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Given that BA is a major manufacturer that makes products in the US (i.e. lots of jobs), using the observation that the gov't stepped in to help the auto industry, my guess is that BA would likely be in line for a bailout if things really get that bad.

Boeing assembles planes in Seattle (and to a lesser extent in South Carolina), but gets sub assemblies from all over the country. They would have substantial clout with employers and manufacturers in practically every Congressional district that might matter in the event of a company-threatening problem.

More to the point, they are also a huge military contractor, and the Pentagon would hardly allow them to go under. It's conceivable that a plan might be hatched which would give a haircut to bond holders or stock owners, but it's inconceivable that Boeing would cease to exist.

Whatever happens with this electrical sub-system I don't think it will affect the ultimate success of the 787:

Every aircraft employing new technologies - and even those which are modest upgrades - suffer problems out of the gate. Unless there are fatal accidents, the memories disappear pretty quickly.

Punchline is that the demand for the 787 is really big and Boeing is the only one selling ice cream.

The Airbus 380 has a passenger capacity 15%-20% larger than the Dreamliner. Airlines will balance that against the Dreamliner's 20% fuel savings (along with other factors, like legacy fleets, obviously). The fuel savings is significant, but fuel is only one component, so you might achieve an 8-10% overall cost savings (ignoring downstream maintenance of the new technologies, about which I know nothing). Balance that against the Airbus higher capacity (which will depend on load factors and not be 100% utilitized, obviously) and it's not quite as clear cut as first blush estimates might seem.
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