Airbus announced today that it would be shutting the A380 production line in 2021. The move is sadly not a surprise.
17 A380s will still be built, including 14 to Emirates and 3 to ANA.
In a written statement, Airbus CEO Tom Enders stated:
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.
The move will impact up to 3,500 jobs, though Airbus hopes to offer many internal positions on other assembly lines.
Emirates to “Blame”
Earlier today, Emirates officially reduced its A380 order by 39 aircraft. Emirates, the largest A380 operator, already has 109 A380s in its fleet. Instead of adding 53 more, it will add only 14 more, capping out at 123. The good news for Airbus is that it in its place Emirates ordered 40 A330-900s and 30 A350-900s.
Thus, Emirates is the direct reason that Airbus is halting its A380 program in 2021. But the larger problem, of course, is that there just was not sufficient demand for it. With fuel efficient A330s and A350s (not to mention 787s and 777-300s) Airbus effectively competed against itself.
Long Live the A380
I guess I’d still say the 747 is my favorite aircraft of all time just because of the extremely positive memories associated with it. But quite frankly, the A380 is more comfortable, more quiet, and more spacious. I absolutely love the flying the A380 and will continue to do so until the very last aircraft is retired. There is no aircraft like that, especially in first class. Here are my A380 first class reviews:
I intend to review the A380 first class on Air France, ANA, China Southern, and Korean Air as well.
My first A380 was a Lufthansa flight from Frankfurt to Beijing in 2011. I’ve immensely enjoyed this aircraft ever since.
It’s time for the A380 eulogy yet. We’ll likely still see these beautiful whales in the air until 2030 or beyond. I’ll spare the critical commentary here on ego and subsides at Airbus…though that’s part of this whole issue. Today, though, I just want to lament the demise of the A380 program. Whether the money-losing program was justified or not in the first place, it certainly resulted in an extremely comfortable and quiet aircraft.