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Airbus admits it will have to stop making its A380 if there's no new deal with Emirates

  • Airbus has admitted that unless it can find more buyers for its A380 superjumbo, the program may have to end
  • The European planemaker has said it will build 12 A380s in 2018 and a further eight in 2019. Airbus said the minimum annual number it is prepared to build each year is six
NASSER YOUNES | AFP | Getty Images

Airbus has admitted that unless it can find more buyers for its A380 superjumbo, the program may have to end.

The European planemaker has said it will build 12 A380s in 2018 and a further eight in 2019. Airbus said the minimum annual number it is prepared to build each year is six.

The main customer for the world's largest commercial jet is the Middle Eastern carrier Emirates, who took delivery of their 100th A380 during 2017.

Speaking via webcast Monday, Airbus sales chief John Leahy said negotiations for Emirates to buy more of the superjumbo were ongoing.

"We are still talking to Emirates and quite honestly they are probably the only one in the marketplace who can take a minimum of six A380s a year for a period of eight to 10 years," he said.

"If we can't work out a deal with Emirates I think there is no choice but to shut down the program," Leahy added.

Leahy said he believed the A380 would come back into fashion as air traffic was doubling every 15 years and bigger planes would be needed to satisfy demand.

Airbus has increased the average list prices of its aircraft by two percent across the product line, effective from January 1st 2018. The new average list price for an A380 is $445.6 million.

Also on Monday, the European planemaker said that a spree of selling in the final weeks of 2017 had helped it surge past Boeing to win the annual commercial jet orders race.