EADS chief Louis Gallois has listed cost control of the Airbus A380 programme as a priority in 2010.
Speaking during a joint EADS and Airbus event in Seville today, he said: "Actual production costs are significantly above expectations."
He adds that the production ramp-up remains "difficult to manage".
"Clearly we are not out of the woods," he says.
Airbus chief Tom Enders admits that the manufacturer has "not come to grips with this complex aircraft".
He says it will remain a "financial liability" for "years to come", but flagged up airline customers' appreciation of the jet.
Airbus is aiming to deliver at least 20 A380s this year. There are currently 23 in service worldwide.