Airbus to End A380 Super Jumbo Production

By Paul Riegler on 14 February 2019
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An Emirates A380

An Emirates A380

Airbus announced a decision to end the production of its A380 super jumbo aircraft after a dozen years in service, the company said Thursday.

The decision came after the company’s discussions with Emirates, the largest operator of A380 aircraft in the world, in which the two reached a decision that will result in Emirates’ reducing its A380 orderbook by 39 aircraft and placing orders for 40 A330neos and A350s.

“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, said Airbus CEO Tom Enders. “This leads to the end of A380 deliveries in 2021.”

Thirteen months ago, Emirates effectively threw the super jumbo a lifeline when it agreed to order up to 36 additional A380s. Airbus had at the time said it would phase out A380 production if the company had not been successful in obtaining this order.

Demand for both the A380 and the Boeing 747-8 has been week, as airlines opt for smaller and more fuel-efficient twin-engine models.

The A380 is capable of carrying 555 passengers in a typical three-class configuration or 853 in an all-economy configuration. It was first flown in 2007 by launch customer Singapore Airlines. Lufthansa and Emirates are two other major operators of the type.

The super jumbo has a range of 8,200 nautical miles (15,200 kilometers). To date, over 220 A380 jets have been delivered, to 13 carriers around the world.

In June 2018, Airbus unveiled plans for a more efficient A380plus version of the aircraft, with operating costs that would be 13% lower on a per seat basis than the current version of the plane and also seat more passengers thanks to a more efficient use of available space.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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