×

Airbus may lower A380 output to six planes a year - sources

PARIS, Dec 11 (Reuters) - Airbus is exploring plans to lower A380 superjumbo production to as low as six aircraft per year as it battles to secure viable production of the world's largest airliner beyond the end of the decade, industry sources said.

Squeezed by smaller but efficient twin-engined jets, Airbus has announced plans to lower A380 output to 12 aircraft in 2018 and 8 in 2019, down from an annual peak of 30, as it holds out for what its forecasters believe will be a recovery in demand.

But plans to maintain that rate are in doubt as Airbus seeks to finalize an order for 36 new aircraft from Emirates that many say will decide the fate of the prestigious European project.

Airbus has told some suppliers it is studying eventually taking the production rate down to six a year, industry sources said.

An Airbus spokesman declined to comment on production beyond the company's previous announcements. (Reporting by Tim Hepher; editing by Luke Baker)