Airbus scraps production of A380 superjumbo

Airbus to end production of A380 superjumbo jet

Emirates Airbus A380 Economy interior.

Airbus stood by the A380 even after it was slammed by the global financial crisis of 2007, when airlines started having second thoughts about owning huge planes that were profitable only when filled to the brim. Despite the ability to carry up to 500-800 paying passengers onboard, the plane was simply too expensive, too fuel hungry and too big to be practical in today's world.

The A380, whose wings are made at Airbus UK, was a bold challenger to USA rival Boeing's dominance of the large aircraft market.

So why did the world's largest passenger aircraft, described as a "hotel in the sky", fail after just 12 years of production? "Hence today's announcement is painful for us and the A380 communities worldwide". - Airbus chief executive, Tom EndersWhat are the details?

Europe's Airbus announced plans to scrap production of the A380 superjumbo on Thursday, abandoning its dream of dominating the skies with a cruiseliner for the 21st century after years of lacklustre sales.

When Airbus's A380 first took off it was hailed as a technological marvel that would meet airlines' needs for a new large aircraft to connect the world's crowded airport hubs - London, New York, Dubai, Tokyo.

The A380 project was originally known as the A3XX.

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The A380 is capable of carrying more than 800 passengers, but most airlines choose to transport no more than about 500 people, instead decking out the cabin with fancy features from in-flight bars to showers and multi-room suites that come with flourishes like butlers and sofas. In 2017, Emirates signed an order for 40 Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner. Both aircraft types are similar in size and capacity.

Until that point Airbus, had not sold the aircraft dubbed the flying palace in more than two years. This would simultaneously save money for the airline (the A350 is around $100 million Dollars cheaper) and allow them to wrap up the costly A380 program faster. But it said increased production of the A320 and the new wide body order from Emirates Airline would offer "a significant number of internal mobility opportunities". With their order book evaporated, Airbus was now free to cancel the program.

Where did Airbus go wrong?

It is likely that Airbus will transfer this talent, much like they did from the A321neo to the A220.

Emirates' local rival Etihad of Abu Dhabi also disclosed it was cutting some Airbus and Boeing jet orders, highlighting growing questions over the growth of Gulf airlines.

Under the proposed reshuffle, first reported by Reuters, Airbus hopes to broker a deal that would see Emirates switch part of its order to smaller models like the A350 or A330, while eking out a few last-minute A380 orders from British Airways.

"While we are disappointed to have to give up our order, and sad that the programme could not be sustained, we accept that this is the reality of the situation", he added. For us, the A380 is a wonderful aircraft loved by our customers and our crew. It is a differentiator for Emirates.

Airbus had faced scepticism over the A380's future since the 1990s, when it began to envision a competitor to the hugely popular 747 from United States archrival Boeing.

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