Airbus is preparing to stop production of the world's largest passenger jet, the Telegraph reports.

The French aircraft manufacturer was hoping to ink a deal with Emirates for 36 new A380 planes worth $16 billion ($22.6b), the Telegraph says.

But when negotiations failed, the Telegraph says it understands that Airbus is now establishing plans for shutting down production of its superjumbo.

"If there is no Emirates deal, Airbus will start the process of ending A380 production," a person briefed on the plans told Reuters.

READ MORE: Superjumbo faces clouds a decade into service


Emirates has the largest number of A380s in its fleet in the world.

The plane has been a distinctive and reasonably frequent sight at Auckland Airport, with as many as five A380s a day landing last summer, but that number will fall next year when all Emirates services across the Tasman from the city end in March.

Airbus maintains there's a future for the plane, especially flying large numbers of passengers between hub airports with a constrained number of slots.

In a single-class configuration, the four-engined A380 can seat more than 800 people.

The plane was imagined in 1988, when Airbus began studies of an ultra-high-capacity aircraft. This was at a time when plane builders were thinking of a 1000-seat Boeing 747 for domestic flights and 2000-seat "super 747s" for international flights.

Since then, Boeing has scaled back its jumbo programme - modifying its base model
747 to the slightly bigger and modernised 747-8.

Both the big planemakers have seen strong sales of twin-engine, ultra efficient new generation aircraft such as the Dreamliner, 777X and A350XWB. Two engines are cheaper to run than four.

And Airbus launched into the A380 programme in the early 1990s, with a plane that hit a limited part of the market at a time when airline spending collapsed.