AviationLack of orders will see the last of the superjumbo deliveries.

Airbus axes A380 superjumbo programme

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In happier times for the A380, an Emirates flight lands in Frankfurt.
In happier times for the A380, an Emirates flight lands in Frankfurt.

Airbus said Emirates was reducing its A380 order book from 162 to 123 aircraft “following a review of its operations, and in light of developments in aircraft and engine technologies”.

In a widely expected announcement, Airbus will scrap its Airbus A380 programme after the superjumbo’s biggest customer, Emirates, downsized its order for the aircraft.

Airbus said Emirates was reducing its A380 order book from 162 to 123 aircraft “following a review of its operations, and in light of developments in aircraft and engine technologies”.

Emirates will take delivery of 14 further A380s over the next two years and, Airbus said it will cease deliveries of the A380, “given the lack of order backlog with other airlines”.

Emirates will instead order Airbus’ newest generation, flexible wide-body aircraft – some 40 A330-900 and 30 A350-900 aircraft.

“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 Airbus chief executive Tom Enders.

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

Enders added, “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.”

Qantas this month cancelled its long-standing Airbus A380 order, originally made way back in 2006.

After having discussions with Airbus, the Australian flag carrier decided to maintain just the current 12 A380 aircraft in its fleet.

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