Airbus has confirmed it is preparing to end production of the world’s largest passenger plane after receiving no new orders in two years.
The A380 was launched to much fanfare in 2005 with commentators declaring it the future of aviation. But just 13 later, and with only 222 units delivered, the entire project is on the brink.
Airbus says it must build at least six of the planes each year to keep the programme running, and had been banking on a new order in November from its biggest customer, Emirates. However, the Dubai carrier chose to purchase 40 Boeing 787 Dreamliners instead.
Yesterday John Leahy, Airbus’s sales director, admitted that only Emirates could save the superjumbo. “We are still talking to Emirates, but honestly, they are probably the only one to have the ability right now… to take a minimum of six per year for a period of eight to 10 years,” he said.
“If we can’t work out a deal with Emirates there is no choice but to shut down the programme.”
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