Ever since the Airbus A380 obtained a go-ahead, nearly 10 years ago, skepticism has surrounded the mega-transport’s business plan. Most mainstream airlines outside the U.S. expressed interest in the 500-seat-plus long-range transport while Boeing, before launching the stretched-fuselage 747-8, kept repeating that the European newcomer would remain a niche product. We all remember the controversy—consolidation versus fragmentation, hub-to-hub routes versus nonstop services. Asked to comment ...

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