Production of the Airbus A380 will finally come to an end, announces the European-based aircraft manufacturer.
In a statement, Airbus announced that it will scale down Airbus A380 production, with the final of its flagship jumbos to be delivered in 2021. This comes as Emirates, Qantas and other major airliners reduce their A380 orders in favour of smaller, lighter, more efficient wide-body aircraft.
Whilst the aircraft has remained popular with passengers and was often described as a “hotel in the sky”, the jumbo has been expensive over the past 12 years costing Airbus 463 million Euros (A$733.2 Million) in 2018.
Airbus A380 production is a long-winded process. Manufacturing of the body is expensive and complex, partly because it is spread across four countries (France, Germany, Spain and the UK). Cost-overruns and protracted production added to the lack of financial viability of the aircraft as early as 2007. Furthermore, advances in engine technology enabled long distance flight to be achieved using lighter twin-engined aircraft whereas the jumbo relied on four engines for the same feat.
At the time, Airbus predicted the market for giant planes would be around 1,500, with aviation experts expecting it to outlast Boeing’s flagship 747. However as at the time of writing, it will have made approximately 300.
Despite the loss of the superjumbo Airbus should be able to weather the financial strain, having reported a 29% jump in overall profits last year.
As specialised airline consultants, Avlaw Aviation Consulting welcomes the opportunity for carriers and manufacturers to invest in smaller, lighter wide-body aircraft to respond proactively to rising fuel prices and the imminent dangers presented by climate change.