The company will begin discussions with its social partners in the coming weeks regarding the 3,000 to 3,500 positions likely to be affected by this decision in the next three years.

The World with AFP Posted today at 06:37, updated at 07:00

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An Airbus A380 on the final assembly line of Blagnac (Haute-Garonne), in March 2018.
An Airbus A380 on the final assembly line of Blagnac (Haute-Garonne), in March 2018. REGIS DUVIGNAU / REUTERS

The aerospace manufacturer Airbus announced, Thursday, February 14, that it put an end to its program of very big A380 carrier, which never achieved the expected success and whose last copy will thus be delivered in 2021.

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The European aircraft manufacturer has announced an agreement with Emirates, one of the main customers for this program, which will reduce its order book from 162 to 123 A380 and order in exchange forty long-haul A330neo and thirty A350s.

"The consequence of this decision is that our backlog is no longer sufficient to allow us to maintain production of the A380, despite all our sales efforts with other companies in recent years. This will put an end to A380 deliveries by 2021 "said Tom Enders, Airbus executive chairman, in a statement. "The consequences of this decision are largely incorporated into our 2018 financial results"he adds. The results of the group were announced in the wake.

Airbus has reached its 2018 targets with a net profit up 29% to 3 billion euros and plans to deliver between 880 and 890 commercial aircraft in 2019, but was forced to spend a new provision of 436 million euros on the A400M military transport aircraft program.

The aircraft manufacturer has indicated that the end of production of the A380 would result in "A negative impact of 463 million euros on EBIT [bénéfice opérationnel] ". Consolidated sales increased to 63.7 billion euros (+ 8%).

3,000 to 3,500 affected positions

Airbus has also indicated that it will engage in discussions with its social partners in the coming weeks regarding the 3,000 to 3,500 positions likely to be affected by this decision in the next three years. However, the current ramp-up of the A320 and the new Emirates widebody order will offer many opportunities for internal mobility, adds the aircraft manufacturer.

The Airbus A380, the world's largest airliner, went into operation twelve years ago. The bad fate that persists on him seems inherent to its characteristics. With its four engines – against two for the vast majority of devices currently in use – the super jumbo is twice as likely to fail. In addition, it is a device that consumes a lot of kerosene; a black spot at a time when all airlines are trying to reduce their fuel bill.

Finally, the capabilities and technical constraints of the very large carrier frighten most companies. In order to accommodate the plane and its two passenger boarding and unloading decks, special infrastructure is needed which not all airports have. Finally, not all destinations are suitable for a device that, in the configuration of its most densified cabin, can carry more than eight hundred passengers.

In 2017, Airbus announced a slowdown in the pace of its production of A380: first twelve per year, before eventually moving to six copies each year. In doing so, the company wanted to continue producing super-jumbos without losing its know-how. She hoped the companies would decide to order A380s in numbers.

A year ago, the Emirates order appeared as a miracle that saved the super jumbo. At the rate of one copy produced per month, Tom Enders believed the future of his aircraft insured for at least a decade. This will not be the case.

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