I frankly couldn’t understand the reasoning behind the 7E7 in the first place. Isnt it rather close to the 767/777? Would’nt re-engining the 767 and installing a new cockpit and avionics to provide commonality with the 777 be more economical instead of launching an all new model?
Anyways, I don’t think Airbus needs to launch an all new program to develop an alternative. Couldn’t the existing A300/310 platform be reengined and equipped with the FBW system (a sort of A300NG), and perhaps a new wing? A new wing would help increase cruise speed from M0.80 of the current 300/310 series to around M0.84 and could easily give a 6000-9000 kms range perfect for the kind of routes operated by the A300/310s as well as 767’s now. It would be much cheaper than an all new program.