Airbus to scrap A380 superjumbo production

Airbus A380

It's also sad news for Emirates, which had the A380 as the backbone of its fleet, based out of Dubai, the world's busiest airport for global travel.

The costly aircraft has struggled to compete with more efficient, smaller models.

Following months of speculation over the plane's future, Airbus said it had taken the decision after Emirates scaled back an order for A380s - choosing instead to focus on smaller planes. The European aircraft major reached this decision after Dubai-based mega carrier Emirates, which is the largest operator of the A380, reduced its order book for this plane by 39 from 162 to 123 aircraft.

The company said it had "no substantial A380 backlog and hence no basis to sustain production". - Airbus chief executive, Tom EndersWhat are the details?

The European aerospace giant confirmed on Thursday it would deliver the final aircraft, with its two decks of cabins and room for 544 passengers, in 2021. "Hence today's announcement is painful for us and the A380 communities worldwide".

The plane maker reported net profit of €3.1 billion over a year ago, up from €2.4b in 2017.

With Airbus increasingly reliant on a single customer for its flagship product, Emirates could make or break the programme by ordering or cancelling more A380s.

What does it mean for jobs?

.

What happens next? The company will start talks with unions over the 3,500 jobs that could be at risk. The firm said an increase in production of its A320 model would offer "a significant number of internal mobility opportunities". Teams from across the region joined colleagues at other sites during crunch times, the quirky-looking Beluga freight planes would crisscross countries with parts, and the A380 was a popular backdrop at air shows for politicians celebrating Europe's achievements.

But sales of the industry's largest four-engined jets have fallen due to the improvements in lighter twin-engined alternatives, such as the Boeing 787 and 777 or Airbus's own A350.

As for their airline customers, Emirates has made a decision to reduce its total Airbus A380 from originally 162 aircraft to 123 remaining A380s (Most of which will replace the current fleet operating), and will buy 40 smaller A330-900 and 30 A350-900 aircraft.

Where did Airbus go wrong?

Production of the jumbo jet will end by 2021, after the A380's biggest customer, Emirates, and a handful of remaining buyers receive their last orders. With Emirates negotiating their orders, Qantas giving up theirs and just today Qatar moving on to another aircraft.

Emirates long has been the largest operator of the A380.

While the iconic passenger airliner might be admired by aviation enthusiasts, it never gained much popularity with customers (Emirates aside).

Even though Airbus was aware of the threat posed by these new types of plane, they pressed ahead.

After that, any future business for the world's biggest passenger plan will be grounded, the company said. With passenger numbers rising every year and major new hubs opening in markets like Dubai, the A380 seemed the obvious choice to address the need for a large people carrier, while picking market share off Boeing.

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