billion euros in 2017.

Airbus will deliver the last 14 A380s to Emirates over the next two years, and the Dubai-based carrier has ordered 70 smaller aircraft from the planemaker.

The 40 A330neos and 30 A350s that we are ordering today will complement Emirates' fleet mix, support our network growth, and give us more flexibility to better serve seasonal or opportunistic demand.

"Going forward, we are fully committed to deliver on the longstanding confidence Emirates is placing in Airbus". The European plane maker had hoped the A380 would squeeze out Boeing's 747 and revolutionize air travel as more people take to the skies.

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"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", said Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, chairman and chief executive of Emirates. It is a differentiator for Emirates.

However, airlines were reluctant to commit to the costly plane and airports had to build new runways and modify terminals to accommodate it.

Emirates has always been the largest operator of the A380.

However, a decision by its biggest customer, Emirates, to downgrade an order appears to have forced Airbus's hand.

Production problems and cost overruns in the billions of euros continued to plague the project, forcing Airbus to report its first-ever annual loss for the 2006 financial year.

"The A380 is not only an outstanding engineering and industrial achievement".

FILE PHOTO: The damaged right-hand wing-tip of the Airbus A380, the world's largest jetliner with a wingspan of nearly 80 metres, is seen on the tarmac during the Paris Air Show in Le Bourget airport, near Paris, June 20, 2011.

The timing of any final announcement may be driven by the outcome of those talks, but Airbus will be under pressure to provide some clarity on its plans in time for Thursday's update, following mounting speculation over the plane's future. Those prompted a company restructuring that cost thousands of jobs.

Industry experts initially expected A380s to long outlast the Boeing 747, which is celebrating its 50th birthday this year.

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