Airbus wide-body aircraft production is showing healthy signs of progress.

The company is slowly preparing for increased A330neo output rates, as it scales back the A330ceo production and the A350 program “is on track to reach the breakeven target for the year”.

But Valentine’s Day was bittersweet for every aviation enthusiast, as Airbus officially announced that it will not take up new orders for the A380 and will cease production in 2021.

Updated. Airbus has officially confirmed the end of A380. Because of the lack of airline demand, the superjumbo production is to cease in 2021.


The program that had produced a fair share of losses for the manufacturer, hit the financial results in H1 2019 as well – Airbus reports that the A380 program resulted in €136 million of losses.

Executive changes

In addition, the German government’s ban on weapon exports to Saudi Arabia has cost the company €208 million. The ban has reflected in Airbus Defence and Space division finances, as it reported an EBIT loss of €15 million, compared to the H1 2018 profit of €382 million.

Subsequently, Airbus has announced significant management changes – Julian Whitehead, effective October 1, 2019, will become the Executive Vice-President Global Business and Strategic Programmes, a step-up from his previous role as Executive Vice-President Finance of Airbus Defense and Space division.

Xavier Tardy will succeed Whitehead as Executive Vice-President Finance and will also join the division’s Executive Committee.

Dirk Hoke, CEO of Airbus’ Defence and Space, reflected on the change in the press release:

“Julian’s appointment underscores our strong commitment towards performance improvement, which is a top priority. We’ve substantially improved our operations and project execution but we are convinced we can – and have to – achieve even better results going forward with upcoming opportunities like the Future Combat Air System and Eurodrone programmes”.

Presenting the annual results of Airbus Group, CEO Tom Enders gave an update on the A400M program. He announced there would be exports of the military aircraft assembled in Seville, but warned "they would be in the hundreds", a way more pragmatic forecast compared to the 400 sales expected before.