PARIS, Jan 8 (Reuters) - Airbus has studied the possibility of selling China a stake in its flagship A380 superjumbo programme in exchange for orders as it tries to shore up declining production, but no immediate deal is on the table, industry sources said.
The Financial Times reported earlier that Airbus was offering an industrial partnership on the world’s largest airliner as part of a visit to China by French President Emmanuel Macron this week.
Macron is being accompanied by industry leaders including Airbus planemaking president Fabrice Bregier.
The idea, which has been on the back-burner in Toulouse for some time, would resemble Airbus’s decision to take a stake in the Bombardier CSeries, but so far there has been little traction and no deal is imminent, one source said.
“It’s not tomorrow,” another source added, which others dismissed the prospect of quick progress in China on the A380, whose fate rests instead on sales talks with Dubai’s Emirates.
Airbus is however expected to agree to boost local assembly of A320-family single-aisle jets in the northern port city of Tianjin, from the current 50 a year, as it finalises a new China order which sources have said could involve around 100 jets.
The final number of jets to be sold has not been determined. (Reporting by Tim Hepher; Editing by Mathieu Rosemain)