Airbus to halt production of double-decker A380

Toulouse: Plane manufacturer Airbus SE on Thursday announced its decision to stop making A380 double-decker that accommodates 500 to 850 passengers.

In recent years, Airbus was forced to slow A380 production as airlines opted for smaller planes at congested airports.

“Today’s announcement is painful for us and the A380 communities worldwide,” Airbus Chief Executive Officer Tom Enders said in a statement.

“The A380 is not only an outstanding engineering and industrial achievement. Passengers all over the world love to fly on this great aircraft. But keeping in mind that A380s will still roam
the skies for many years to come, Airbus will of course continue to fully support the A380 operators.”

Production of the jumbo jet will end by 2021 after the A380’s biggest customer Emirates and other remaining buyers receive their last orders. The Gulf carrier will pare down its current A380 order to 14 from 53, Airbus said.

Instead, Emirates will buy 40 wide-body A330-900 and 30 A350-900 aircraft which are more fuel-efficient aircraft.

“Following a review of its operations, and in light of developments in aircraft and engine technologies, Emirates is reducing its A380 order book from 162 to 123 aircraft,” Airbus said.

“As a consequence and given the lack of order backlog with other airlines, Airbus will cease deliveries of the A380 in 2021.”

Airbus also posted its earnings for 2018, reporting a rise of 29 per cent in net profit to 3.05 billion euros on revenues of 63.7 billion euros.

The company said it will deliver between 880 and 890 new commercial planes this year, adding that it was allocating 436 million euros to the A400M military transport programme.