Singapore Airlines is ordering five more Airbus A380s and another 20 Airbus A350 XWBs for additional capacity growth and fleet renewal.
The firm orders are valued at $7.5 billion based on Airbus’ published list prices. Deliveries are due to begin in 2017.
SIA’s latest A380 order will be the third to be placed by the airline and its A350 XWB order the second. Singapore Airlines currently operates 19 Airbus A380 superjumbos and already had firm orders in place for 20 A350s, for delivery from 2015.
As with its earlier Airbus A350 XWB order, Singapore Airlines has selected the A350-900 variant for the 20 additional aircraft. Like every other A350 XWB ordered to date, all of SIA’s A350-900s will be powered by Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engines.
Rolls-Royce Trent 900 engines will power Singapore Airlines’ additional A380s.
“This major order will provide us with additional growth opportunities and is consistent with our longstanding policy of maintaining a young and modern fleet,” says Goh Choon Phong, Singapore Airlines’ CEO. “It demonstrates our commitment to the Singapore hub, and our confidence in the strength of the market for premium full-service travel.”
Adds Goh: “The aircraft will enable us to further enhance our network, providing more travel options to our customers. They will also feature the next generation of in-flight cabin products to keep us at the forefront of airline product innovation.”
SIA’s A380s now serve 10 destinations: Frankfurt, Hong Kong, London, Los Angeles, Melbourne, New York, Paris, Sydney, Tokyo and Zurich. They have carried more than 9 million passengers since entering service on October 25, 2007. (Singapore Airlines was the first airline to take delivery of an Airbus A380 and the first to put one into service.)
The A350-900s are intended for use on medium and long-haul routes.
As part of the deal, Airbus has agreed to acquire SIA’s five Airbus A340-500 widebodies, which will be removed from service in the fourth quarter of the 2013 calendar year, in line with the airline’s policy to maintain a young fleet.
This will result in the cessation of SIA’s non-stop flights between Singapore and Los Angeles and between Singapore and Newark (the longest non-stop service in the world), in the absence of replacement aircraft in the SIA fleet with sufficient range and operating economics.
“Although disappointing that we will be halting these services, we remain very committed to the US market,” says Goh. “Over the past two years we have increased capacity to both Los Angeles and New York by deploying A380 superjumbos on flights via Tokyo and Frankfurt. We will also continue to explore additional options to enhance our US services.”
With the new commitments announced on October 24, SIA will have firm purchase or lease orders in place with Airbus and Boeing for 68 new widebody aircraft, including 15 additional Airbus A330-300s and eight additional Boeing 777-300ERs ordered last year.
This excludes a firm order for 20 Boeing 787-8 widebodies, which will be transferred to new low-cost subsidiary Scoot to support its growth plans, and regional arm SilkAir’s recent order commitment for at least 54 Boeing 737 MAX 8 and 737-800 single-aisle aircraft.
Since first entering service with Singapore Airlines in 2007, the A380 has joined the fleets of nine major airlines. Typically seating 525 passengers in three classes, the aircraft is capable of flying 8,500 nautical miles or 15,700 kilometers non-stop. The spacious, quiet cabin and smooth ride have made the A380 a favorite with passengers, resulting in higher load factors wherever it flies.
To date, Airbus has recorded firm orders for 257 A380s from 20 customers.
The A350 XWB (Xtra Wide-Body) is a new mid-size, long-range aircraft family which includes three versions and seating between 270 and 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.
Scheduled for entry into service in 2014, the A350 XWB has already won firm orders for 558 aircraft from 34 customers worldwide.