PARIS – European aircraft maker Airbus said on Monday it would halt the production-line of its a-380 wide-bodied double-decker large airliner if unable to secure annual minimum orders of six.
The future of the vast airplane will heavily on the manufacturer’s negotiations with Emirates Airline.
“If we can’t work out a deal with Emirates, I think there is no choice but to shut down the programme, but I’m hopeful that we’ll work out a deal with Emirates, and others can add airplanes on top of that,” top sales executive John Leahy told journalists.
Emirates is the world’s largest operator of A380s, with 89 aircraft currently in its fleet and another 53 on the order books.
Emirates said in Dec. it was delaying the arrival of six A380s from 2017 to 2018 and postponing delivery of a further half-dozen from 2018 to 2019.
“There were many industrial milestones achieved by Airbus Commercial Aircraft in 2017,” which included the delivery of the Emirates’ 100th A380, the company said in a statement Monday.
Company CEO, Fabrice Brégier, added there were other potential buyers apart from Emirates,” but underscored the Persian Gulf carrier was “key” for the A380’s mid-term viability, which last year not only failed to secure any additional orders but ended having two A-380 orders canceled.