I am sorry about the off topic, but I can't see the relation with the EK order.
The relationship is that the EK order cements the future of a less than optimal VLA, instead of allowing for an earlier replacement. It's kind of disappointing that the company that is said to always be incrementally improving its products is apparently not doing any improvements for this order.
Congratulations to Airbus and I am very happy for the employees. Some people say that this isn't a big order, but when you consider the size of the A380, it is still quite an achievement.
I think it's a big order in every sense of the word, big in terms of money changing hands and big in terms of ensuring the future of the product for several more years.
So once this MoU will be confirmed there will be a total number of 337 firm orders, provided Airbus doesn’t use the opportunity to cancel some firm orders (they did it before...).
I read that Airbus used the end-of-year bonanza to drop two A380 orders off the books. The article didn't say which ones.
The A380 is the only answer for the most packed hub airports like LHR and elsewhere. The 747 is pretty much dying as we speak but Boeing will make more 777's in larger forms that will pretty much replace it for all but where the A380 is the only choice.
Uhm, no. If A380 was the only answer, then why is BA replacing 52 747s with 12 A380s and lots of aircraft smaller than 747? Why is Air Canada flying A319s across the Atlantic to LHR? Yes, LHR slots are expensive, but that's largely because a lot of slot squatting is going on. A presence at LHR is important for the legacies but new entrants are doing fine at the other LON airports and other non-LHR hubs are doing fine as well. There's plenty of ways forward that do not involve more A380s at LHR.
I expect Airbus will find ways to cut production costs for the A380. Transferring production of some major components with partners in China and other potential customer countries or to Eastern/Southern EC countries that have much lower labor costs. Tough negotiations with unions in France, Germany, UK (especially after Brexit) and other suppler EC countries to lower pay or not increase with general inflation. Push for more tax breaks where allowed. Increase internal production efficiencies. Airbus has done that in part and we have seen the same with Boeing (especially with the 787 with issues). To me that that is the only way in the long run to keep the A380 program viable and profitable.
Airbus has said sites like Mobile are not saving money. It should be obvious once you factor in the cost of shipping and the cost for establishing a new site etc. Clearly Airbus is using new sites to establish political footholds and to cement sales agreements. Enders himself said as much in his recent Aviation Week article. Airbus is dangling the finishing line in front of China to try to get orders. New orders allows it to justify offshoring work to its unions.