The A380 is a four-engine, widebody airliner produced by European manufacturer Airbus. Referred to as the A3XX prior to its launch on Dec. 19, 2000, the airframe was originally promoted as being offered “in five passenger versions, with capacities ranging from 481 to 656 seats,” as well as in a freighter configuration capable of carrying “a 150-[metric ton] payload.” At the time of its launch, it was anticipated that the A380 would make its first flight in 2004, with entry into service taking place in 2006.
Although it appeared that the airframe would continue to be produced well into the 2020s following Emirates’ February 2018 commitment for a further 36 airframes—20 firm orders and 16 options—a year later Airbus announced that they had reached an agreement with the carrier to convert the bulk of their remaining orders to other widebodies, the result of which would be the cessation of A380 production. That announcement, made on Feb. 14, 2019, stated that, from that point forward, Emirates would only take delivery of a further 14 A380s, for a total fleet of 123 airplanes. While Emirates did place an order for 50 A350-900s, the result of the decrease in A380 orders was that Airbus would shutter production in 2021.