I keep on reading all the time from many experts on how point to point travel will win over the hub and spoke system proposed by Airbus.
Many people dont realize that North America is not the world and vice versa, especially the ones who live here. I live in NA and many people still think that India and China are backward countries where people are mostly poor. Yes, a majority are not that well off. But the difference between the rest of the world and us is the fact that people in those countries when they are wealthy have hard cash. People in NA have no cash and their wealth is based mostly on credit.
In a place like Shanghai, its not difficult for a customer to walk into a Mercedes or Audi dealership and pay cash for the car. If you do that in North America, the chances of you walking out without a chat with the police is quite rare. First you will be asked how you got all that money and second if it is legit.
I love Boeing and they have good products but their managers and sales departments tend to be not exactly the smartest when it comes to doing things sometimes.
The Europeans tend to have a better grip with world customers and better leverage. (anybody remember how MAS got slots at CDG after they bought many Airbuses...LOL).
For a countries like Japan / China / India / Middle East, etc....the point to point travel and frequencies wont be that much of a story. In those countries the Airbus model will work much better, if not already.
Japan has been using modified 747-400 (747D) and most fly every 30 mins between Nagoya, Fukuoka, Tokyo, Kyoto, etc.
Even in China....I have seen many instances, they have problems using a346 because not enough capacity.
The Boeing model will work (aka more 787 and frequencies ) will work in North America but the Airbus model will work in the rest of the world.
Heathrow is the most slot constrained airport in the world and more planes is not the solution there. Less planes more passenger carrrying capacity. Eventually most traffic to LHR will be A380, look at the client list already....MAS, EK, QR, ETTIHAD, SQ, TG, VS and of course Qantas...these airlines fly many daily runs to LHR.
BA will eventually buy the A380 and will become one of their largest customers. They are not in a position to spend right now and dont want to. No reason, their fleet is new. I also believe Air India will be a customer too, if ever their boards decide to approve a decision within a short period of time. Air India needs the capacity for flights. Indian middle class is becoming a very large and very wealthy populace and will start flying to many places. Garuda will also be a customer.
Most North American airlines will become 787 customers but some will buy into the A380 trend too...most notables include Air Canada (they are mostly European biased in any case), Northwest, American, Delta and maybe even United. If you not all these US airlines are opening up new routes to far away locations such as Chennai (Madras), Bangalore, Hyderabad, Shanghai, Beijing, DXB, more and more routes like that need bigger capacity planes. When the market dictates they will but it.
By the way many people should take up GDB's comments on BA, IMO he has more knowledge about BA than most people in this forum...he actually works for BA and is not an observer.
Airbus wont fail with the A380....they might end up selling more of the kind in a shorter time than the B747 did. They are workign with proven technology against an unknown market.
The 787 will be a success but Boeing is working with unknown technology against a known market. Whether the plane will stand and deliver on its promises remains to be seen.
The body types being used on the 787 (plastics) have been used in military planes previously. Although its a genius of an idea many of those workers who worked on those planes are either dead or dying of cancer in the majority of the cases, so that is a case to be seen.
Also the repair on these planes is another thing, many stations initially wont be able to do maintenance. I am sure eventually Lufthansa technik, HAECO, Singapore Engineering, etc will adapt but will take time. The lamination process is so tricky and any long term condensation can cause the plates to become loose, this happens over many years not in the short term.
I dont care who makes what plane but long term effects on a a quality plane on the flying public is more important. The US manufacturing has always been tied to mass production, lower cost and comprimises on quality where the Europeans and Canadians tend to be different.
Now for all those armchair "aviation" experts, throw out the biases and lets start thinking logically.