Airbus announced this week that it will end production of the world’s largest passenger jet, the A380, in 2021.
Emirates reduced a previous order of 53 A380 aircraft to just 14, and Airbus said it will no longer take new orders and will halt production of the aircraft.
“As a result of this decision we have no substantial A380 backlog and hence no basis to sustain production, despite all our sales efforts with other airlines in recent years,” Airbus CEO Tom Enders said in a statement. “This leads to the end of A380 deliveries in 2021.”
The famous double-decker plane took its first commercial flight with Singapore Airlines back in 2007. Since its inception, Emirates has been Airbus’s main customer for the aircraft — but Emirates switched its large A380 order to 70 of the smaller and more fuel-efficient A330 and A350 aircraft.
“What we’re seeing here is the end of the large, four-engine aircraft,” Enders said at Airbus headquarters in Toulouse, France, according to The Guardian. The death of the A380 signals a growing trend towards smaller, two-engine planes that are most cost-efficient for airlines to operate.
The gigantic A380 is capable of carrying more than 850 passengers, and its birth signaled what manufacturers thought would be the start of the megajet era. When the A380 debuted in 2005, Airbus had hoped on manufacturing 1,200 of the aircraft. To date, it has only produced 234, according to CNN.
But although there won’t be any new A380 after 2021, the aircraft won’t disappear from the skies for quite a while. The plane will still be used by airlines like Singapore, Emirates, British Airways, Air France, and All Nippon on some of its longhaul flights.