Airbus to cut output of slow-selling A380 superjumbo

Thu Apr 21, 2016 10:36am EDT
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By Tim Hepher

PARIS (Reuters) - European planemaker Airbus (AIR.PA: Quote) plans to cut production of its A380 superjumbo from 2017 as it struggles to revive sales of the world's largest passenger jet, two industry sources said.

It has told its suppliers to slow production to support an assembly rate of 1.7 aircraft per month from next year, compared with production of just over two a month now, the sources said.

The exact month in which the slowdown would be felt in the Toulouse assembly plant was not immediately clear.

Airbus declined to comment on talks with suppliers.

"We can't comment on any discussions which may or may not have happened," a spokesman said.

The company does not publish production figures for its biggest model, but only targets deliveries.

Sales of large four-engine airliners like the 544-seat A380 have been hit by improvements in the range and efficiency of smaller two-engined models, which can be easier to fill.

Airbus, which has delivered 143 A380s since it began service in 2007, says the double-decker is becoming more attractive due to lower oil prices and also helps to solve airport congestion.   Continued...

An Air France Airbus A380 passenger jet (R) is parked at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport April 12, 2011. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton