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By Tim Hepher
PARIS (Reuters) - Airbus has studied the possibility of selling China a stake in its flagship A380 superjumbo programme in exchange for orders as it tries to shore up declining production, but no immediate deal is on the table, industry sources said.
The idea, which has been on the back-burner in Toulouse for some time, would resemble Airbus's decision to take a stake in the Bombardier CSeries, but so far there has been little traction and no deal is imminent, one source said.
"It's not tomorrow," another source added, while others dismissed the prospect of quick progress in China on the A380, whose immediate fate hinges instead on sales talks with Dubai's Emirates .
Boeing argues that traffic is better served by smaller jets.
During Macron's trip to China, Airbus could, however, reconfirm brisk demand for some of its smallest models with a decision to boost assembly of A320-family jets in the northern port city of Tianjin, one of its four production facilities.
Data is due to be published on Jan 15.
A decision to increase the contribution of the Chinese plant towards total Airbus single-aisle production could become even more pressing if, as expected, Airbus secures an order for around 100 planes as part of Macron's visit, the sources said.
(Reporting by Tim Hepher; Editing by Mathieu Rosemain)