Sending an A380 on a 2hr 30min turn around (or) on a 14 hr ULH with whole sections blocked off is not a sign of well-run numbers business.
Most EK A380's are leased.
A commercial aircraft lease has a primary lease document, which may or may not be publicly disclosed, depending on how Part A and B funding is sourced.
An integral part of the primary agreement, are multiple side agreements, which are never published, but will be shared with financiers.
One of those side agreements will cover utilisation - hours and cycles, which forms one part of the final balloon payment made at the end of the lease (EOL).
These are banded, so up to a specified value of hours and cycles, the leasee incurs no additional EOL cost for this component.
If at EOL, cycles and hours fall in the 'agreed' band, then no additional cost is incurred. If at EOL, cycles and hours fall in the 'above' band, then the leasee incurs excess utilisation charges, added to the EOL final balloon payment. If at EOL, cycles and hours fall in the 'below' band, then the leasee receives a credit, to be applied against other EOL costs (the 'below' credit is significantly lower than the 'above' charge for excess use).
If at EOL, cycles and hours are not synchronised (in the same band), then the higher of the two applies, and charged accordingly. For example, if hours are in the 'above' band, and cycles in the 'agreed' band, then the EOL utilisation cost is based on 'above' charges.
EK is big enough to have it's own lease templates. Values will not be fixed in the side agreements, and could be negotiated on an aircraft by aircraft basis, though more likely on a tranche by tranche basis.
So in the real world, EK fleet planners will want to minimise EOL utilisation payments (actually they want them to be zero), by returning leased aircraft as close as possible to the maximum 'agreed' hours and cycles band. Ideally, they want them to max out 30-90 days before EOL, so they can perform accrued maintenance and other requirements within the lease period.
Based on published lease data, EK still have A380's with high hours and low cycles, though a quick look at some of these, shows that average hours are trending down and cycles up.
Savvy leasees want to harmonise air frame lease and engine PBTH cycles and hours banding, though with engines there are more (and narrower) bands, and hours and cycles are usually separated. And a few extra categories added too.
So sending an A380 on a 2hr 30min turn around is a sign of a well-run numbers business.
Not sure if on 14 hr ULH whole sections have really been blocked off, and if it's happened, whether a regular or one off. I've flown on 737 combi, F27 and F28 in the past, where seats were blocked off because of cargo weight. If the cargo yield is higher than the equivalent passengers, that's good business too.