TOULOUSE, France – Airbus will cease production of its mammoth A380 jet of passengers, a marvel of engineering that could not keep up with the changes in the way people fly, said Thursday the European aircraft manufacturer.
Quote reduced orders from Emirates Airline, a major customerand the inability to find other buyers, the company announced that it would stop deliveries of the large aircraft in 2021, while stating that it would continue to support existing A380s.
"As a result of this decision, we do not have a significant backlog for A380 and therefore have no basis to maintain our production, despite all our sales efforts with other airlines in recent years," he said. the CEO of the company, Tom Enders, in a statement. "Today's announcement is painful for us and the A380 communities around the world."
This decision will lead to job cuts at Airbus, which could affect up to 3,500 of its 134,000 employees over the next three years. Airbus said it would begin discussions in the coming weeks on the consequences for its workforce.
The announcement eclipsed the company's announcement Thursday of its annual results. Its net profit rose by 29% in 2018 to reach 3.1 billion euros, or about 3.5 billion dollars.
Airbus has spent $ 25 billion developing this four-engine four-engine aircraft, which can carry more than 500 passengers while offering amenities such as showers and a bar. It was built at a time when overcrowded airports would require planes to carry more passengers to reduce congestion.
But air traffic has been transferred to smaller, less expensive aircraft servicing regional airports, which has reduced the demand for larger aircraft.
Emirates, the Dubai-based airline, was Airbus' main customer for the jet, with a fleet of more than 100 vehicles, but the airline has scaled back its plans and will accept another 14 over the next two years.
The fate of the superjumbo has been in play for at least a year and Mr. Enders acknowledged in January 2018 that the company could not continue production of the aircraft without an order from Emirates.
Airbus was thrown a lifeline with a Order of $ 16 billion A few days later, Airbus confirmed last month that discussions were underway to determine whether this deal would be concluded. The A380 had another success last week as Qantas canceled his 2006 order for eight aircraft.
Emirates, however, does not abandon Airbus. The aircraft manufacturer said Thursday that the airline would favor two smaller models, the A330-900 and A350-900.
Airbus wanted to emphasize that the A380 will not disappear soon. "Bear in mind that the A380s will remain in the air for many more years and that Airbus will of course continue to fully support the A380 operators," said Enders.
The company said the decision to cut production of the A380 was reflected in the financial figures for 2018 released Thursday, the company being affected to the tune of 463 million euros due to the decision of the company. Emirates to reduce its order of 39 aircraft.
Airbus also said that preparations were underway in case Britain would leave the European Union without a formal agreement on the conditions of departure, a situation known as "Brexit without agreement". The company has asked its suppliers to make arrangements allowing Airbus to have sufficient room for maneuver. in case of disruption of the supply chain.
Airbus was particularly candid about the dangers of Brexit and its threat to business. Last month, Enders said the UK government failed to provide companies with enough information to prepare for Brexit, calling its conduct "shameful" negotiations.
"Make no mistake: many countries would like to build wings for Airbus planes," said Enders.
He released a more positive note Thursday in a call for results. "I am always optimistic about the possibility of finding a solution that avoids a Brexit without agreement," Enders said, "that the forces of reason will prevail in London, but also in Brussels and on the continent."