Airbus will cease deliveries of the A380 in 2021, it has announced.

The move comes as Emirates has decided to reduce its A380 orderbook from 162 to 123 aircraft, “following a review of its operations and in light of developments in aircraft and engine technologies”. Emirates will take delivery of 14 further A380s over the next two years.

As a consequence, and given the lack of order backlog with other airlines, Airbus says it will cease deliveries of the A380 from 2021.

Emirates will continue with Airbus’ newest generation, widebody aircraft, and has placed orders for 40 A330-900 and 30 A350-900 aircraft.

A painful announcement

Airbus Chief Executive Officer, Tom Enders, said: “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. This leads to the end of A380 deliveries in 2021. The consequences of this decision are largely embedded in our 2018 full year results.”

He added: “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,” Ender said.

Jobs impact

Airbus says it will start discussions with its social partners in the next few weeks regarding the 3,000 to 3,500 jobs potentially impacted over the next three years.

“However, the ongoing A320 ramp-up and the new widebody order from Emirates Airline will offer a significant number of internal mobility opportunities,” a statement said.

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter