Another advantage is the cost of development: Analysts estimate Boeing will spend about $4 billion to develop the new 747-8, compared with at least $14 billion for the Airbus A380. According to Merrill Lynch's Armitage, Boeing has to amortize only about $5 million of research-and-development spending per aircraft, vs. $16.5 million for Airbus. That's assuming each manufacturer sells 850 airplanes over the next 20 years. Even if Airbus ends up with a 22% higher average purchase price because of its larger number of seats, Armitage estimates R&D will represent about 10% of the A380 purchase price, vs. 3.6% for the 747-8.
[Edited 2005-11-16 20:06:07]