London - If the talks between Airbus and Emirates for a new order of A380 don't succeed, the European aircraft manufacturer could stop producing the A380.
According to Reuters quoting three sources close to the case, Airbus is studying on several scenarios to gradually stop production of the A380 if no agreement reached with Emirates. The Gulf-based airline operator is the main customer of the Airbus' superjumbo, who has plans to purchase an additional 36 aircraft for $ 16 billion at list price. But the negotiations failed at the last Dubai Air Show, and there is no signal that an agreement is imminent.
The A380 has been in production for ten years but sales are below expectations. The airlines prefer today to acquire twin engines that are more flexible to use and less expensive to maintain. As a result, the order book of the A380 is empty. As of the end of November, Airbus delivered 221 of the 317 aircraft ordered. And the 47 of the remaining 96 devices will probably never be delivered.
The aircraft manufacturer hopes the airport congestions will eventually convince the airlines to buy more A380. But to maintain production for another decade or more, Airbus needs to sell at least 30 devices per year. If not the manufacturer plans to reduce the production to 12 units in 2018, eight in 2019, and even six to seven after that year.
Another order from Emirates would stabilize production and possibly lead to new sales campaigns.
To date, Emirates has received 101 of the 142 A380s that it has ordered.