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Airbus Superjumbo May Get Lifeline as Emirates Mulls 20-Jet Deal

  • Order would hand manufacturer lifeline in prolonging program
  • Discussions with Persian Gulf carrier still at an early stage
An Airbus SAS A380 aircraft performs a flying display in Paris.
Photographer: Jasper Juinen/Bloomberg
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Emirates, the biggest operator of Airbus SE’s A380 superjumbo, is in talks about the purchase of 20 more of the double-decker jets in a move that could extend the lifespan of a program dogged by slow sales, people familiar with the discussions said.

The contract would be worth $8.7 billion before discounts, though negotiations are at an early stage and it hasn’t been established exactly how many aircraft the Persian Gulf carrier requires, according to the people, who asked not to be named because the talks are private. Airbus might also be required to commit to measures to make the A380 more efficient before a deal is signed.