SINGAPORE (Feb 18): Airbus SE decided to stop making the A380 double-decker after a dozen years in service, burying a prestige project that won the hearts of passengers and politicians but never the broad support of airlines that instead preferred smaller, more fuel-efficient aircraft.

Production of the jumbo jet will end by 2021, after the A380’s biggest customer, Emirates, and a handful of remaining buyers receive their last orders. The Gulf carrier will pare down its current A380 order to 14 from 53. Emirates said separately it would purchase 70 smaller A330neo and A350 wide-bodies listed at US$21.4 billion ($29 billion) before customary discounts.

“Today’s announcement is painful for us and the A380 communities worldwide,” Airbus CEO Tom Enders said in a statement. Airbus said as many as 3,500 jobs are affected by the decision.

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