I do not think Airbus is selling them at loss. It is not reasonable to do so.
It is not reasonable to do so but they are most likely doing it. I can't see them producing at such low rates profitably. Which is why I say that there is no easy way out, maybe except stopping the program. That makes the most sense considering that this plane was an idea egged on by Tony from Air Asia.
The low rate would be very difficult to make a profit. Tooling, machinery, and people were staffed for a higher volume.
The A330NEO needed AirAsiaX's volume and Tony took advantage of that negotiating. With AirAsiaX unable to afford deliveries and Delta differing, I am very curious as to the next two years production rate.
If I take the high ground, and trust the original intent of the thread, I think it asks the wrong question.
The question that needs to be asked is what the longer term prospects for the A330NEO are.
It is being produced on a very mature production line on the back of a very successful predecessor.
Therefore I see no great long-term harm to Airbus if a couple of years production dip below profitable - its not like there's a large deferred production cost that needs to be financed.
It won't be the first time the A320 family has propped Airbus up - very successfully too..
The A330NEO inhabits the same size "sweet spot" as the 787 by and large.
So where we could question the market for the A380, I don't think you can in the same way for the A330NEO.
It becomes then more a case of
a) how it interacts with the competitors around it.
b) How long it will be before the widebody market rebounds.
We have said on many threads that the widebody market is saturated for a long time to come - much more than the narrowbody market has been, and will be slower than the narrowbody market to rebound. I think most widebodys will be scratching a living for a good 3-4 years to come - the oversupply in the last 5 or 6 years has been huge.
I think A330NEO sales campaigns in 2023-2024 is a more significant question