A recent article in Flight International, stated that Boeing are very close to launching the B747-400ER to compete with the A3XX, but at much less cosththan developing a whole new airplane, aka A3XX. Also an earlier delivery time is envisaged.
The new B747 will have a B777 glass cockpit & cabin interior.
Launch customers are thought to be Cathay & Qantas. It will probably be a slight stretch on the current fuselage, seating up to 460 pax in a 3 class config & obviously more in a 2 or single class layout.
Cathay are also on the verge of ordering more B777's, A330's & A340's, as their recovery from the Asian flu continues.
Interesting mames. Will Cathay order both the B747-400ER & the A3XX?