Has Emirates got it right and almost everyone else - including rival airlines who have bought the Airbus A380 in more modest numbers - got it wrong? That is the question examined by this week's Flight International comment, and also the poll question on flightglobal.com, following the mega 32-aircraft deal announced at the ILA show in Berlin last week.
(As I write, the poll result is finely balanced between those who think Emirates has seen the future and those who thinks it has overstretched).
It is certainly one being asked by airlines such as Lufthansa, British Airways and Singapore Airlines (even if they don't admit to it) as Airbus chief Tom Enders alluded speaking to us at the show.
If Emirates' strategy works - they will have 90 of the superjumbos by the last third of the decade - they could be in a postion quite simply to muscle out competitors on the Europe to Asia routes simply because they will have the scale and infrastructure to operate more cheaply.
Add to that, the fact that Emirates has a non-unionised workforce (no walkouts, no outrageous pay demands) and an expandable airport (with a new six-runway replacement coming on stream next decade) when the likes of BA have been told that Heathrow will never have a third runway.
Forget, however, the nonsensical claims of subsidised fuel and bail outs by the Dubai government. They if anything pay more for their fuel than many of their rivals and Dubai's embarrassing cap in hand rescue by Abu Dhabi last year proves that the Al Maktoums do not have bottomless pockets to support a cash-draining flag-carrier. Emirates does have the advantage, however, of being part of an integrated aviation network of airport, civil aviation authority and transportation department which all ultimately sings from the same songsheet and answers to the same Sheikh.
Forget too the prices Emirates are likely to be paying for their big beasts. It's unlikely Airbus will be creaming in the profits on these units. But that's a problem for Airbus, which will be quite relieved simply to shift more of its A380s.
There are reports now that Emirates may order even more A380s at Farnborough.
Could Emirates be like the late Victorian cab firm that, while everyone else was fretting about how to make their horse-drawn carriages more efficient, simply went out and bought a fleet of motor cars?
Or - to utterly mangle the metaphor - have they bet the farm on a herd of white elephants?