A year after expressing concern over the fate of the A380, Airbus has “painfully” confirmed that it will discontinue the aircraft’s production due to a shortage of orders.

Airbus made the decision official this week after Qantas cancelled its future A380 orders, leaving Emirates as the aircraft’s last major customer.

In a statement, the manufacturer said 14 A380s will be produced for Emirates over the next two years, after which the aircraft will discontinue and deliveries will cease in 2021.

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Airbus Chief Executive, Tom Enders, described the superjumbo as an “outstanding engineering and industrial achievement” and said it was “painful” to end its production.

“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.”

Tom Enders, Airbus Chief Executive

“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,” he added.

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Emirates was praised as a major contributor of the A380 for maintaining it as its flagship aircraft for more than a decade. Although admitting the plane has been “wonderful”, Chief Executive and Chairman, His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoumm, said newer models will complement the airline’s fleet mix and support network growth.

“The A380 will remain a pillar of our fleet well into the 2030s, and… will continue to invest in our onboard product and services so our customers can be assured that the Emirates A380 experience will always be top-notch.”

His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoumm, Emirates Chief Executive and Chairman

The Dubai-based carrier has decided to move towards longer-range planes by signing up for 40 A330-900 and 30 A350-900. The US421.4 billion order is expected to be delivered from 2021 to 2024.

 

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