Singapore Airlines (SIA) has agreed to place a $7.5 billion order with Airbus for another five A380s and 20 A350-900s, the carrier announced on Wednesday. Delivery schedules call for the first airplane to arrive in Singapore in 2017.
SIA now flies 19 A380-800 superjumbos and had already placed firm orders for 20 A350s, scheduled for delivery from 2015. As with the earlier A350 order, SIA has chosen the A350-900 variant for the 20 additional aircraft, all powered by Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engines. Trent 900 engines will power the additional A380s.
SIA plans to operate the aircraft on its long-range and regional services covering high-density and medium-capacity routes.
The latest A380 order from Singapore would become its third, bringing the total number of A380s ordered by SIA to 24. The airline, which served as the launch operator for the A380, operates the superjumbos to 10 destinations in Europe, the U.S. and the Asia-Pacific region from its Singapore base.
As part of the deal, Airbus has agreed to acquire the five A340-500s SIA plans to remove from service in the fourth quarter of next year. The move will result in the end of nonstop flights between Singapore and Los Angeles and between Singapore and Newark, given the absence of replacement aircraft in the SIA fleet with suitable range and operating economics.
“Although it is disappointing that we will be halting these services, we remain committed to the U.S. market,” said Singapore Airlines CEO Goh Choon Phong. “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 U.S. services.”
For SIA, the new commitments bring the number of aircraft on firm purchase or lease order with Airbus and Boeing to 68 new widebodies, including 15 additional A330-300s and eight more 777-300ERs ordered last year. The figures exclude 20 Boeing 787s on firm order that SIA now plans to transfer to low-cost subsidiary Scoot, as well as a recent order commitment for at least 54 Boeing 737s from regional arm Silk Air.