Emirates asking for A380 engine enhancements

Emirates obviously wants some enhancements for their A380 engines - at least for the aircraft that should one day replace the first ninety. The last of these aircraft will be delivered in 2017 and by that time Airbus will have delivered around 240 A380 if all production slots are filled until that time. Well, obviously some of the ordered aircraft will be either delivered later as their deliveries are deferred (like for Virgin Atlantic) of won't be delivered at all (read: Kingfisher and probably Hong Kong Airlines as well as Air Austral).
Two engine manufactures share the A380 market: Rolls Royce and the Engine Alliance (50:50 JV between GE and P&W). Let's say both have around 50% of the market (actually, thanks to the large Emirates orderbook EA has a slight lead), then both manufacturers will have delivered 480 engines plus spares.
Now Emirates asks for a "propulsion technology crossover into the A380, in terms of what they’re doing on the 777X, the A320neo and the 737MAX”, says Emirates president Clark and claims that one of the EA partners will produce "wonders in propulsion technology" by 2020, when the A380 still should have GP7200 engines (and the Trent 900 of course as well). So he asks what the plans from GE and P&W are to improve propulsion efficiency of the GP7200.
my first question would be who of the two EA partners will produce these "wonders"?
  • Does he refer to the GE9X? He should have a good knowledge about what GE is planning for this engine, although some questions arose around his comment that the engine would need water injection to be able to lift the B777X from Dubai year-round: read the first reaction from GE here, another one here. Clearly, the GE9X will be the state-of-the-art engine in it's class, encompassing the Trent XWB-97, as overall pressure ratio and bypass ratio will be higher and the use of CMC should save some cooling air, further elevating the core efficiency compared to the latest Trent engine.
  • Or does he refer to the Geared Turbo Fan from P&W. From all what we know this engine defines the segment of the regional and  narrowbody engines for the years to come (closely followed by the LEAP engine family, of course).
Nevertheless which engine concept Clark has in mind, I wonder if the two partners in the EA are ready for a big improvement programme for the GP7200. Small improvements have already been made: today's GP7200 are better by 2% than original spec values. To improve the engine by any big (SFC percentage) number should be at least very costly, if not impossible without a change in architecture. But with only about 500 engines of the GP7200 sold by then there would be no hope for the engine program to ever produce a profit. So EA (as well as RR) will do whatever they can to avoid another large development investment in the engine. RR could on the other hand also offer a downrated Trent XWB, although this engine might be too heavy for the wing as it is today.
Last week , there was speculation in a german newspaper about what might be the A380 going forward plan from Airbus. Günter Butschek, Airbus COO speculated about "modifications" for the aircraft, Heinrich Großbongardt, a german aviation consultant, speculated about an A380neo. I guess in Hartford, Cincinnati and Derby this was not a fun-to-read...