Airbus today made the announcement that we all had been fearing for some time – the production of A380 is going to come to an end in 2021.
Emirates as a result is converting most of its firm orders to A330’s and A350’s from Airbus. In the end, only 14 airlines ended up ordering these super jumbos.
Here’s the announcement from Airbus:
Following a review of its operations, and in light of developments in aircraft and engine technologies, Emirates is reducing its A380 orderbook from 162 to 123 aircraft. Emirates will take delivery of 14 further A380s over the next two years. As a consequence and given the lack of order backlog with other airlines, Airbus will cease deliveries of the A380 in 2021.
Emirates has also decided to continue growing with Airbus’ newest generation, flexible widebody aircraft, ordering 40 A330-900 and 30 A350-900 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 Officer Tom Enders. “The consequences of this decision are largely embedded in our 2018 full year results”.
“The A380 is not only an outstanding engineering and industrial achievement. 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. 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,” Tom Enders added.
“The A380 is Emirates’ flagship and has contributed to the airline’s success for more than ten years. As much as we regret the airline’s position, selecting the A330neo and A350 for its future growth is a great endorsement of our very competitive widebody aircraft family,” said Guillaume Faury, President of Airbus Commercial Aircraft and future Airbus CEO. “Going forward, we are fully committed to deliver on the longstanding confidence Emirates is placing in Airbus.”
Airbus will start discussions with its social partners in the next few weeks regarding the 3,000 to 3,500 positions potentially impacted over the next three years. However, the ongoing A320 ramp-up and the new widebody order from Emirates Airline will offer a significant number of internal mobility opportunities.
A380 orders from Airbus (from Wikipedia):
A380 deliveries (from Wikipedia):
This is very sad development for an aircraft type that had its first delivery just 12 years ago. Considering the average life of an aircraft frame, we will see these flying into the 2030’s.
It is very unfortunate that the market for the A380 never materialized in numbers that Airbus had hoped for. Basically, half of the deliveries (more than 100) were to Emirates.
Many airlines installed their flagship product and amenities to showcase their services such as showers, onboard bars and lounges in A380s that you just don’t find on other aircraft types.
It has been truly a joy to fly and sad to see it eventually go.