An Airbus A380 performs during a flying display at the 47th Paris Air Show at Le Bourget airport near Paris, in this June 21, 2007 photo. REUTERS/Pascal Rossignol
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Two years ago Airbus Group SE's sales chief John Leahy conjured up a contract for 50 A380 jetliners at the Dubai Air Show from local carrier Emirates, swelling the order backlog for its flagship jet and stealing the headlines from Boeing Co.'s new 777X.Airbus also saw a six-jet contact with Japan's Skymark Airlines Inc. vanish in 2014 before the Japanese carrier filed for bankruptcy, while leasing firm Amedeo, the only new A380 buyer in the past three years, has failed to find a single operator and swapped its earliest delivery positions with Emirates.The A380 is struggling even among established players.While Airbus could conceivably double the A380 backlog with an order from Emirates were it to commit to a fully upgraded A380, doing so could come at a cost that might never be recovered should the plane fail to find further buyers.Airbus has promised to improve the A380, without committing to wholly new engines, while Rolls-Royce Holdings Plc, which will supply turbines for the last 50 Emirates planes, says enhancements must be determined by order potential.
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