Airbus chief sees no output gaps after Emirates cancellation

Plane maker says there will be 'no holes in production' despite Dubai airline pulling out of $16bn deal

Airbus sales chief John Leahy said on Wednesday there would be "no holes in production" as a result of the cancellation by Emirates of 70 A350 aircraft orders.

Airbus expects to win further orders for the carbon-composite passenger jet this year and has already received inquiries from airlines interested in Emirates' production slots, he told a media briefing.

Leahy confirmed that Airbus may not make a decision on whether to upgrade its A330 wide-body jet with new engines by the Farnborough Airshow in July.

The European planemaker is considering whether to upgrade its most profitable long-haul jet with new engines from Rolls-Royce or General Electric.

Industry sources have said there is only an outside chance of a decision by July, but that Airbus is expected to make a decision in the second half of the year.

They say it must strike a deal with the engine makers, both of whom are said to want an exclusive partnership, and balance fuel savings with the extra weight and drag of a new engine.

Leahy said Airbus was meanwhile examining calls by Emirates for a similar engine upgrade to the A380, but declined to comment on the timing for that decision.

He said Airbus and Emirates would participate in an investor briefing alongside lessor Amedeo in New York this week to promote the jet, which analysts say is in need of a sales boost.

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