The long-haul carrier Emirates says it has struck a deal valued at $21.4 billion with Airbus, while saying it is sad to see the end of production of the double-decker A380 jetliner.
Emirates made the announcement Thursday at the same time that Airbus in Toulouse, France announced the end of the iconic airliner’s production.
The Dubai government-owned airline, based out of the world’s busiest airport for international travel, had the A380 as the backbone of its fleet.
Emirates says it will receive 14 more A380s until the end of 2021, taking its total A380 orders to 123. The airline will purchase 40 A330-900 aircraft and 30 A350-900s.
European aviation giant Airbus says it will stop making its superjumbo A380 in 2021 after struggling to sell the world’s biggest passenger jet.
Airbus said in a statement Thursday that Emirates is cutting back its orders for the plane and as a result “we have no substantial A380 backlog and hence no basis to sustain production.”
The decision is a boon for rival Boeing and a blow for Airbus. Airbus had hoped the A380 would squeeze out Boeing’s 747 and revolutionize air travel as more people take to the skies.
Instead, airlines have been cautious about committing to the costly plane, so huge that airports had to build new runways and modify terminals to accommodate it. The double-decker planes started flying in 2008 and seat more than 500 passengers.