The aeroplane manufacturer Airbus has announced it will stop production of its A380 'superjumbo'.

In a statement, Airbus said its largest customer of the worlds biggest passenger aircraft, Emirates, had reduced its order and opted for smaller models instead.

The manufacturer confirmed it will complete that order, which is due by the end of 2021, but will not take anymore orders and production will cease afterwards.

Airbus chief executive, Tom Enders, said: "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.

"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."

Airbus said there could be job cuts as a result, admitting it will start talks with partners over "3,000 to 3,500 positions potentially impacted over the next three years". However, it did offer some reassurance in that higher production of its A320 model and Emirates adapted order will provide "a significant number of internal mobility opportunities."