DUBAI: Emirates deal's effect on A380 rate unclear

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Emirates’ top-up order for 50 Airbus A380s will help lift the type’s diminishing backlog but it remains unclear whether Airbus will still need to consider adjusting production rates.

The Middle Eastern carrier’s follow-on order gives it 140 A380s – but the carrier still has to take 51 A380s from previous deals.

Airbus has been trying to fill near-term slots for the aircraft, notably in 2015, in order to maintain production rates without building white-tails.

“We’re short by a handful of aircraft in 2015,” says Airbus chief executive Fabrice Bregier. “It’s possible that the current order can help us.”

The airframer is aiming for a steady delivery rate of around 30 per year in order to reach a production break-even in 2015.

But Bregier adds: “There is, for us, no big consequence if we are between 25 and 30 aircraft.”