Singapore Airlines (SIA) has firmed an order for 25 widebody aircraft from Airbus, among them five more A380 superjumbos and 20 more A350-900s.
The deal was completed in 2012 and follows an initial agreement and announcement from Airbus and Singapore Airlines about the new order last October.
As part of the deal, Airbus has agreed to take back in part exchange five Airbus A340-500 widebodies now operated by SIA in all-business class configuration.
SIA operates these aircraft on non-stop services linking Singapore with Los Angeles and Newark, the latter representing the world’s longest non-stop scheduled flight. SIA will hand the A340-500s back to Airbus in the fourth quarter of this year.
Singapore Airlines has placed three separate orders for the Airbus A380, making it the second-largest customer for the type, and now has 19 aircraft in service plus the five newly ordered A380s to be delivered.
In the mid-size category, SIA’s new Airbus A350 XWB order sees the airline double its backlog for the all-new aircraft to 40. The A350-900s will be used by the airline on both medium-haul and long-haul routes, according to Airbus.
Since 2006 the A380 has registered repeat orders every year from existing customers, bringing the total orderbook for the superjumbo to 262 aircraft from 20 customers. The A350 XWB has gathered firm orders for 582 aircraft from 34 customers.
Since first entering service with Singapore Airlines in 2007, the A380 has joined the fleets of nine major international carriers. Typically seating 525 passengers in three classes, the aircraft is capable of flying 8,500 nautical miles (15,700 kilometers) non-stop.
According to Airbus (and the operators themselves), the A380’s spacious, quiet cabin and smooth ride have made the superjumbo type a firm favorite with passengers, resulting in higher load factors wherever it flies.
The Airbus A350 XWB (Xtra Wide-Body) is a new, mid-size, long-range aircraft family which initially includes three models which seat from 270 to 350 passengers in typical three-class layouts.
According to Airbus, the A350 XWB family will bring a step change in efficiency compared with existing aircraft in this size category, using 25 per cent less fuel and providing an equivalent reduction in CO2 emissions. Entry into service is scheduled for 2014.