Airbus, the European plane manufacturer, will stop making its A380 superjumbo if it fails to strike a long-term deal with Emirates, the largest operator of the aircraft, which would guarantee a steady order over a decade.
Speaking via webcast Monday, outgoing Airbus sales chief John Leahy said in both narrowbody and widebody aircraft, Airbus had won the sales race in seven out of the last 10 years.
"I believe we can find a solution with Emirates in hopefully the not too distant future", Leahy said in an interview with Bloomberg TV.
The company delivered a record 718 new commercial jets and booked 1,109 net new orders for the year.
Airbus achieved 1,109 net orders from 44 customers during the year - representing a book-to-bill ratio of 1.5. Boeing delivered 763 aircraft past year, beating its own 2015 record by one.
While the A380 struggles, Airbus is outselling Boeing on smaller single-aisle aircraft like the A320 family. "It has been doing well about 50:50 with our competitors wide-body sales in the last 10 years", he said, adding that it should maintain good momentum growth.
There have only been a total of 317 orders for the A380 since its launch in 2007.
So far, the A380 has cost Airbus €18 billion to €20 billion, and the company says it needs to build at least six a year for the program to remain viable.
Emirates was widely expected to place an order for 50 of the world's biggest passenger airliner at the Dubai Air Show past year but this failed to come.
"Our new 2018 pricing reflects Airbus' continuous investments into its aircraft programmes to maximise their value for our customers' satisfaction - with the winning combination of performance, operating economics and passenger experience", Leahy said.
Airbus has admitted that unless it can find more buyers for its A380 superjumbo, the program may have to end. Without new orders, it becomes impossible for Airbus and its suppliers, which include Rolls-Royce Holdings Plc, GKN Plc and the General Electric Co.