Airbus COO John Leahy: “If we can’t get a deal with Emirates, we will have to shut down the A380 programme”

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In his final speech before his retirement John Leahy, chief operating officer at Airbus, was very blunt on the possible Airbus A380 programme shutdown. “To keep the programme active at least six A380s must roll out of the factory,” he said, “if we can’t get a deal with Emirates Airlines, we will have to shut down the programme.

Two months ago Emirates stunned the aviation and business world by not ordering more Airbus A380s at the 2017 Dubai air show. Instead, the Gulf’s largest carrier decided to commit to 40 Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner aircraft from Airbus’ main rival, a deal valued at $15.1 billion at current list prices.

Emirates CEO Tim Clark explained that he wouldn’t rule out buying more Airbus A380s in the future, but he wants Airbus to keep the production line going for at least 15 years. A deal between Emirates and Airbus would save the A380 production line.

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