Airbus confirms it will stop building the A380

Emirates A330-900

Airbus has blamed weak sales for its decision to scrap production of the A380 superjumbo - the world's largest airliner.

The French aircraft company will stop delivering the double-deck, four-engine plane in 2021, it said in a statement Thursday.

As for their airline customers, Emirates has chose 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.

The costly aircraft has struggled to compete with more efficient, smaller models.

Airbus boasted it would sell 700-750 A380s, which nowadays cost $446 million at list prices, and render the 747 obsolete.

Airbus on February 14 posted stronger than expected fourth-quarter results overshadowed by a decision to close its flagship A380 programme, while forecasting higher aircraft deliveries and profits in 2019.

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

The European aerospace company said this morning that lacklustre sales of the aircraft had led to the "painful" decision.

There isn't a single United States carrier that uses the A380, Chinese airlines have only bought the model in low numbers, and Japan - traditionally a big buyer of the Boeing 747 - has only recently taken delivery of its first A380.

Emirates A350
Emirates A350

What does it mean for jobs?

. The company was forced to restructure, costing thousands of jobs.

Airbus says the ongoing A320 ramp-up and the new widebody order from Emirates Airline will offer a significant number of "internal mobility opportunities".

"Today's announcement is painful for us and the A380 communities worldwide", Airbus CEO Tom Enders said in a statement.

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.

"The very clear trend in the market is to operate long-haul aircraft with two engines [such as] Boeing's 787 and 777, and Airbus's A330 and A350", said Greg Waldron, Asia managing editor of Flight Global.

The shake-up came after Emirates - the largest A380 customer - chose to reduce its orders for the iconic superjumbo and order a total of 70 of the smaller A350 and A330neo instead.

Airbus will complete the remaining orders, then the factories and their workers will either be reassigned to other programs or let go.

Sheikh Ahmed said Emirates' the order of A330neos and A350s complements the airline's fleet mix, enhances its flexibility and support the growth of its network. After today's decision to end production, the end tally will be just over 250.

The A380 is capable of carrying more than 800 passengers, but most airlines choose to transport no more than about 500 people, instead decking out the cabin with fancy features from in-flight bars to showers and multi-room suites that come with flourishes like butlers and sofas.

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