Airbus scraps production of A380 superjumbo

Airbus to stop making struggling A380 superjumbo in 2021

Airbus to end A380 production in 2021, Emirates cuts order

Emirates is yet to take delivery of 14 of the double-decker aircraft - the wings, engines and landing gear for which are made in the UK.

Airbus had watched enviously as Boeing monopolised the market for very large aircraft with its 747 jumbo, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this month and sold more than 1 500 units.

What did Airbus say about the decision?

The decision came after Emirates reduced its order of the model from 162 to 123 aircraft.

Barely a decade after the 500-plus-seat plane started carrying passengers, Airbus said in a statement that key client Emirates is cutting back its orders for the plane, and as a result, "we have no substantial A380 backlog and hence no basis to sustain production".

"This leads to the end of A380 deliveries in 2021". The world's biggest passenger jet started flying in 2008.

Airbus CEO Tom Enders called the superjumbo an "outstanding technical and industrial achievement", adding that the announcement was "painful for us and A380 communities around the world".

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.

Europe's Airbus announced plans to scrap production of the A380 superjumbo on Thursday, abandoning its dream of dominating the skies with a cruiseliner for the 21st century after years of lacklustre sales.

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What does it mean for jobs?

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

Emirates said it was "disappointed" to give up its order - citing new plane and engine technology - leaving just 14 superjumbos in the production pipeline for the Middle East carrier as it opted to pick up a total of 70 of the smaller A350 and A330neo models instead.

But in the end, it wasn't passenger support, but the lack thereof from airlines that hastened the A380's demise.

The spacious jet, which had its first commercial flight in 2007, was popular with passengers but it was complicated and expensive to build. Production was devolved to different European locations, with final assembly and finishing split between Toulouse and Hamburg.

Airlines have been shifting to lighter, more fuel efficient planes.

The decision came after Emirates failed to reach an engine agreement with Britain's Rolls-Royce, which said on Thursday it noted the decision to shut down the program.

In a far-reaching deal, the Dubai-based airline has ordered instead 40 300-seat Airbus A330-900 aircraft, and 30 360-seat A350-900s in a deal worth $US21.4 billion ($30 billion) at list prices to replace the A380s. With Emirates negotiating their orders, Qantas giving up theirs and just today Qatar moving on to another aircraft.

It's also sad news for Emirates, which has the A380 as the backbone of its fleet, based out of Dubai, the world's busiest airport for global travel. In February 2019, Airbus admitted the ongoing talks with the Gulf carrier, while previous reports indicated it was looking to convert some or all of its recent order for 20 A380s into smaller and newer A350s or A330s.

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