Airbus Could Stop Making A380 Jumbos If Deal With Emirates Fails

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Emirates was widely expected to place an order for 50 of the world's biggest passenger airliner at the Dubai Air Show previous year but this failed to come.

"But I'm hopeful we can work out a deal with Emirates and then other airlines can add on top", Mr Leahy added.

Airbus chief operating officer and president commercial aircraft, Fabrice Brégier said the aircraft manufacturer would ramp up its aircraft deliveries this year.

Paris: Frenetic selling in the closing weeks of 2017 saw Airbus overhaul Boeing's recent lead in the global jet market to win their annual order contest for the fifth year running, but doubts remain over the future of its flagship A380.

Emirates, the government-owned, Dubai-based long-haul carrier, declined to immediately comment.

Abandoning the A380 would be a disappointing defeat for Airbus, which spent many years and many billions developing the double-decker behemoth.

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Despite record output, Airbus could not match Boeing's ramped-up production of jets past year.

The European planemaker has said it will build 12 A380s in 2018 and a further eight in 2019.

The company delivered a record 718 new commercial jets and booked 1,109 net new orders for the year.

He said the Dubai-based airline is "the only one who has the ability" to commit to a minimum of six planes a year for a minimum of eight to 10 years, which Airbus needs to make the program viable.

The A380 has a list price of $437 million (€535 million), and as of December it had booked 317 orders for the plane. While it's used in the world's biggest airports including Los Angeles International and New York's JFK, the industry as a whole has moved toward smaller planes going point-to-point, reducing airlines' dependence on bigger hubs. Discounts of 30% to more than 50% of the list price are common for both Airbus and Boeing. Without new orders, it becomes impossible for Airbus and its suppliers, which include Rolls-Royce Holdings Plc, GKN Plc and the General Electric Co.

Benjamin Katz writes for Bloomberg.