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Chris Bryant

The Airbus A380's Captive Customer

Airbus can't keep relying on one big captive A380 customer.
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BEHROUZ MEHRI / AFP via Getty

Well that didn't take long. On Monday, I explained how Airbus SE was playing a high-stakes game of chicken by threatening to shut down A380 production unless Emirates placed a big order. On Thursday, Emirates blinked.

The Dubai-based carrier has tentatively agreed to buy up to 36 superjumbos (20 orders plus an option for 16 more) in a move that should keep the European manufacturer's flagship program running for at least another decade. The deal spares the blushes of Airbus and Emirates but it's also a relief for other airlines, lessors and investors exposed to the resale value of the jet.