Ok, with all that Airbus (and, for that matter, Boeing) has going on at the moment, I'm sure this is not at the top of their priority list. However, I'm curious to know if they will ever tackle the gap in their product line. I'm referring specifically to the gap that exists between the 346, which is designed to seat ~380 passengers, and the 380, which is designed to seat ~550 (and more). That is a gap of 170 seats; a fairly decent hole by any measure.

I realize there may not be a huge rush to fill that gap since the only player in there currently is the 747, and it has not exactly been flying off the shelf in recent years. However, I can't help but wonder if Airbus will ever go after the 747. It could certainly come out with a product that could effectively kill off the 747 because, if they designed it from scratch, they could incorporate all the latest bells and whistles and render the 747 obsolete. And as we know, Boeing has only incrementally improved the 747 over the years, including the latest iteration (747Adv) so whatever Airbus comes up with could be considerably better.

And in that regard, why did they not build an airplane that was the size of the 747 but that could grow to the 380-800's size? Instead, they designed the 380-800 as the base model so that it could grow but not shrink to compete with the 747. So what they're left with is a gap that can only be filled by a completely new model instead of a derivative of an existing one, which makes filling the gap that much more expensive.