Airbus bids adieu to world's largest passenger airliner A380

Airbus announced plans to scrap production of airl... more

Airbus SE decided to stop making the A380 double-decker after a dozen years in service, burying a prestige project that won the hearts of passengers. Photo: AFP
1/6Airbus SE decided to stop making the A380 double-decker after a dozen years in service, burying a prestige project that won the hearts of passengers. Photo: AFP
Production of the jumbo jet will end by 2021, after the A380’s biggest customer, Emirates, and a handful of remaining buyers receive their last orders. Emirates, the Gulf carrier, will pare down its current A380 order to 14 from 53, Airbus said in a statement on Thursday. Photo: Reuters
2/6Production of the jumbo jet will end by 2021, after the A380’s biggest customer, Emirates, and a handful of remaining buyers receive their last orders. Emirates, the Gulf carrier, will pare down its current A380 order to 14 from 53, Airbus said in a statement on Thursday. Photo: Reuters
From its inception, the A380 was a grand European project. The wings, like those of all Airbus aircraft, came from the UK, components were ferried across the continent from production sites in Germany and France. The giant fuselage tubes were taken by barge and flat-bed truck to the main facility in Toulouse, and the planes were then painted and kitted out in Hamburg. Photo: Reuters
3/6From its inception, the A380 was a grand European project. The wings, like those of all Airbus aircraft, came from the UK, components were ferried across the continent from production sites in Germany and France. The giant fuselage tubes were taken by barge and flat-bed truck to the main facility in Toulouse, and the planes were then painted and kitted out in Hamburg. Photo: Reuters
While the A380 has struggled for years to match its popular appeal with a robust order book, the radical move to cancel the plane outright marks a watershed moment for civil aviation. The A380 was always more than an aircraft, albeit a very large one. Photo: AFP
4/6While the A380 has struggled for years to match its popular appeal with a robust order book, the radical move to cancel the plane outright marks a watershed moment for civil aviation. The A380 was always more than an aircraft, albeit a very large one. Photo: AFP
Dubai did in fact turn into the A380s major sponsor, with Emirates ordering a total of more than 160 units, far in excess of any other airline. But ironically it was also Emirates that contributed to the A380’s decline and fall. Photo: AFP
5/6Dubai did in fact turn into the A380s major sponsor, with Emirates ordering a total of more than 160 units, far in excess of any other airline. But ironically it was also Emirates that contributed to the A380’s decline and fall. Photo: AFP
Airbus itself acknowledged that timing may not have been on its side with the A380. While busy airports like London Heathrow have become major magnets for the model, congestion has not been felt acutely enough around the world to shock more airlines into buying the biggest plane. And many operators don’t even use the model at full capacity. Photo: Reuters
6/6Airbus itself acknowledged that timing may not have been on its side with the A380. While busy airports like London Heathrow have become major magnets for the model, congestion has not been felt acutely enough around the world to shock more airlines into buying the biggest plane. And many operators don’t even use the model at full capacity. Photo: Reuters
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