Airbus to end production of A380 superjumbo jet

Airbus A380

Emirates airlines ordered 70 Airbus jets at a value of $21.5 billion and reached an agreement with the plane manufacturer to receive 14 more A380s, whose production will stop by 2021.

The costly aircraft has struggled to compete with more efficient, smaller models. The world's biggest passenger jet started flying in 2008.

The Emirati carrier reduced its order for A380s from 162 to 123 units and will take the delivery of the remaining fourteen aircraft over the next two years.

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. "Hence today's announcement is painful for us and the A380 communities worldwide".

Europe's Airbus has announced plans to scrap production of the A380 superjumbo - with fears over 3,500 jobs.

The company did not specify which jobs or locations would be affected.

The aerospace giant said the impact of the decision was "largely embedded" in the firm's 2018 results, which showed a net profit for 2018 of €3bn (£2.6bn) up almost 30% from the previous year.

Airbus said it would start discussions with staff in the next few weeks regarding the 3000 to 3500 positions potentially impacted over the next three years. With Emirates negotiating their orders, Qantas giving up theirs and just today Qatar moving on to another aircraft.

Airbus makes wings for the A380 in the United Kingdom - employing 6,000 staff at Broughton and 3,000 at Filton.

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When Singapore Airlines took the A380 superjumbo for its first commercial flight in 2007, there was widespread applause that the future of air travel had arrived.

Airbus is nearing a decision to axe production of the world's largest airliner amid a downward revision in demand from the Gulf, and is likely to give an update with its full-year earnings on February 14, according to industry sources and analysts.

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

Where did Airbus go wrong?

Airbus had hoped to sell 700 planes but it had only managed 313 orders, BBC News reported.

Emirates long has been the largest operator of the A380.

Carrying about 550 passengers - but with capacity for more - over a range of 8,000 nautical miles, the A380 was pitched at the fast-growing Asia and Middle East markets, where airlines were keen to fly more people per flight. 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.

Boeing's 777X can carry 414 passengers in a two-class layout and will burn about 40 per cent less fuel per passenger than an the A380. Freighter versions of the 747 will be built past 2021, meaning the venerable jumbo jet will outlive the plane sent to kill it.

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