- Airbus says it will stop producing its famous double-deck, four-engine A380 jet.
- It comes after Emirates Airlines reduced its orderbook by 39 planes. Airbus said it had “no substantial A380 backlog and hence no basis to sustain production.”
- Airlines have been shifting to lighter, more fuel efficient planes.
- Around 3,000 to 3,500 jobs are now at risk.
Airbus says it will stop manufacturing its iconic A380 superjumbo jet, the world’s largest passenger plane.
The French aircraft company will stop delivering the double-deck, four-engine plane in 2021, it said in a statement Thursday.
The decision comes after Emirates Airlines – which operates the largest fleet of Airbus A380s in the world – reduced its orderbook from 162 to 123 aircraft. Airbus added that there was a “lack of order backlog with other airlines.”
As a result of the Emirates order, “we have no substantial A380 backlog and hence no basis to sustain production, despite all our sales efforts with other airlines in recent years,” Airbus CEO Tom Enders said in a statement.
Emirates switched its orders from the A380 to 40 A330neo and 30 A350 jets instead, Airbus said, adding that it will deliver the last 14 A380s on Emirates’ orderbook over the next two years.
Emirates has invested tens of billions of dollars in more than 100 A380s in the past but struggled to maintain its order due to differences with engine supplier Rolls-Royce.
Emirates and Rolls-Royce couldn’t agree to a price and fuel burn standards for the engines, which led to Emirates reportedly missing the deadline to make its engine selection.
Airlines around the world have been shifting to lighter passenger jets to deal with rising fuel prices.
Between 3,000 and 3,500 jobs will be potentially impacted by the end of A380 manufacturing, Airbus said.
Enders, the Airbus CEO said: “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.”