Airbus ‘could’ give some indication on the fate of the A380 program as early as Thursday, Reuters news agency has claimed citing ‘industry sources.’
Airbus will publish its full-year earnings results on Thursday following a board meeting today which could pave the way for some sort of announcement.
Earlier this month the planemaker confirmed it is in discussions with Emirates Airline over an order for 36 A380 jets which could see them switch to the smaller A350 putting the whole production of the ‘superjumbo’ under threat.
Airbus secured the firm order from Emirates last February for 20 A380s with an option for another 16 in a deal worth nearly £12 billion.
It is understood the airline order would keep A380 production going 2029 including the wing production line at Airbus Broughton however, that will change if Emirates negotiates a full or partial switch to A350’s.
An Airbus spokesman said
“Airbus confirms it is in discussions with Emirates Airline in relation to its A380 contract. The details of Airbus’ commercial discussions with customers remain confidential.”
The timing of any final announcement may be driven by the outcome of discussions with Emirates, “but Airbus will be under pressure to provide some clarity on its plans in time for Thursday’s earnings following mounting speculation over the plane’s future.” Reuters states.
“The A380 is the elephant in the hangar; it will be impossible to avoid saying something on the subject,” Agency Partners analyst Sash Tusa said the report by Reuters.
Last week Australian carrier Qantas cancelled eight of the 20 A380s it had ordered in 2006, saying the aircraft have not been part of the airline’s fleet and network plans for some time.
Emirates accounts for more than two-thirds of all 79 outstanding A380 orders after accounting for those cancelled by Qantas.