Qantas said Thursday that it has canceled a firm order at Airbus for eight A380s, with which he defied the latest battle against the survival chances of the superjumbo. The confirmation comes only a week after Airbus had said that it had conversations with an unspecified nature with Emirates Airline about the future A380 deliveries by the courier. The cancellation of the order by Qantas reduces Airbus's order book for the large quadjet to 79, a figure extrapolated from the orders and overviews of December 31st of the manufacturer.

"After discussions with Airbus, Qantas has now formulated the decision not to take eight extra A380s that were ordered in 2006," Qantas said in a statement AIN. "These aircraft have not been part of the fleet and network plans of the airline for some time." Qantas remains committed to a major upgrade to its existing A380s, which begins mid-calendar 2019 and sees us on board the aircraft. to be able to serve the future. "

Qantas continues to fly 12 A380 & # 39; s, plans for which the start of an interurban revision will be requested in March.

Given the recent cancellation of orders by Qantas and Virgin Atlantic, the future of the A380 might well be based on Emirates, whose fleet of 110 aircraft – largely powered by Engine Alliance GP7000 turbofans – accounts for nearly half of all aircraft superjumbos that are in operation. The Dubai-based courier now has excellent delivery positions on fixed orders for another 52 aircraft, most of which carry the Rolls-Royce Trent 900s. The most recent contract with A380 & # 39; s, signed in February 2018, contained a firm order for 20 Rolls-Royce-powered aircraft and options at a further 16.

However, Airbus and Emirates have begun discussions about the possibility of converting some or all of the 20 on firm orders to positions on A350 & # 39; s and / or A330neos, which again is the specter of a premature closure of the A380 production line increases. After 15 of the aircraft were delivered in 2017, Airbus lowered the production speed of the A380 to 12 last year. The plan was to lower the tariff to eight this year, and then to stabilize to six per year from 2020. Emirates itself received half of Airbus's production last year and planned to accept another six this year.

During a January 2018 briefing to discuss the orders and deliveries of the previous year, the former Airbus Commercial Aircraft COO warned customers, John Leahy, that a lack of orders threatened to close the A380 line in the near future. He noted that Airbus had held talks with "some major airlines" to support a goal to eventually return to producing 25 A380s a year, but he also characterized Emirates as "probably the only one the market that has the capacity to operate six to eight planes [a year] over several years. "

Since then, Airbus has not been able to place an order for a single A380, apart from the deal with Emirates, which has negotiated successfully with motor maker Rolls-Royce for price concessions and performance improvements over the past year.