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Qantas cancels order for 8 Airbus A380s

February 7, 2019

Qantas's cancellation of the A380 superjumbo jets is the latest blow to aeronautics company Airbus. A number of airlines have canceled or stalled orders in recent years, causing Airbus to question the A380's future.

A Qantas Airbus A380
Image: picture-alliance/dpa

Australian airline Qantas Airways on Thursday announced it had formally canceled an order for eight Airbus A380 superjumbo jets.

"Following discussions with Airbus, Qantas has now formalized its decision not to take eight additional A380s that were ordered in 2006," a Qantas spokesperson said. "These aircraft have not been part of the airline's fleet and network plans for some time."

The Qantas announcement comes following doubts over the future of the world's largest passenger airliner, as A380 orders continue to decline and stall.

Last month, Airbus removed orders for 10 of the European superjumbo jets, reportedly linked to Hong Kong Airlines.

A380 losing lifeline

In January, Dubai-based airline Emirates — which has been hailed as a lifeline for the A380 — was in talks with Airbus over its A380 orders.

Emirates has ordered 56 A380s, but is reportedly considering switching some or all of them for smaller fuel-efficient aircraft such as the A350 or A330.

Qantas said it remains committed to "a major upgrade of its existing A380s, which begins in mid-calendar 2019 and will see us operate the aircraft well into the future."

The airline currently has 12 A380 aircraft in its fleet. The value of the aborted deal for eight of the massive airliners was not made public, but the cost of each aircraft is said to be about €383.86 million ($436 million).

Qantas also has eight 787 Dreamliners — Boeing's somewhat smaller oversized competitor to the A380 — with six more due to be delivered towards the end of this year. These will replace the company's Boeing 747 fleet. 

The Australian carrier's budget airline Jetstar will also start receiving the first of 18 Airbus A321neos from mid-2020.

Airbus to cut 3700 jobs in Europe

law/msh (AFP, dpa, Reuters)