The arrival of Airbus's newest jet, developed at a cost of 11 billion euros ($13.48 billion)...
It looks like a precise number. Does anyone know if Airbus mentioned anything about the total dev costs at the media briefing or talked about the break even numbers?
Of course, we don't know if it includes the development of the A350-1000 as well. But, good to note that it is nowhere near the bloated $25 billion figure of the 787, possibly indicating that break even can be reached quicker.
The story is based on a recent meeting between the airline and ALC CEO Steven Udvar-Hazy. According to the report, the airline expresses interest in several aircraft types already ordered by ALC : A339s, A350s (-900 or -1000), 789s, 7810s.
The discussions are said to focus on ways to replace A340s while taking advantage of French oversea territories tax shelter laws . Being eligible would require deliveries to happen no later than 2017, when the tax programme is currently supposed to expire (though I believe it is likely to be extended for some more years). Whatever their choice, I am not sure they can secure the five required slots. I can see them applying for a special tax ruling from the French finance ministry to bridge the gap between existing and likely future laws.
A more interesting issue is the aircraft type best suited to their needs, and the A359 is indeed a strong candidate, whereas a Boeing choice might make it more difficult to secure a privileged tax ruling.