Airbus sees A380 breakeven on lower 2017 delivs, no 2018 clarity

LONDON, Feb 24 (Reuters) - Airbus Group plans to remain at breakeven on the A380 superjumbo despite the prospect of lower deliveries of the slow-selling jet next year, but is not making forecasts beyond 2017, senior executives said on Wednesday.

Production of the world’s largest passenger jet has started to slow to match lower deliveries as Airbus struggles to find buyers amid a shift in demand towards smaller long-haul jets.

“In 2015 we had breakeven at 27 (deliveries). In 2016, we will have about the same deliveries as in 2015. That allows us to retain breakeven in 2016,” Finance Director Harald Wilhelm told Reuters on the sidelines of a results presentation.

“In 2017, the current (order) backlog suggests slightly lower deliveries than 2016, but at the same time we are working on additional measures to bring the breakeven point down further, with a target to retain breakeven of the programme in 2017,” he said, adding: “And then in 2018 we will see where we go”. (Reporting by Tim Hepher Editing by Sarah Young)