Interestingly the largest airlines hubbed at the most slot restricted airports have not ordered A380.
is no longer a pure-Boeing customer yet they have held off on going for the A380. In fact, they converted a batch of 744 orders to 777s.
ANA and JAL have also held off on purchasing A380 despite having to fly out of an even more congested Narita. They are increasing their 777 flights as opposed to 747 flying.
A lot of people seem to have bought into the hype surrounding China. It is big and growing and will be an economic superpower in the foreseeable future. There is no question about it emergence.
However in the big scheme of things it's air travel market is not large. I recall reading that the country's entire fleet of airliners as recently 2001 or 2002 was less than that of American Airlines alone. Despite the sneering condescenion of certain indviduals, flights between El Paso and Dallas on an RJ
are not necessarily lesser than flights between Hangzhou and Shangai on a large Boeing or Airbus. China's domestic airline market is far from rationlized with all kinds of price and capacity controls imposed by the government.
For a variety of reasons, the United States is the most mature aviation market in the world. The LCC model that European and Asian entrepeneurs are emulating was primarily developed in the United States.
Good for Airbus for making a sale. Good for China for its upcoming Olympic show for the world. But I would not take a sale to China as a much of vindication of the economic argument behind the A380. The A380s best endorsement is from companies such as Singapore, Qantas, Lufthansa, and Air France.