Toulouse - Emirates considers converting its most recent order for the Airbus A380 to Airbus A350. If that happens, it means the end of the Airbus's A380 program.
Emirates Airlines has placed an order for the aircraft last year, but the Gulf-based carrier couldn't reach an agreement with Rolls-Royce, the supplier of the Trent 900 engines for the aircraft. According to Emirates, the Trent 900 engines do not meet expectations and Rolls-Royce doesn't do much to fix it.
Airbus has already warned that if this deal does not take place, the A380 production will soon have to be discontinued. Airbus's superjumbo suffers from the lack of demand for very long. The only customer of the aircraft is the Gulf's leading airline Emirates. There have been no more new orders for the superjumbo for years.
According to Reuters, Airbus is now contemplating the closure of the A380 production lines. CEO Tom Enders will leave the company this year in April and it is very likely that he will complete this task before his resignation, sources claim.
Emirates has already placed an order for seventy Airbus A350 but modified it in 2014 for more A380. Presumably, the opposite will happen now. Airbus confirmed that it is currently in talks with Emirates about the A380 deal, but did not comment about the content.
Emirates currently operates 109 Airbus A380 and ordered 36 more last year to help the European manufacturer to keep the production lines open. But the carrier has not been able to finalize the order so far because of the disagreements with the British engine manufacturer. Emirates claims shortfalls in the fuel savings due to low performance of the Trent 900 engines.