Muscat: Airbus will stop taking any new orders for its A380 super jumbo airliner, after it fulfills all of its current deals, the aircraft manufacturer has announced.
The Toulouse-based aeronautical company has also decided to slash its existing order load from 162 to 123 aircraft, and will cease all A380 deliveries in 2021, and will decide to put more resources into its newer, but smaller, wide-body aircraft.
Emirates airlines will take delivery of a further 14 A380s, and Airbus have also begun processing orders for a further 40 A330-900 and 30 A350-900 airplanes.
“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 As a result of stopping the production of further A380s, there could be between 3,000 and 3,500 job positions potentially lost at the company, although there will be some room for people to transfer within the company, as it increases further production of its A320 fleet as well as the aforementioned wide-body aircraft.
“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 wide body 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.”
The A380 is a wide-body, double-decker jet airliner, which was first introduced in October 2007.
It provides seating for up to 525 passengers in a standard configuration, or up to 853 people in an all-economy class design.
It has a design range of 8,500 nautical mile (15,700 km).Two of the world’s longest flights in terms of duration and distance – Dubai to Auckland and Sydney to Dallas/Fort Worth – are currently operated by Airbus A380s flown by crews from Fly Emirates and Qantas respectively.
As of January 2019, Airbus received 313 orders for the A380, of which 234 were delivered successfully.
There are currently about 232 Airbus A380s in operation.
The total number of orders received by Airbus as of January 2019 stands at 19,327.
The company have also made 11,802 deliveries, and have 10,754 aircraft currently in operation.
Ordering a single Airbus A380 cost airlines US$445.6 million (OMR 171.55 million) in 2018, and the company posted revenues of €64 billion (about OMR 28 billion).Commenting on this, Tom Enders said, “Though 2018 had plenty of challenges for us, we delivered on our commitments with record profitability thanks to a strong operational performance, particularly in Q4. With an order backlog of around 7,600 aircraft, we intend to ramp-up aircraft production even further.
"However, due to the lack of airline demand we have to wind down production of the A380.This is largely reflected in the 2018 numbers.”