Airbus announced Thursday the end of its program A380, which has never achieved the expected success and whose last copy will be delivered in 2021, an announcement that contrasts with the solid annual results released the same day by the group .
The world’s largest airliner, capable of carrying 544 passengers, was designed to compete with Boeing’s legendary 747 aircraft, but has never been successful, with airlines turning more to a generation of aircraft more small and more manageable.
Confirming the shutdown that Reuters had mentioned first, Airbus said that Emirates, the largest customer of the A380, decided to reduce orders for very large aircraft and opt for 40 A330-900 and 30 A350 -900, smaller devices and easier to operate.
In total, Emirates is reducing its A380 backlog from 162 to 123 aircraft.
The consequence of this decision is that our backlog is no longer sufficient to allow us to maintain production of the A380, despite all our sales efforts with other companies in recent years.
Tom Enders, Airbus Executive Chairman
Airbus says it will start discussions with its social partners in the coming weeks on the 3,000 to 3,500 positions likely to be affected by this decision in the next three years.
On RTL, the secretary general of the CFDT, Laurent Berger, has called on Airbus to reclassify the employees concerned and that there is no impact on employment.
Results and prospects considered solid
Emirates, which has built its global brand around the A380 and Boeing 777 and also owns 100 superjumbos Airbus in its fleet, said it was disappointed by the halt in the production of the jumbo jet.
“Emirates has been a staunch supporter of the A380 since its inception,” said company president Sheikh Ahmed bin Said al-Maktoum, when the decision was made after talks failed between the company and the British. Rolls-Royce on a new engine of the device.
The A380, which made its maiden flight in 2005, was a major milestone in Airbus’ efforts to compete with its competitor Boeing.
But sales of the largest four-engine aircraft have decreased due to the development of alternative offers represented by the Boeing 787 and 777 or the new Airbus A350 long-haul.
The end of the A380 program, which is subject to a provision of 463 million in the 2018 accounts of Airbus, is the last important decision made by Tom Enders, which will give way to Guillaume Faury in April.
The stopping of this emblematic program has overshadowed the annual results of the group, which are better than expected. Investors, however, are not mistaken.
This morning, the title Airbus recorded indeed one of the strongest progress of the European index Stoxx 600, with a gain of 5.35% to 109.96 euros.
The European leader in aeronautics, space and defense announced operating profit adjusted to 5.8 billion (+ 83%) on the basis of a turnover of 64 billion (+ 8%) over the year, the results of the fourth quarter being higher than expected.
“The 2018 annual results are good and the 2019 targets are very encouraging and above expectations at all levels,” say UBS analysts in a note on the purchase of the title.
Airbus expects 880 to 890 aircraft deliveries in 2019, compared to 800 in 2018, with a 15% increase in operating profit.
The world’s second-largest manufacturer behind the US Boeing said the production of its flagship single-aisle A320 is expected to rise to 60 per month by the end of the first half and 63 units per month in 2021. The pace of production is the main driver Airbus results.