Airbus has announced it will end production of its flagship A380 superjumbo passenger jet, potentially putting UK jobs at risk. The firm said it had made the “painful” decision after Emirates chose to slash its A380 orders by around a quarter. Due to the reduction and a lack of order backlog with other airlines, Airbus…
Airbus has announced it will end production of its flagshipA380 superjumbopassenger jet, potentially putting UK jobs at risk.
The firm said it had made the “painful” decision after Emirates chose to slash its A380 orders by around a quarter.
Due to the reduction and a lack of order backlog with other airlines, Airbus said it would end deliveries of the record-breaking plane in 2021 – 14 years after it first entered commercial service.
Emirates is yet to take delivery of 14 of the aircraft, parts of which are made in the UK.
Airbus said it would “start discussions with its social partners in the next few weeks regarding the 3,000 to 3,500 positions potentially impacted over the next three years”.
The firm said an increase in production of its A320 model would offer “a significant number of internal mobility opportunities”.
Airbus chief executive Tom Enders said: “The A380 is not only an outstanding engineering and industrial achievement. Passengers all over the world love to fly on this great aircraft. Hence today’s announcement is painful for us and the A380 communities worldwide.
“But keep in mind that A380s will still roam the skies for many years to come and Airbus will of course continue to fully support the A380 operators.”
Airbus said Emirates had chosen to reduce its order of A380s from 162 to 123 aircraft following a “review of its operations, and in light of developments in aircraft and engine technologies”.
Meanwhile the UAE carrier is buying more of the smaller A330-900 and A350-900 aircraft, purchasing 40 and 30 respectively.
“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,” Enders said.
“This leads to the end of A380 deliveries in 2021. The consequences of this decision are largely embedded in our 2018 full year results.”