What that means for things like the MRTT is that there will be a lot of time for the Air Forces of the world to look into an MRTT. AB can wait a decade or more to develop this if they so chose. Time is on their side.
Time isn’t forever on their side. They have to make sure that the plane gets enough orders to continue production. If not they have to make decisions on whether it is better to invest in the A330Neo to make it more attractive, or start focusing resources on other programs like future A350 variants.
The sales of the 358 made clear that that is not overtly adaptable to the mid/large twin market. That leaves coming up with a new design for the 339 class. Which would be considerably more expensive than doing what they have to do to keep the 339 attractive, which thankfully, is not much.
Again, that is only relevant for ultra high density ULCCs (which are still a tiny minority of wide body buyers).
It is relevant to any carrier in that market as it reflects on the overall capacity and flexibility. The 787-10 does indeed suffer here. Utilizing the same number of seats, the 787-10 will weigh more per PAX than the 339 and hit a very steep payload/range drop first. This does
put the 787-10 into a more regional role, where again, it is more airplane for the same lift as the 339NEO.
I also do not think we will see a large number of 440 seat 787-10s. But this is primarily a feature of them being non-competitive against a 339NEO in that role more than anything else.
Airlines will evaluate the A339 against the 787-10…but in most cases the 787-10 will seat more. The airline has to decide if the extra cost and extra seats in the 787-10 are worth it.
BCA will need to improve its payload range. Even in lesser dense configurations, the seating difference is not significant, and for the same number of seats, you can have the much more capable 789. I observed this most poignantly when EK went for that over the 787-10. They will not be likely using it on very long routes, except where they are also very thin. Their regional operations would seemed to have greatly favored the 10.
We can look for large umbers of new 339NEO orders at the end of the decade as a lot of the Asian carriers servicing high density regional routes begin to replace their older 333s & 772/77Es.