Under a developing scheme, the A380 could not risk empty seats on a full fuel load and staffing needs. However the 747-8i would mitigate that risk with its efficiency and a easier road as it fills less seats and goes long in the Jumbo field. Emirates is considering optimizing its x-large markets leaving the 2x Jumbo or A380 to ply forward amongst passenger crowds. The 747-8i would make a nice side by side stable mate for extreme traveling. The 747-8i is easily convertible, configurable and a complete airline. It hauls space shuttles and offers frequent flyer miles for airborne toga parties. It is low risk and quickly obtainable. I forgot to add obtainable to the "C" listing above when mentioning the word complete.
Emirates is considering a spot opening that neither the 777, A350-1000 or A380 can do efficiently as a 450 seat hauler. Hence the 747-8i is getting a long look and a price hint from Boeing. The A380 has a carrier sweet spot at 500 and the 747-8i at 450. Where the 7779x could comfortable haul 400 and the A350-1000 may do 350. Then comes the battle rounds with the 787 family against the A350-900. The A350-800 is dead and the A330 Neo would not keep up with the 787's technology matriculation during the next ten years, since the 787 will continue progressing its new technology into a more efficient aircraft without changing its structure or frame design.
Emirates could buy the 747-8i as a winning horse in this race, because of how Lufthansa has managed the new 747-8i. Emirates knows Lufthansa is hurting some A380 business because people like the new 747. The airline also like the new 747, because of its ease of transitioning over from the old 747's, and how it compliments the 787 & 777 cabin layout. Perhaps, Emirates was hasty in its order for a copious quantity of 100 or more A380, They may have been better off going 50-50 on ordering the 747-8i and A380 while getting more value out of that purchase. By 2020 Airbus A380 assembly may grow quiet at this niche behemoth runs out of flight line and airport approaches. The A380 is here for the next 20 years easily but it lacks the flexibility that the 747-8i offers as a Jumbo.
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