Airbus slashes production of its A380 superjumbo again and will deliver eight jets in 2019

Rebecca Smith
More turbulence is on the cards for the A380 superjumbo as sales have stalled
More turbulence is on the cards for the A380 superjumbo as sales have stalled (Source: Getty)

The future of the world's biggest passenger jet looks increasingly uncertain, after Airbus announced today it was cutting the rate of production of the superjumbo for the second time in a year.

Deliveries of the double-decker will now fall from 15 this year to 12 in 2018, and then eight in 2019.

Unveiling half-year results, the aerospace giant said: "Considering the current A380 booking situation, 2019 deliveries will be adjusted to eight aircraft."

Read more: Airbus has tied up a massive deal to sell 140 planes to China

Airlines have been favouring smaller twin-engine aircraft, costing less to fly and maintain.

The news came as Airbus announced group revenue for the first half of just under €29bn (£26bn), flat on the previous year, though net income was down 15 per cent.

Order intake totalled €37.2bn, a dip on the same time last year of €39.1bn. During last month's Paris Air Show, 144 firm orders and 202 commitments were announced.

The aerospace firm said there were ongoing problems with the Pratt & Whitney engines for its A320neo aircraft, causing delays to the delivery. It said it expects to deliver 700 commercial aircraft, though that depends "on engine manufacturers meeting commitments", according to Airbus' chief executive Tom Enders.

He said:

The commercial aircraft environment remains healthy while the robust order backlog continues to support our production ramp-up plans.

However, we are facing challenges due to ongoing engine issues but we have a clear road-map in place and have maintained our full-year guidance. Achieving the aircraft delivery target depends on the engine suppliers meeting their commitments.

Airbus' update comes after Boeing unveiled better results than had been expected yesterday, which sent its share price flying to hit a record high.

Read more: Boeing raises its full-year earnings forecast sending shares surging

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