Airbus has announced plans to scrap production of its A380 superjumbo if it receives no more orders. We came to a conclusion that we will do a minimum of six units A380s a year to maintain industrially efficient production line.
Boeing said last week it had delivered 763 completed commercial aircrafts.
Planemaking chief Fabrice Bregier said engine supplier Pratt & Whitney had turned the corner on delays that had disrupted single-aisle aircraft output, and predicted close to 800 deliveries in 2018.
In its sales update on Monday, Airbus said total deliveries reached 718 aircraft in 2017 - four percent higher than the previous record of 688 in 2016.
Sales director John Leahy said Airbus would have to halt the programme if the plane's main customer, Dubai's Emirates airline, did not place another order.
Airbus achieved 1,109 net orders from 44 customers during the year - representing a book-to-bill ratio of 1.5.
The Gulf airline was "probably the only one who has the ability right now in the marketplace to take a minimum of six [A380s] a year for a period of eight to ten years", Leahy said, as the company revealed its aircraft order and delivery figures for 2017.
He said more people would want to fly and require bigger aircraft in anticipation of the congested air traffic. "The market is just stronger everywhere", Leahy told reporters on a conference call.
The planemaker has increased the average list prices of its aircraft by 2 percent across the product line, effective from January 1.
Airbus has confirmed that if a deal to sell dozens of its giant A380 airliners to Emirates eventually falls through it will have to stop making them.
When Airbus started delivering the A380 a decade ago, the company, based in Toulouse, France, saw the plane as the solution to airport congestion and to increased demand for air travel. "At the end of 2017 Airbus' overall backlog stood at 7,265 aircraft valued at US$1.059 trillion at list prices".