Business

Airbus ends production of flagship A380 aircraft

Airbus has announced it will end production of its flagship A380 superjumbo

AIRBUS has announced it will end production of its flagship A380 superjumbo, potentially putting UK jobs at risk.

The firm said it had made the "painful" decision after struggling to sell the world's largest passenger jet and after Emirates chose to slash its A380 orderbook by around a quarter.

Due to the reduction and a lack of order backlog with other airlines, Airbus said it would end deliveries of the record-breaking plane in 2021 - just 14 years after it first entered commercial service.

Emirates is yet to take delivery of 14 of the double-decker aircraft - the wings, engines and landing gear for which are made in the UK.

Airbus said it would "start discussions with its social partners in the next few weeks regarding the 3,000 to 3,500 positions potentially impacted over the next three years".

The BBC reported around 200 of those jobs are in Britain.

The firm said an increase in production of its A320 model, part of which is made in Belfast, would offer "a significant number of internal mobility opportunities".

Airbus chief executive Tom Enders said: "The A380 is not only an outstanding engineering and industrial achievement. Passengers all over the world love to fly on this great aircraft. Hence today's announcement is painful for us and the A380 communities worldwide.

"But, keep in mind that A380s will still roam the skies for many years to come and Airbus will of course continue to fully support the A380 operators."

Nearly 240ft (73m) long and with space for more than 500 passengers, the A380 stole the title of world's largest passenger jet from the Boeing 747 when it took its maiden commercial flight from Singapore to Sydney on October 27 2007.

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