Airbus will take a look at reengining the Airbus A380 much along the lines of the A320neo and the proposed A330neo.

“We are not planning to do it at the present time, but if your largest customer is encouraging you to do it, we are going to study it,” Airbus Chief Operating Officer-Customers John Leahy said at the Airbus Innovation Days in Toulouse.

Emirates Airline President Tim Clark has reiterated his wish for the aircraft to be equipped with new engines as recently as last week, on the sidelines of the International Air Transport Association’s annual general meeting in Doha, Qatar. Clark estimates that the aircraft could become 8-12% more efficient with new engines. Emirates has bought 140 A380s, 48 of which had been delivered by the end of May. The airline also scrapped its order for 50 A350-900s and 20 A350-1000s underlining its strategy to focus on very large aircraft such as the Boeing 777X and the A380.

Others, like Amedeo CEO Mark Lapidus, doubt that it will be possible to come up with a large enough fuel burn improvement that would justify the investment into a new engine type.

Given Airbus’ engineering and development workload over the next few years, an A380neo would be unlikely to be available before 2020. Leahy did not specify when such an aircraft could be ready if it were launched.