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"If we can not work out a deal with Emirates, I think there is no choice but to shut down the program", John Leahy, the company's chief operating officer, told reporters on Monday.

'Quite honestly, if we can't work out a deal with Emirates there is no choice but to shut down the programme, ' Leahy said.

But overall Airbus managed to beat its industry rival Boeing previous year in terms of the number of planes it delivered to buyers - a record total of 763.

The 1,109 net orders came from 44 customers, and the company ended the year with an overall backlog of 7,265 aircraft valued at US$1.06 trillion at list prices.

Airbus has admitted that unless it can find more buyers for its A380 superjumbo, the program may have to end.

There have been a total of 317 orders for the A380 since its launch in 2007.

The A380, with a theoretical maximum capacity of 853 passengers, is the world's largest passenger jet.

Both Emirates and Airbus are keen to reach a deal to protect their investment.

However, Leahy, who will retire this month, said the company could have an order for the double decker plane "within the next month or two" with an unnamed new customer.

Reports circulated before the Dubai Air Show in November that a major A380 sale would be coming.

Bregier, who's being replaced next month by Guillaume Faury as Airbus overhauls its top management, acknowledged "challenges" lie ahead but called them "manageable".

Following another "miraculous" December - which saw 127 deliveries and the finalisation of no less than 776 orders - Airbus Commercial Aircraft posted another set of impressive full-year figures.

Abandoning the A380 would be a disappointing defeat for Airbus, which spent many years and many billions developing the double-decker behemoth.

Planemaking chief Fabrice Bregier said engine supplier Pratt & Whitney had turned the corner on delays that had disrupted single-aisle aircraft output, and predicted close to 800 deliveries in 2018.

Airbus is facing multiple corruption investigations, notably in Britain, France and Austria.