PARIS/DUBAI, Jan 31 (Reuters) - Dubai’s Emirates is exploring switching some orders for the world’s largest jetliner, the Airbus A380, to the smaller A350 in a move raising new doubts over the future of Europe’s iconic superjumbo, people familiar with the matter said.
The Gulf carrier - which has invested tens of billions of dollars in over 100 A380s - has been struggling to finalise a deal to buy another 36 to keep assembly lines open, due to differences with engine maker Rolls-Royce.
Now, Airbus is looking closely at options for closing A380 factories sooner than expected as part of a reshuffle of orders, with Chief Executive Tom Enders unlikely to leave the situation unresolved when his mandate ends in April, they said.
No decision has been taken, however.
Emirates, Airbus and Rolls-Royce declined comment. (Reporting by Tim Hepher, Alexander Cornwell; editing by Michel Rose)