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NEWS Update


End of the line for the A380


Airbus will stop making A380 superjumbos in 2021 after the only remaining customer, Emirates, reduced its orders for the aircraft. The European aircraft manufacturer announced in February that Emirates was cutting its A380 order by 39 aircraft to 14 with final delivery in 2021, when production will end. Instead, it ordered 40 A330neos and 30 A350s. Airbus CEO Tom Enders said: “As a


result of this decision, we have no substantial A380 backlog and hence no basis to sustain production, despite


Joon bids farewell


Air France’s millennial-orientated airline Joon’s last flight will take off at the end of June. Information released by Routes’


route announcement service Airlineroute shows the last of the airline’s services from Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport to Princess Juliana International Airport in Saint Martin will operate before transferring to Air France operations on June 29. Air France announced in January it was having a rethink over the future of the brand, which was unveiled in July 2017. It was targeted at young people and was intended to serve destinations popular with LCCs. As recently as April last year, it was announced that the airline would have 28 aircraft – 18 short-haul and 10 long-haul – by 2020. However, Air France has now


admitted the brand proved difficult for customers, employees, markets and investors “from the outset”. A statement added: “The plurality


of brands in the marketplace has created much complexity and unfortunately weakened the power of the Air France brand.” Integrating Joon’s operations back


into the main Air France brand, it said, would bring benefits “thanks to fleet, brand and product harmonisation”.


10 ISSUE 2 ROUTES NEWS 2019 routesonline.com


all our sales efforts with other airlines in recent years.


“But, bear in mind that A380s will still roam the skies for many years to come and Airbus will, of course, continue to fully support the A380 operators.” Emirates Airline and Group chairman and CEO Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum said the move to the smaller aircraft would complement the airline’s fleet mix, support its network growth and give greater flexibility to serve both seasonal and


Emirates reduced


its A380 order by 39 aircraft to just 14


opportunistic demand. But he paid homage to the A380, adding: “While we are disappointed to have to give up our order, and sad that the programme could not be sustained, we accept that this is the reality of the situation. For us, the A380 is a wonderful aircraft loved by our customers and crew.” The first commercial flight of the superjumbo took place in 2007 when Singapore Airlines was the launch customer.


Atlanta retains No 1 spot


Beijing Capital International Airport is losing ground on its biggest rival Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport despite having broken the 100 million passenger mark. Recent research from Routesonline with figures supplied by Sabre Market Intelligence show that Beijing Capital’s passenger traffic was 101.3 million in 2018, up from 99.7 million in 2017. However, passenger numbers at Atlanta rose by more than 3% to 104.5 million, meaning it remains the busiest airport for a 21st consecutive year. This has led to a widening of


Hartsfield-Jackson had passenger traffic of 104.5 million in 2018


the gap between the two airports of 3.2 million passengers compared with 1.46 million in 2017 when traffic to the US airport took a dip. Beijing Capital suffers from various


slot constraints and is likely to suffer further on the traffic front when Beijing Daxing Airport opens in September with a target of 72 million passengers by 2025. Both airports were represented at this year’s Routes Americas in February and Routes Asia in March. To read full reports on both, turn to page 21 for Asia and page 27 for Americas.


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