The move, the biggest-ever by a prestigious customer for a civil airliner, is a major blow to Airbus - the A350 is its competitor with US-based Boeing’s 787, which has been flying since 2011.
Emirates ordered an extra 50 A380 superjumbos at the Dubai airshow in November, Airbus pointed out.
Airbus group shares fell 5.5 per cent to 11.22 euros following the announcement.
Aero-engine maker Rolls Royce said the cancellation would cut its order book by 2.6 billion pounds (3.2 billion euros).
Airbus’s sales division chef John Leahy claimed that he would easily be able to sell the planes elsewhere.
"I am amazed that we already have enquiries, there is already a queue of people," he said after opening an innovation show by Airbus at its headquarters in Toulouse.