OK... here's another A vs. B thread... but please keep it civil.
Thanks to the SQ order for the B787, Airbus is in crisis mode. Plan A (stay the course with the A350) is dead. Plan B (an all-new A370) is almost a given. IMO, if Airbus wants to break even (not even make a profit; just break even) in this market segment, they will have to:
-Announce the A370 (almost a given now).
-Kill the A340 family. It's already on life support, as carriers don't want a plane that burns 20% more fuel than the B773ER in an era of high jet fuel prices. Cash back just won't do, Mr. Leahy... waving the white flag in this instance for 5 or so years is a better business move than getting your butt handed to you on a silver platter for the same length of time. Just stop accepting new orders and close the line after all existing orders are completed.
-Win the EK order. However, it's highly unlikely given EK's frustration with A380 delays.
-Win an order from at least one of the European Big Three (BA, AF, LH). Personally, I see LH in the bag for Airbus given their massive A320/330/340 fleet even thoguh they are looking at the 787; while I see BA as a tossup between A and B. If Rolls-Royce is the exclusive engine supplier for the A370(?) as rumored, kiss that AF order goodbye.
-Win a 20+ plane order from a North American carrier besides US. Of course, CO and NW ordered the B787, so they're out. I see AA as very unlikely and UA as a toss-up, while I see DL grabbing any deal they can get their hands on.
Airbus needs to do these core steps now. Otherwise, Boeing will rule the roost like it did in the 1960s and 1970s.