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Airbus To Stop Manufacturing A380 Superjumbo From 2021

Airbus To Stop Manufacturing A380 Superjumbo From 2021
The A380 superjumbo would no longer be freshly manufactured by Europe's Airbus, the plane maker announced on Thursday. This also marks an end to the dream of the company of being able to be a leader in the market in the 21st century with its cruiseliners and put an end to multiple years of lacklustre sales.
Designed as a rival for Boeing's legendary 747, Airbus’s A380 is the largest aircraft of the world and can accommodate 544 passengers in two decks of spacious cabins in a standard layout. The aim of the company was foiled because in recent years, airlines opted to chose the generation smaller jets.
The last A380 would be delivered in 2021, Airbus said in a statement.
According to reports, the decision was taken by Airbus after a large order for the A380 was partially cancelled by its largest A380 customer Emirates Airline, which replaced the orders with a total of 70 smaller A350 and A330 neo models.
The decision for the closure would result in job losses to about 3,000 and 3,500 employees and the company would start negotiations with trade unions to discuss the issue in the next few weeks, said the European airplane maker.
According to Airbus, 14 more A380s would be manufactured for Emirates and 3 for Japanese airline ANA before it stops production.
As part of the restructuring, Emirates placed a new order for 40 A330-900neo jets and 30 A350-900 aircraft, partially restoring a purchase of A350 aircraft which it cancelled in 2014.
The closure was a disappointment for it, said Emirates which became a global flyer touting its fleet of A380 and Boeing 777 jets. The airline also possess 100 more of the Airbus superjumbos. "Emirates has been a staunch supporter of the A380 since its very inception," said Emirates Chairman Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed al-Maktoum.
"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. The airline said that the company would be using the A380s extensively for its flights till the 2030s.
Similar decisions were also announced by Etihad of Abu Dhabi, Emirates' local rival, as it also cancelled orders for some Airbus and Boeing jet orders. These two decisions also however raised questions about the future of growth of Gulf region airlines.
The A380 was manufactured to counter the dominance in the large aircrafts segment of Airbus’s US rival Boeing when with the first A380 taking to the skies in 2008. This was a cornerstone for Airbus issuing a challenge to Boeing’s dominance and to the craft that had turned into a cash cow for the US aircraft maker. However with the development and improvement in the lighter weighted twin-engined crafts like the Boeing 787 and 777 or Airbus's A350, there was a drop in interest and sale for the very large four engine crafts among airliners.

Christopher J. Mitchell

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