Airbus to stop making world's biggest passenger jet

The European airplane manufacturer Airbus says it will cease production of its largest plane, the superjumbo A380, due to a lack of customer interest, according to news reports.

The Associated Press and Reuters report that CEO Tom Enders said at a press conference Thursday morning that the move was a "painful" decision for his company.


“It’s a painful decision for us. We’ve invested a lot of effort, a lot of resources, a lot of sweat," Enders reportedly said. "But we need to be realistic.”

Airbus's A380 was so big, according to The Associated Press, that some airports had to build special runways and other features to accommodate it. The plane's heavy costs led to skepticism among airlines, who were reluctant to purchase the plane.

Emirates Airlines, one of the few airlines that did invest in the Airbus superjumbo, told the AP that it was "disappointed" by the decision to cancel production of the plane before the company's order was completed.

“While we are disappointed to have to give up our order, and sad that the program could not be sustained, we accept that this is the reality of the situation,” Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, the company's chairman and CEO, said according to the AP.

“For us, the A380 is a wonderful aircraft loved by our customers and our crew. It is a differentiator for Emirates. We have shown how people can truly fly better on the A380," he reportedly added.

The model was known for passenger features including roomy cabin space with high ceilings and large windows, according to the AP, and was called a "symbol of economic strength" by former U.K. Prime Minister Tony Blair upon its unveiling by Airbus in 2005.