The end of the A380
Airbus will end production of its A380 superjumbo aircraft, delivering the last of the planes in 2021 as airlines move toward the use of smaller and more efficient aircraft.
The BBC reported that the announcement comes following a decision by Emirates, the biggest customer of the world’s largest passenger aircraft, to drastically cut its last major order. The airline, which will move to cut its A380 fleet from 162 to 123, will take delivery of 14 further A380s over the next two years, rather than the 53 planes originally on order. Instead, Emirates has ordered 70 of Airbus' smaller A330 and A350 models.
The plane launched in 2007 and was first flown commercially with Singapore Airlines. While popular with passengers, airlines have shifted toward the use of smaller wide-body jets, such as Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner. Plans for a revamped and more efficient A380 were scrapped by Airbus after it failed to secure a sufficient number of launch orders.
Having to cancel the multi-billion project little over 18 years after it was launched in December 2000 shows how much Airbus was off in its demand forecast for very large aircraft. Instead of the around 1,500 orders for aircraft in the category that Airbus expected over 20 years, only a fraction materialized. Orders for the A380 stood at 313 aircraft at the end of January.
(source: Military and Aerospace Electronics, 21Feb19)