AIRBUS is to stop making the world’s biggest passenger plane, the A380. The firm said it was a ‘painful decision,’ whilst announcing the last deliveries would be made in two-years time.
Orders for the double-decker superjumbo, which can carry more than 850-passengers, have dried up recently.
The consequences for the workforce are serious. About 3000 to 3500 employees could be affected by the decision over the next three years. Added to this are the employees in the supply industry.
The plane was its most expensive and ambitious aircraft programme, having been launched back in 2007.
Emirates were the biggest purchaser of the aircraft, and in essence, keeping the order book afloat. Previous orders had been placed by Qantas, but like many other carriers, they too are opting for smaller, more fuel-efficient jetliners.
Singapore Airlines was the first customer to buy the A380 in the fall of 2007. The airline, known for its service, caused a sensation at the time with double beds in first class. Emirates, in turn, installed a bar on the upper floor of the A380 and showers in business class.
Production is expected to end in 2021.