Surfin' Bird 2: Emirates Goes Shopping.
It is reported today that Emirates-you know, the folks who've got the biggest A380 order on the books-are about ready to order an enlarged variant of the Boeing 787. According to ATW, what is most attractive to Emirates is the projected lower cost per seat mile and cargo carrying ability of the new composite airliner, as compared to the A380s they have on order. Singapore Airlines, another key A380 customer, is also looking at the 787-10.
What does this suggest? A lot if you're paranoid.
We've already seen that Emirates has been getting a little squirrely about their position with the A380, Lufthansa's been in Seattle ogling the 747-8, and Singapore has dumped orders for a lot less cause than they have with Airbus right now.
All of this suggests that the ice is getting thin under the A380 business case right now and unless the Surfin' Bird exceeds the performance expectations of the customers who've ordered it, there could be some desertions from the fold, and some trading of delivery slots. If Airbus does not pull a rabbit out of the hat soon, the opportunity may be missed.