Two Qatar Airways Airbus planes on the tarmac at the European plane maker’s headquarters in Toulouse before a ceremony the mark the delivery of the first A350 jetliner to the Middel Eastern airline. European Pressphoto Agency

TOULOUSE—Qatar Airways Chief Executive Akbar Al Baker may be in the market for more Airbus Group NV A380 super jumbos as the Middle Eastern carrier became the first airline to take delivery of the plane maker’s newest jetliner, the smaller A350.

“The performance of the A380 has exceeded our expectations,” Mr. Al Baker said at Tuesday’s ceremony at Airbus’s headquarters to mark the delivery of the Qatar Airways A350.

The vote of confidence from Mr. Al Baker in the A380 could help Airbus garner more sales for the four-engined passenger jet.

Most airlines have shown themselves much keener on twin-engine jetls like the A350, Airbus’s response to Boeing Co. ’s new long-distance plane, the 787 Dreamliner. Boeing itself has long argued that there is too small a market for extra large passenger jets to warrant investment in the segment.

Qatar Airways will operate its A380s for a year before making a decision to take more than the 10 super jumbos already ordered, Mr. Al Baker said. The carrier began operating A380 jets this year and has three now in service.

Airbus has struggled to find buyers for the A380 that costs $414.4 million per jet at list price, though buyers typically get discounts. Airlines worry about filling the plane that can seat more than 500 passengers.

Deutsche Lufthansa AG, Air France-KLM, and Qantas are among the airlines to have deferred or canceled orders for the double-decker aircraft. Virgin Atlantic Airways has said it may never takes its planes. Etihad Airways said last week it wouldn't buy more A380 jets.

“Clearly our challenge is to get more customers,” said Fabrice Brégier.

Airbus chief financial officer Harald Wilhem indicated this month that the aircraft maker could face a decision toward the end of the decade of whether to cease production of the plane.

An Airbus A380 comes in to land at the opening day of the U.K.’s Farnborough Airshow last July. European Pressphoto Agency

Mr. Brégier called the idea of the plane going out of production “crazy” and said the market trend favored the A380.

“One day we will look for increment[al] improvements,” he said. A stretched version that could seat even more passengers could emerge in the “very longer term.”