I'm with ya 7E72004, I believe both planes will be successful and wish them the best of luck. However, I think that the A380 is much more of a niche-market aircraft than the 7E7 and therefore won't be as big of a success. In hindsight, it appears that back in the early 90's Airbus was banking a little too heavily on hub to hub transit as the future of air travel. They pre-empted Boeing in the VLA battle that was going on at the time, which was a victory then but may in fact be somewhat to their detriment now. Business travelers (the people who really support the airline industry) seem to be opting for more point to point travel. With world trade continuing to accelerate in the next few years, I suspect there will be a wider market for point to point air travel as opposed to the traditional (and inconvenient for business travelers) hub system. Just look at the US carriers' recent increases of international destinations. Thats where the money is, and the A380 obviously won't be useful on routes such as EWR
. Those are only US examples but this phenomenon is by no means limited to US carriers. The 7E7 may not look like a runaway success at this point (although it is by no means doing poorly) but just you wait for an upturn in the airline industry!
Back to the A380, it already has a market waiting for it on such routes as LHR
. However, this is a limited market for obvious reasons and not nearly as limitless as the market awaiting the 7E7 and A350. So in my opinion, Boeing has the upper hand in being the first to launch an economic next generation midsize airliner, and Airbus is playing catch up this time. I can't wait for more details on the A350 and the ensuing battle between these aviation greats. Let the games begin!