Singapore Airlines orders $4 Billion worth of B777-200s

Singapore Airlines (SIA) today announced an order for 20 Boeing 777-200 aircraft, 10 on firm order and 10 on option. The gross price of US$4 billion, applicable at time of delivery, includes the cost of aircraft spares and spare engines.

These aircraft will replace SIA’s existing fleet of A310-300 aircraft and cater to growth. SIA previously ordered 61 B777s in November 1995 as part of a 77-plane order that included 16 aircraft for its leasing associate, Singapore Aircraft Leasing Enterprise (SALE). With this latest order, the number of B777s in operation, on firm order and on option will total 81.

The 20 aircraft in this latest order will be powered by Rolls-Royce Trent 892 engines and will be delivered between 2003 and 2009. They will be used mainly on regional routes, but will also be suitable for longer routes if required.

Said SIA Deputy Chairman and CEO Cheong Choong Kong: ‘In terms of capacity, the B777 is a larger aircraft than the A310 and therefore not a direct replacement in terms of size, but it offers us the flexibility to use the aircraft on both the shorter-haul services currently operated by the A310, as well as on the longer sectors. We are already operating 18 B777s in our fleet and can therefore take advantage of economies of scale in terms of spares and maintenance costs.’

As with previous orders, SIA expects to finance the purchase largely from its cash flow, but if necessary, the Airline will consider borrowing or leasing.

SIA has already begun phasing out its A310-300 fleet, with 13 remaining in operation. The last A310 will be retired from the operating fleet in 2006. At present, SIA operates 91 aircraft, comprising Boeing 777-200s and -300s, 747-400s, Airbus A340-300s and A310-300s.