Published: Thu, February 14, 2019
Economy | By

Airbus to stop making struggling A380 superjumbo in 2021

Airbus to stop making struggling A380 superjumbo in 2021

The firm said it had made the "painful" decision after struggling to sell the world's largest passenger jet and after Emirates chose to slash its A380 orderbook by around a quarter. The manufacturer's order book also includes twenty units for Amedeo, although it is not certain if the lessor will take the aircraft. Emirates said separately it would purchase 70 smaller A330neo and A350 wide bodies listed at US$21.4-billion before customary discounts. - Airbus chief executive, Tom EndersWhat are the details?

The A380, whose wings are made at Airbus UK, was a bold challenger to U.S. rival Boeing's dominance of the large aircraft market.

But Airbus still had a super jumbo sized problem, having a large factory devoted to a building an aircraft that the market didn't want.

"Passengers all over the world love to fly on this great aircraft".

Making its maiden flight in 2005, the A380 was a major step in Airbus's efforts to compete on equal terms with Boeing and challenge what had been a cash cow for its arch-rival.

Industry experts initially expected A380s to long outlast the 747, which is celebrating its 50th birthday this year. While Airbus was a major force in the single-aisle space with its A320 family, the prestigious long-distance and ultra-large aircraft segment remained the domain of its U.S. rival. The A380 succeeded in that - the last passenger 747 was built two years ago - but Boeing will have a kind of last laugh.

"The A380 is Emirates' flagship and has contributed to the airline's success for more than ten years".

Due to the reduction and a lack of order backlog with other airlines, Airbus said it would end deliveries of the record-breaking plane in 2021 - just 14 years after it first entered commercial service.

The company said in a statement that Emirates - a UAE-based airline, which had the A380 as the backbone of its fleet - is cutting back its orders for the plane as a result.

The A380 project was originally known as the A3XX. The wings, like those of all Airbus aircraft, came from the United Kingdom and components were ferried across the continent from production sites in Germany and France.

"The A380 is not only an outstanding engineering and industrial achievement". Airbus confidently predicted it would make about 1,500 of the giant planes. It was built for a time when crowded airports would demand that planes carry more people to reduce congestion.

In February 2019, Qantas confirmed cancelling its order for eight superjumbos.

Airbus itself acknowledged that timing may not have been on its side with the A380. There was a bigger game afoot - Airbus needed to negate Boeing's 747, believing that the profits the American company made on 747 sales were helping it cross-subsidise other, smaller planes. And many operators don't even use the model at full capacity.

While the iconic passenger airliner might be admired by aviation enthusiasts, it never gained much popularity with customers (Emirates aside).

The world's largest airliner, with two decks of spacious cabins and room for 544 people in standard layout, was created to challenge Boeing's legendary 747 but failed to take hold as airlines backed a new generation of smaller, more nimble jets.

But in the end, it wasn't passenger support, but the lack thereof from airlines that hastened the A380's demise.

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