Inflight editor Alexander Preston summarises the latest happenings across IFEC and cabin technology.

The 7th edition of Inflight Middle East concluded with the annual awards ceremony celebrating regional excellence and innovation in onboard cabin products and services.

The awards event perfectly capped two days of insightful discussion and debate on the issues and challenges facing the region’s carriers and suppliers.

While Emirates deservedly won the Inflight Airline of the year award, its decision to reduce its A380 orderbook from 162 to 123 aircraft has precipitated the announcement from Airbus that it intends to wind down production of the A380.

Emirates will take delivery of 14 further A380s over the next two years but in the light of the lack of order backlog with other airlines, Airbus will cease deliveries of the A380 in 2021.

Instead Emirates has committed to Airbus’s newest generation of more flexible widebody aircraft, ordering 40 A330-900 and 30 A350-900 aircraft.

“As a result of this decision we have no substantial A380 backlog and hence no basis to sustain production, despite all our sales efforts with other airlines in recent years. This leads to the end of A380 deliveries in 2021,” said Airbus chief executive officer, Tom Enders.

“The A380 is not only an outstanding engineering and industrial achievement. Passengers all over the world love to fly on this great aircraft. Hence today’s announcement is painful for us and the A380 communities worldwide. But, keep 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,” Enders added.

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