Re: more than software
There's various maintenance regimes on aircraft like this. Some things are serviced every N landings, other every M hours of operation, and yet others which are time elapsed. Apparently there's loads of things that now have to be serviced on these aircraft, many of which have only every flown once on the way to storage...
There's also a rumour going round that some have experienced mouse infestation during storage. If that's true, that's a nightmare, because you have to go through the whole aircraft looking to see where they've got to and what they've chewed.
Regarding the finances of the situation, there's some interesting things emerging. Airbus has, despite the global downturn in aviation, pretty much continued delivering largely to plan. The reason is because once the airline takes delivery, they often immediately sell to a lease company and rent it back straight away. The airline's better off because it's completed the transaction meaning that the money is back on their books. The lease company is happy because it's actually got a shiny new in-demand ultra-efficient asset in their inventory. The airline is happy again because it's got the use of that aircraft, ready to go as soon as the market picks up, running at maximum efficiency. And they can drop A320neos into their operations seamlessly.
With MAX, it's more or less the complete opposite.
It'll far easier to respond to a market recovery with Airbuses in the inventory and on order than with MAXes orders.
And we haven't even begun to take into account the success that the A220 / Bombardier C Series seems to be becoming. 600+ orders now, and everyone seems to like it.
So at the moment there is a propsect that the way to become a billionaire is to invest in the airlines that have the Airbuses and a good control of costs, because they might just have the market to themselves if a bunch of other airlines go bust, just as we all get the travel bug back again.
Boeing's traditional way of levelling out the market strength enjoyed by Airbus has been to make the deal work up-front; sell the planes very cheap to begin with. RyanAir (Boeings) supposedly get a very good price indeed, and can then afford to be cost competitive with, say, Easyjet (Airbuses) because of that. The problem now is that Boeing is in a debt hole, and has probably priced all of its 4000 or so MAX orders downwards, so the margin on each one could be too small to pay off that debt.
Airbus in contrast is rumoured to have never really had to resort to discounting, charging close to list price for each of its 7000+ A320neo orders.
And they don't have to go chasing orders so much either, even ignoring some airlines. I read recently that when British Airways once really did want to buy some Airbuses, the BA exec basically had to go in person and go down on bended knee pleading to get Airbus to consider selling them some aircraft. Airbus had previously got pissed at BA playing silly buggers using Airbus to hammer down Boeing pricing, had stopped bothering to submit tenders, and didn't need BA's business at all.
Being able to afford kicking an airline as big as BA out the door is pretty telling.