Thursday 14th February 2019
Published on Thursday, February 14, 2019
Airbus pulls the plug on superjumbo
Airbus will stop making the double-decker A380 ‘superjumbo’, which is the world’s largest passenger aircraft.
In a statement, the manufacturer said the last deliveries of the aircraft will be in 2021.
The announcement came after Dubai-based Emirates, the largest customer of the A380, reduced its order from 162 to 123 aircraft.
“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. This leads to the end of A380 deliveries in 2021,” said Airbus chief executive Tom Enders.
“Passengers all over the world love to fly on this great aircraft. Hence today’s announcement is painful for us and the A380 communities worldwide.”
Airbus said the impact of the decision was ‘largely embedded’ in the firm’s 2018 results, which showed a net profit of €3 billion (£2.6bn) up nearly 30% from 2017.
Airbus makes the wings for the A380 in the UK, employing 6,000 staff at its main wings factory at Broughton in Flintshire, as well as 3,000 at Filton, near Bristol. The manufacturer said 3,000 to 3,500 positions could be impacted by the decision to cease production over the next three years, however, it said increased production of the A320 would offer ‘a significant number of internal mobility opportunities’.