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Airbus SE chose 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.

Europe's Airbus is scrapping production of the A380 superjumbo, with lacklustre sales forcing it to abandon a dream of dominating the skies with a 21st century cruiseliner.

The A380, measuring almost 240ft (73m) in length and with capacity for more than 500 passengers, made its maiden commercial flight from Singapore to Sydney on October 27, 2007, wrestling the title of the world's largest passenger jet from the Boeing 747.

Airbus said it will end deliveries of the A380 in 2021, once it has fulfilled the backlog of orders.

Sheikh Ahmed said: "The 40 A330neos and 30 A350s that we are ordering will complement Emirates' fleet mix, support our network growth, and give us more flexibility to better serve seasonal or opportunistic demand".

But Emirates has now reduced its outstanding order by 39 superjumbos, meaning that the carrier will take delivery of just 14 further A380s over the next two years.

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"As a outcome of this decision and given the lack of order backlog with other airlines, deliveries of the A380 will cease in 2021", states Airbus' press release, closing the production line of what once was the biggest project of the consortium.

Around 3,000 to 3,500 jobs are now at risk.

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Airbus reported net profit of 3.1 billion euros over a year ago, up from 2.4 billion euros in 2017. The planemaker's net income before taxes and expenses amounted to €3.096 billion ($3.5 billion), up from €2.4 billion or 56 percent from the same period in 2017.

The A380 was always more than an aircraft, albeit a very large one.

The company said it planned talks with unions over the potential for harm to up to 3,500 jobs connected to the superjumbo, which is assembled in France.

Emirates said its decision came in light of developments in aircraft and engine technologies. Guillaume Faury, head of Airbus commercial aircraft and future CEO of the overall group, said the company is taking technical and legal measures in response.

That bet has paid off, with more than 1,100 Dreamliners ordered since it entered service in 2011, compared with just over 320 A380s. The wings, like those of all Airbus aircraft, came from the United Kingdom, components were ferried across the continent from production sites in Germany and France.

This Feb. 10, 2013 file photo shows the first class section of an Emirates airlines Airbus A380 at the Dubai airport in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

Mr Enders added the "consequences" of the decision to stop making the A380 will be "largely embedded in our 2018 full-year results".

"Passengers all over the world love to fly on this great aircraft".

And in the end industry dynamics proved the opposite: airlines instead opted for more direct flights between more cities, using midsize planes like Boeing's hugely popular 787 Dreamliner.