Airbus to Scrap A380 without Emirates Deal

Visitors look at models of an Airbus A380 and an Airbus A350 plane at the Beijing International Aviation Expo in Beijing

Airbus Commercial Aircraft, the airliner manufacturing arm of European aerospace giant Airbus Group, announced on Monday that a year ago it had set a new company record for annual deliveries of aircraft.

Bregier, who's being replaced next month by Guillaume Faury as Airbus overhauls its top management, acknowledged "challenges" lie ahead but called them "manageable".

"So quite honestly I think that if we can't work out a deal with Emirates, I think there is no choice but to shut down the programme", Leahy said, adding that he was "hopeful" of a deal.

Going by the order book with Airbus and Boeing, most of these airlines will be inducting Airbus planes, IndiGo leading the pack.

Leahy said the Dubai-based, government-owned 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, the production timetable Airbus needs to make the program viable.

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Following another "miraculous" December - which saw 127 deliveries and the finalisation of no less than 776 orders - Airbus Commercial Aircraft posted another set of impressive full-year figures. The Dreamliner has two engines, making it much less expensive to maintain than the four-engine A380.

"The challenge will be to maintain at least this level in the years to come" before customers start placing replacement orders for the A380s they now have in service, and "potential new markets" start opening up, he said.

Airbus Monday said it handed over 718 planes last year, meeting its target of more than 700 and topping the previous year's total of 688 aircraft. The company said it had a backlog of orders worth US$1.1 billion.

Airbus believes the demand for bigger aircraft would continue growing healthily as air traffic would be doubled in 15 years. "If people want to fly, they need to fly in bigger aircraft", he insists. The Toulouse-based manufacturer was offering China a production role on the A380 if Chinese airlines order the jet, the Financial Times reported.

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