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Airbus draws up plans to cut A380 output to six per year

Airbus has drawn up plans which would enable it to take A380 production down to as few as six aircraft per year.

The airframer delivered 15 of the type over the course of 2017.

Airbus is planning to reduce production this year and intends to deliver 12 A380s. It has also previously stated that it plans to cut output further, to eight, in 2019.

But speaking during a briefing on last year's activity, commercial aircraft president Fabrice Bregier says that the airframer has drawn up an "industrially robust" process to take annual production down to just six.

Airbus has delivered a total of 222 A380s, leaving it with 95 on backlog.

Chief operating officer for customers John Leahy, during the briefing, said the market was "challenging" for both Airbus and Boeing in the high-capacity sector.

But he maintains that the A380 will be necessary to address airport congestion. "If people want to fly, they need to fly in bigger aircraft," he insists.

Leahy says that a production rate of "six to eight" is needed in the interim. "We can sell at that level until the market picks up," he says.

Airbus ended 2017 with a net order deficit of two A380s, while Boeing also recorded a net deficit of two 747-8s.

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