In February 2019, Airbus announced it will end the A380 production by 2021, after its main customer, Emirates, agreed to drop an order for 39 of the aircraft.
Airbus will build 6 more A380s before closing the production line – 5 for Emirates and one for All Nippon Airways.
Airbus A380, the world’s largest Aircraft programme was initiated in was in 1988 and the project was announced in 1990 to challenge the dominance of the Boeing 747 in the long haul market.
Airbus launched the €9.5 billion ($10.7 billion) A380 programme on 19 December 2000.
The first prototype was unveiled in Toulouse on 18 January 2005, with its first flight on 27 April 2005.
The A380 was first delivered to Singapore Airlines on 15 October 2007 and entered service on 25 October.
Production peaked at 30 per year in 2012 and 2014. However, Airbus concedes that its $25 billion investment for the aircraft cannot be recouped.
On 14 February 2019, after Emirates reduced its last orders in favour of the A350 and the A330neo, Airbus announced that A380 production would end by 2021.
In total Airbus received orders for 251 aircraft.
Which Airlines Are Still Flying It?
1. Singapore Airlines, currently operates 19 A380s and flies to 13 destinations from its hub in Singapore.
2. Emirates operates 114 A380s with 5 more to receive.
3. The flagship airline of Australia, Qantas, operates 12 A380s
4. Air France operates 10 A380 jets serving seven destinations on the transatlantic routes
5. Japan’s All Nippon Airlines operates 2 A380s with 1 more on order.
6. Korean based Asiana Airlines operates 6 A380s
7. German carrier Lufthansa operates 14 A380s on ten routes from Frankfurt and Munich hub
8. The flag carrier of the UK, British Airways operates 12 A380s on 10 routes
9. China Southern Airlines operates 5 A380s serving two routes from Guangzhou to Beijing and Los Angeles.
10. Etihad Airways of United Arab Emirates operates 10 A380s on four routes from Abu Dhabi to London, New York, Paris and Sydney.
11. Malaysia Airlines operates 6 A380s on two routes from Kuala Lumpur to Madinah and Tokyo.
12. Thai Airways operates 6 A380s on four routes from its base in Bangkok to London, Osaka, Paris and Tokyo.
13. Qatar Airways operates 10 A380s on seven routes from its Doha hub.
14. Portuguese wet-lessor Hi Fly operates a single second-hand superjumbo offering services on wet lease and charter services.
The era of Super Jumbo coming slowly to an end; still we will see these planes soaring the sky for some decades to come.