It seems to me that the 777-200LR should over time do better than the A345-500 if only in terms of cabin amenity. My guess is that SQ
would put in its e-economy product which is a comfortable 7 abreast on the A345 as an eight abreast for the same reason on the 777-200LR.
But if the jets are used on 'shorter' routes, like Sydney-Dubai, where Emirates flies the A345 (and also to Auckland) the standard eight abreast in the A345 doesn't stand a chance against the 777 cabin.
If you look closely at what Emirates is doing with its A345s you can also see how the real market for both types is possibly that of being an alternative to a 747 Combi.
Emirates does a roaring trade in air freight. In many respects the large cargo capacity of the newer A340s and 777s means they are de facto combis, with about the same numbers of passengers on the main deck, and really good cargo capacity below. (We see this in the 7E7 too, a mini-combo?).
This is one reason why I think SQ
may hold onto its A345s (in the absence of a good bid) even when it takes 777-200LRS.
It could use the A345s as a substitute combi to Amsterdam or Vancouver, both non-stop, with superior economics to an old 747 combi. Or if it gets transPac rights out of Australia, it could do LAX
with excellent cargo below and more passengers above in a standard two class layout than even the QF
simply because the Qantas jumbo still cops a payload penalty despite the extra efficiency Boeing wrung out of the design.
Mind you it would be as comfortable as the 744, nothing is....
Down the track, when Airbus stops being stupid about the 7E7 and comes up with its own version, I am convinced they will go for a wider cabin too, and it could be they do that new family in both twin and four engined configurations if they really believe there will be enough orders for the latter for ultra long haul routes like London-Sydney.