Airbus could abandon A380 superjumbo jet production amid lackluster sales

Airbus delivered record number of planes in 2017

Airbus delivered record number of planes in 2017

Airbus has drawn up plans which would enable it to take A380 production down to as few as six aircraft per year.

Despite record output, Airbus could not match Boeing's ramped-up production of jets a year ago.

The breakdown of 2017 deliveries was: 558 single-aisle A320 family (including 181 A320 new engine option, or neo, versions) aircraft, 67 A330 wide-bodies, 78 A350XWB wide-bodies (an increase of almost 60% over 2016), and 15 A380 Superjumbos.

Emirates was widely expected to place an order for 50 of the world's biggest passenger airliner at the Dubai Air Show past year but this failed to come. The total topped the 912 commercial plane orders reported by US aerospace giant Boeing and made Airbus the victor in the rivals' annual order contest for a fifth consecutive year.

In a webcast today, John Leahy, the company's sales chief, said: "If we can't work out a deal with Emirates I think there is no choice but to shut down the programme".

Following an end-of-year frenzy of jet deliveries and orders in December, Airbus finished the year with 718 jets delivered, compared to the 763 delivered by Boeing.

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Brégier said a new Airbus delivery record coupled with the company's fifth best order intake wraps up a remarkable year. "You are not going to double the number of planes going to Heathrow or Frankfurt. if people want to fly, they will need to fly in bigger aircraft". "The market is just stronger everywhere", Leahy told reporters on a conference call.

Airbus has confirmed that if a deal to sell dozens of its giant A380 airliners to Emirates eventually falls through it will have to stop making them. "It has been doing well about 50:50 with our competitors wide-body sales in the last 10 years", he said, adding that it should maintain good momentum growth.

Deliveries were dominated by the single-aisle A320, with a total of 558 in 2017 as Airbus moves toward production of 60 planes a month across its assembly lines.

Airbus throughout 2017 struggled with supplier problems that slowed deliveries and raised questions over whether the company could meet targets.

Airbus claimed a 51% overall market share based on public list prices.

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