Airbus might yet win a long-anticipated A380 superjumbo order from Gulf carrier Emirates before the end of the year, but must pledge to extend the ailing program for a further decade in order to secure the deal. The European planemaker had planned to announce the sale at this week’s Dubai Air Show, chief operating officer Fabrice Bregier confirmed in an interview, only for the purchase to fall through at the last minute.
“We expected to sign a memorandum of understanding with Emirates, who I think were very close to doing that,” Bregier told Bloomberg TV. “We will need a few more weeks. If we finalize it we will be committed to producing this aircraft, I believe, for at least for the next 10 years.” Bregier said “the principal” of a deal with Emirates would involve just such a promise, requiring it to win additional orders elsewhere and upgrade the model “massively” in coming years. “This is the plan,” he added. “We probably need to sharpen the pencils a bit.”