Emirates Airbus A380image rights

The European aircraft manufacturer Airbus has announced that it will no longer be able to produce the A380 "Superjumbo", the largest passenger aircraft in the world.

In a statement, the company said it would make the last deliveries of the aircraft in 2021.

The decision was made after Emirates, the largest customer of the A380, had reduced its order.

The expensive aircraft had difficulty competing with more efficient, smaller models.

Airbus said in a statement Thursday that Emirates will reduce its A380 order book from 162 to 123 aircraft.

& # 39; painful & # 39;

"As a result of this decision, we have no significant A380 backlog and thus no basis to sustain production, despite all sales efforts with other airlines in recent years, leading to the end of A380 deliveries in 2021," said Airbus CEO Tom Enders

"Passengers around the world love to fly with this great aircraft, so today's announcement is painful for us and the A380 communities worldwide."

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Airbus said it will start discussions with partners on "3,000 to 3,500 positions that could be affected in the next three years".

Greg Waldron, Asia Editor-in-Chief of Flight Global, said the industry is shifting away from larger models such as the four-engine A380 in favor of smaller jumbo jets.

"The very clear trend in the market is to operate long-haul, two-engine aircraft [like] 787 and 777 from Boeing and Airbus A330s and A350s, "he said.