(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) Airbus aims to improve its A380 production next year that is expected to benefit its double-decker customers, especially the largest customer Emirates airline.
The Dubai-based airline, which has ordered 90 superjumbos, took ownership of the 25th aircraft, which left the production line of the European company on Friday evening.
Airbus topped its 2011 target for superjumbo deliveries late on Friday when it handed over two A380s in rapid succession, reaching 26 deliveries of the giant aircraft for the year, according to Reuters.
Minutes after delivery to Emirates airline, China Southern took delivery of the 26th A380 from the production line. Airbus has delivered a total of 67 A380s since the plane entered service in 2007.
The European airplane maker had targeted at least 25 deliveries of the world's largest airliner this year and earlier on Friday boosted its target for deliveries next year to at least 30.
"Boosting the A380 output will help Airbus curtail some of the heavy losses on the programme," Saj Ahmad, chief analyst at London-based consultancy StrategicAero Research told Khaleej Times.
Airbus Chief Operating Officer Fabrice Bregier said recently that the super jumbo will break-even in 2015 on an operating basis, excluding research and development costs. Ahmad said that the A380 backlog is both precariously thin and rests largely on Emirates airline's ability and desire to induct more of them.
Emirates airline is keen to order more A380s in near future, its chief executive Tim Clark was quoted by a German magazine. Any purchases on top of the 90 superjumbos already ordered would depend on how much capacity could be created at Dubai International Airport.
Analyst Ahmed said the driving factor relies not just on the expansion of Dubai airport, but other airports, where the airline wants to expand, is also important. This week Emirates plans to change its fourth London Heathrow flight to an A380 and will likely change its fifth flight to an A380 before 2012 ends.
"If the airline continues to induct A380s at a steady pace, there's no reason why the likes of Manchester, Glasgow, Newcastle and Birmingham can't also be dedicated A380 operations," he said.
The Dubai carrier has repeatedly indicated that it wants to see its A380 fleet of 120 aircraft, but the deal is still awaited.
"A further order for 30 A380s, taking its total order tally to 120 units, seems a question of when, not it - and it will probably happen by the Farnborough Airshow next summer," Ahmed added.
Airbus is racing to meet a record total delivery target of 520-530 aircraft of all models combined in 2011. The world's largest plane maker ahead of Boeing had delivered 477 aircraft by the end of November.