I think most of us have seen this coming, but the order is small so it wouldn’t make sense to reduce it. It’s either canceling the whole thing or simply deferring it IMO.
As for A350, MSN 290 is the first frame for EY. Its parts should be arriving soon. EY has to announce pretty soon what to do with that order.
They might just let Airbus build them and not taking up the order, leaving white tails for Airbus to deal with. Pay penalty instead of operating the fleet at a loss.
There are normally escalation clauses in the penalties once production starts so not as easy as you make it sound. The -900 on the other hand....
Escalation clauses exist in commercial aviation contracts. But they are not a straight line.
When A & B sell off plans, they have a dilemma. A firmer contract for buyer and seller, means firmer performance guarantees and penalties for non-compliance, with firmer delivery dates, matched by firmer penalties for deferrals, model hopping and cancellations.
Quite different for 'in production' models, with shorter delivery time frames, where firm is the name of the game.
The 777X was the last new model where Boeing accepted 'soft' contract terms ('soft' even by new model order standards), plus bargain basement pricing.
Boeing has been trying to make the orders less soft for the last 12-18 months, but it's difficult to do this when there is no real news or milestones, against a background of weak WB demand, and engine issues affecting all three OEM's (including GE with the 777X).
The finance and leasing industry views this aircraft as niche despite the 777 model number and folding wing tips, so very much in the same category as the A380. The latest EK A380 order has struggled to find an engine at a price (and on terms) acceptable to the customer, raises red flags to financiers about engine OEM's increasing power over owners, especially where there is a choice of one.
Based on delivery, 787's and A350's look safer. Is Boeing willing to trade firm order 787 cancellations in return for 777X order firming? Would cancelling 787's mean fewer A350 cancellations?
Could the 777X program at this late hour still be cancelled, replaced by new 787 versions with a different wing, producing an aircraft more mainstream and less costly to build? If Boeing haven't firmed 777X orders yet, it will never be cheaper to cancel than now. If 787 production costs are really as low as claimed, customers could have an almost as capable aircraft for similar or less money. And Boeing would make a profit sooner (the first 200 X's have reputedly sold at or below breakeven), and not need to be as actively involved in funding sales and leases.