Airbus (AIB, Toulouse Blagnac) is working on a backup plan to phase-out A380-800 production if the manufacturer fails to secure a new order with Emirates (EK, Dubai Int'l), Reuters reported citing inside sources.

"If there is no Emirates deal, Airbus will start the process of ending A380 production," one of the newswire's sources said.

The European manufacturer and the Dubai-based carrier have been in talks regarding a new order for the aircraft for some time now. Negotiations covering thirty-six new A380-800s broke down during this year's Dubai Air Show, Reuters stated. Emirates publicly demanded a guarantee that Airbus will keep the A380 production line open for at least another ten years before the airline can commit to further purchases.

The Gulf carrier is by far the largest operator of the type. According to the ch-aviation fleets module, it currently employs 101 A380-800s out of a total of 224 built. Emirates has a further forty-one aircraft on order. The second-largest operator of the type, Singapore Airlines, currently operates seventeen aircraft and expects four more, but it has also already retired three aircraft this year and plans to withdraw one more by March 2018.

In total, the manufacturer secured contracts for 317 A380-800s, although not all of them are likely to be fulfilled.

Airbus had earlier stated it plans to cut down the A380 production rate from twelve a year in 2018 to six a year beyond 2019.