Airbus to stop the production of A380 superjumbo jet

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Handout photo of passengers boarding the Airbus A380 super jumbo double-decker.

The costly aircraft has struggled to compete with more efficient, smaller models. It is the world's largest customer of both aircraft types. The lessor struggled to find new customers for the aircraft so much, that it chose to scrap the two A380s and sell them for parts.

The Toulouse-based plane manufacturer and Emirates reached an agreement on the airline's outstanding A380 deliveries with the carrier receiving 14 more doubledecker jets from 2019 through to the end of 2021. "Hence today's announcement is painful for us and the A380 communities worldwide".

The decision to scrap production is the last major step by Enders, who steps down in April.

The aviation company announced Thursday that Airbus will deliver 14 more superjumbo jets to Emirates over the next two years.

"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", the company's chief executive, Tom Enders, said in a statement.

The aerospace giant said the impact of the decision was "largely embedded" in the firm's 2018 results, which showed a net profit for 2018 of €3bn (£2.6bn) up almost 30% from the previous year. The company was forced to restructure, costing thousands of jobs.

Airbus said it will shortly start talks with 3,000-3,500 staff members whose positions are related to the A380 programme.

Emirates is the largest customer for the 544-seat aircraft, and analysts say production is unsustainable beyond 2020 without the new Emirates order.

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Airbus makes wings for the A380 in the United Kingdom - employing 6,000 staff at Broughton and 3,000 at Filton.

The damaged right-hand wing-tip of the Airbus A380, the world's largest jetliner with a wingspan of nearly 80 metres, is seen on the tarmac during the Paris Air Show in Le Bourget airport, near Paris, June 20, 2011.

The giant aircraft's first commercial flight to Europe - a Singapore Airlines service - arrived at Heathrow on March 3 2008.

But sales of the industry's largest four-engined jets have fallen due to improvements in lighter twin-engined alternatives, such as the Boeing 787 and 777 or Airbus's own A350.

Airbus will complete the remaining orders, then the factories and their workers will either be reassigned to other programs or let go.

There isn't a single U.S. carrier that uses the A380, Chinese airlines have only bought the model in low numbers, and Japan - traditionally a big buyer of the Boeing 747 - has only recently taken delivery of its first A380.

Airbus had hoped to sell 700 planes but it had only managed 313 orders, BBC News reported. After today's decision to end production, the end tally will be just over 250.

According to Airbus, the plane has flown more than 500,000 revenue flights and carried over 190 million passengers to date, with more than 300 commercial flights a day. The A380 succeeded in that - the last passenger 747 was built two years ago - but Boeing will have a kind of last laugh.

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