Airbus to pull the plug on its superjumbo A380
LEIDEN, Netherlands - Airbus announced today that it would be ending production of its superjumbo passenger jet, the A380, in 2021 after Dubai-based airline Emirates announced it was reducing its order of the 800-plus passenger plane from 162 to 123 aircraft.
"It's a painful decision," Airbus CEO Tom Enders said during a conference call with analysts. "We've invested a lot of effort, a lot of resources and a lot of sweat into this aircraft. But obviously we need to be realistic. With the decision of Emirates to reduce orders, our order backlog is not sufficient to sustain production."
Emirates is sticking with the European manufacturer, however, as the company ordered 40 new A330-900 and 30 new A350-900 aircraft.
"While we are disappointed to have to give up our order, and sad that the program could not be sustained, we accept that this is the reality of the situation," Emirates Chairman Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum said in a statement. "The A380 will remain a pillar of our fleet well into the 2030s."
"...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," agreed Enders.
The A380 fell short of expected sales projections, as Airbus has delivered only 234 aircraft against the 1,200 the company expected to sell. Still, stock in the company rose today after Airbus announced the planned phase out of the A380 in addition to net profits rising 30 percent compared to the previous year and increased sales.
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