AviationPlanemaker remains in talks with Emirates, with hopes of securing a deal

Airbus A380 placed on life support

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Airbus remains in discussions with Emirates with hopes of securing a deal.
Airbus remains in discussions with Emirates with hopes of securing a deal.

Emirates, the plane’s main backer, steered away from a deal to buy 36 of the planes in November, causing Airbus to shrink production rates in July and stretch out the order book.

Airbus’ flagship aircraft programme risks being shuttered as the company remains in discussions with Emirates, a key buyer of its A380 superjumbo jets, in hopes of securing a deal that will sustain production.

Emirates, the plane’s main backer, steered away from a deal to buy 36 of the planes in November, causing Airbus to shrink production rates in July and stretch out the order book.

Discussions with Emirates are still ongoing, according to Airbus sales chief John Leahy on Monday in an online presentation. 

“I believe we can find a solution with Emirates in hopefully the not too distant future,” Leahy said in an interview with Bloomberg TV. “But we do need a strong base that only a big operator like Emirates can provide.” 

Airbus wants Emirates to order enough planes to sustain a production rate of six a year over the next 10 years, which will give the planemaker the scope to sell two or three superjumbo jets on top to sustain programme profits, said Leahy.

Airbus has has argued that superjumbo jets will be needed to increase passenger numbers at the world’s busiest airports. It produced 15 such jets in 2017, will hand over 12 this year and just eight in 2019.

With a list price of US$446 million, the plane is one of the most expensive and least flexible for airlines to deploy in their fleets.

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