There is renewed uncertainty surrounding the future of the Airbus A380, with the manufacturer confirming it is in discussion with Emirates, the main customer of the superjumbo.
In January 2018 Emirates signed a Memorandum of Understanding to acquire up to 36 more A380 aircraft, with deliveries starting in 2020.
The deal was worth $16 billion at list prices, and was hailed at the time as a potential saviour of the A380 programme, with John Leahy, chief operating officer, customers, Airbus Commercial Aircraft stating that the agreement “underscores Airbus’ commitment to produce the A380 at least for another ten years”.
But in a short statement to the stock exchange yesterday (January 31) the manufacturer said:
“Airbus SE (stock exchange symbol: AIR) confirms it is in discussions with Emirates Airline in relation to its A380 contract. The details of Airbus’ commercial discussions with customers remain confidential.”
Emirates is by far the largest operator of the Airbus A380, with nearly 110 of the aircraft in service, a figure that equates to nearly half of all A380s delivered to airlines so far.
Airbus has struggled to attract new orders for the double-decker superjumbo, as more fuel efficient aircraft including the A350 and B787 have come to market, along with longer-range single aisle planes such as the A321LR and B737 Max, both of which are capable of operating transatlantic services.