I just don't see how the historic rate of A330/A340 production enters into it. One can argue it has a positive influence because those facilities are paid for, but often the way it works is each program is billed a percentage of the cost of running a site based on footprint, so having a facility scaled up for large production rates ( https://www.airbus.com/newsroom/press-r
... rates.html suggests 8.5 per month and target for more, maybe someone else has better data on peak production rate ) that is not being supported by sales is actually a detriment.
Same can be said for 787, in fact Leeham recently made this same point. It gives more momentum to the idea that the 787 program might be better off moving all production to KCHS which would also give the program lower labor and transport costs.
I must have missed the discussion about past production rates. What I do see is a discussion about Airbus having paid off the production facilities for the A330 that they are still using now with the 1900 delivered A330/A340 to date. The discussion was about the 787 having 2 lines and less than half the projected deliveries at both lines. As you point out this makes it more viable to have only one line for the 787, but it will mean extra cost as Boeing would have factored in the high production rate at both lines into their cost analysis as well. If Airbus has a problem, you can be sure Boeing has the same and vice versa most likely.
That is not “783 cancelled because 787 is too expensive to build”. That is “783 cancelled because current product (783) isn’t good enough (it never got any orders beyond the Japanese launch orders) and Boeing can’t justify the resources to make it work when they would rather focus on 788/789“, especially as the program had extensive delays. I’m not convinced that even in the absence of the 787’s development issues that the 783 would have ever seen the light of the day.
It’s the same reason that the A358 turned from an (somewhat) optimized aircraft to a straight shrink of the A359 to cancelled.
I will quote the article again,
All Nippon had been the last carrier to hold an order for the 787-3, which was designed specifically for the Japanese market.
That is why there was only those customers, it wasn't meant for other markets.
Boeing diverted resources from the short-haul model in 2008 as it struggled to move the long-distance 787-8 toward production amid problems with parts shortages, redesigns and incomplete work by suppliers. The Dreamliner’s entry into service is running about three years behind schedule.
Please highlight to me where in that article it says the current proposed product wasn't good enough. I see a late 788 having all resources dedicated to it and the 783 falling away as a result. I am open to articles confirming what you have said.
That is exactly what was discussed in one comment above.
Nowadays Boeing only produce very few 787-8.
The 787-9 and 787-10 capability and economics are much better than A330neo that the only real competition is against the A350-900.
I have very serious doubt Airbus would put the A330neo against the 787-9 or 787-10.
The A330neo could win only with extreme concession in many aspects including engine servicing.
Therefore it become logical to think the threat against the A330neo is mostly second hand A330 CEO and second hand 787-8.
I am sorry to disappoint you, but that 's what I think.
It's fine if that is what you think. it doesn't mean you are right though. All aircraft are going to suffer right now and will need to be nursed until the good times come back. The A330neo faces more challenges than the 787 and A350, but at the same time it has advantages that the other 2 programs don't have or the 777X has. Each program has specific challenges.
But going for the A330neo is that facilities has been paid off and with the 787 having cut production the time where Boeing could offer cheap prices are gone in the short term. So the one advantage the A330neo seemed to lose is back again. Also, if Airbus cancels the A330neo it will only have the A350 and I don't think they will be happy with that.
So in summary, challenges remain for the A330, but this is not unique. However it has some advantages over the other programs that will hopefully mean it will stay in production for a long time yet. Let us not forget this is not the first time the A330 has been declared dead.