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A380: Airbus gives up the superjumbo

The European aircraft manufacturer said on Thursday that it would discontinue the supply of A380 aircraft in 2021 after its key customer, Dubai-based airline Emirates, cut its orders for the giant jet plane.

"We have no substantial A380 backlog and thus no basis to sustain production, despite all sales efforts with other airlines in recent years," said Airbus CEO Tom Enders in a corporate statement.
Four million parts, 30 countries: how an Airbus A380 comes together

The A380, the world's largest airliner, was in the air for the first time 14 years ago. Airbus' big bet that airlines need many extra-large aircraft to fly passengers between the major hubs of an airport did not go as expected.

So far, the company has delivered 234 of the superjumbo, less than a quarter of the 1,200 it would likely sell when it launched the biplane. His plans were undermined by airlines, which shifted their interest in lighter, more economical aircraft Passenger jets that have reduced the need for carriage of passengers between the big hubs.

"Today's announcement is painful for us and the A380 communities worldwide," Enders said. "But keep in mind that the A380 will be taking to the sky for many more years, and of course Airbus will continue to fully support the A380 operators."

Emirates and Airbus both said on Thursday that the A380 is still very popular with passengers.
Emirates had received the A380 program early last year by placing a major order for the plane on livelihood. But other airlines like to follow this week Qantas (QABSY) Australia canceling much of its orders. Emirates is investing in the purchase of 70 smaller Airbus passenger jets, a blend of the latest models from the A330 and A350.
"We are disappointed to have to give up our order and are saddened that the program can not be sustained, but we believe this is the reality," said Emirates President Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum. in a statement of the company. "The A380 will remain a pillar of our fleet until the 2030s."

Both companies emphasized that the superjumbo is still very popular with passengers.

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