Airbus said Monday that it might have to end production of the double-decker A380 superjumbo jet, having booked no new orders for the plane in two years.
The superjumbo's poor performance overshadowed an otherwise decent year for Airbus, which said on Monday that it delivered 718 aircraft in 2017, a 4 per cent increase from a year earlier. Passenger traffic is doubling every 15 years, he said, meaning that the original rationale for the model still holds.
In the wide-body or long-haul segment, by contrast, Airbus saw its market share against Boeing slump to 25 percent from 51 percent the year before.
'A new Airbus delivery record coupled with our fourth best order intake wraps up a remarkable year for us.
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Airbus is facing multiple corruption investigations, notably in Britain, France and Austria. Airbus posted 1,229 gross or unadjusted orders compared with Boeing's 1,053.
Planemaking chief Fabrice Bregier said engine supplier Pratt & Whitney had turned the corner on delays that had disrupted single-aisle aircraft output, and predicted close to 800 deliveries in 2018.
Bregier also predicted a record order pipeline of more than 7,000 jets would allow Airbus to lift deliveries beyond those of Boeing in 2020.
Boeing has questioned whether all of the aircraft sold by its rival will be delivered.
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Some in the industry have been left wondering how far Airbus was forced to cut prices to grab deals such as the 430 jets sold to four budget carriers via USA investor Indigo Partners.
The A380 has a list price of $437 million (€535 million), and as of December it had booked 317 orders for the plane.
The company said the program's future depends on Emirates, describing it as the only airline that has the ability to order enough planes to keep it running. "I hope so. There is a joint interest in achieving that, but we are not there yet", Bregier told Reuters.
At the moment Airbus says it plans to make just eight a year, the minimum to ensuring production of the airliner breaks even.
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