Airbus A380's future hinges on Emirates

 

Airbus A380s future hinges on Emirates
Abandoning the A380 would be a defeat for Airbus which spent many billions developing the double-decker behemoth.

paris - Manufacturer will stop making the superjumbos if it can't strike a long-term deal with Emirates for a steady supply of the planes

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Published: Mon 15 Jan 2018, 6:54 PM

Last updated: Mon 15 Jan 2018, 9:06 PM

Airbus said on Monday it will stop making the costly A380 superjumbo if it can't strike a long-term deal with Emirates for a steady supply of the planes.

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

Airbus chief salesman John Leahy told reporters on Monday, when Airbus otherwise reported a record number of overall plane deliveries for 2017, that "if we can't work out a deal with Emirates, there is no choice but to shut down the programme."

He said the 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 programme viable.

The A380 drew worldwide attention when launched a decade ago but has always struggled to win enough customers. Airbus delivered just 15 of the planes last year and aims to deliver 12 more this year and could scale down production to six per year after that, CEO Fabrice Bregier said.

Emirates now relies solely on the Airbus 380 and the Boeing 777 for its flights, making it the largest operator of both. It has over 160 Boeing 777s in its fleet today and took possession of its 100th A380 in November.

Monday's announcement came as Airbus said it sold 1,109 planes year, outstripping the 912 commercial planes sold by rival Boeing thanks to a raft of end-of-year deals, a growing global economy and travel demand. - AP



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