European aircraft manufacturer Airbus will soon cease production of the A380, with the last of the world’s largest passenger aircraft expected to be delivered in 2021.
The decision comes after Emirates, Airbus’ largest A380 customer, reduced its order from 162 to 123 aircraft. Fourteen more A380s are expected to be delivered to Emirates over the next two years regardless.
The UAE-based airline has also placed an order for 40 A330-900 and 30 A350-900 widebody aircraft.
Airbus’ CEO Tom Enders – who steps down in April – said in a statement that as a result of this, there is “no substantial A380 backlog and hence no basis to sustain production”.
Despite the aircraft manufacturer’s sales efforts with other airlines over the past few years, orders have slumped.
“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.
“The A380 is Emirates’ flagship and has contributed to the airline’s success for more than 10 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,” said Guillaume Faury, president of Airbus Commercial Aircraft and incoming Airbus CEO.
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 will offer a significant number of internal mobility opportunities.