Singapore Airlines To Buy Boeing 777-300er
26 August 2004
Singapore Airlines To Buy Boeing 777-300er Aircraft
Singapore Airlines (SIA) has signed a letter of intent to purchase up to thirty-one (31) Boeing B777-300ER (Extended Range) aircraft.
Eighteen of the thirty-one aircraft are firm orders for delivery between 2006 and 2010, while the remaining thirteen are subject to exercise of purchase rights. At list prices, the order is worth approximately US$7.35 billion, including the cost of spares and spare engines.
General Electric GE90-115B engines will power the twin-engine aircraft.
The order reinforces SIA’s standing as the biggest customer for the Boeing 777. SIA presently flies fifty-five B777s, and has another four B777s on firm order. With this latest order, the number of B777s in the SIA fleet will eventually reach seventy-seven units.
The B777-300ER, seating about 350 passengers and with a range of 7,000 nm, will be deployed on SIA’s long-haul and medium-haul routes. The new order will allow SIA to achieve capacity growth of between 4 and 6% a year. At the same time, it will maintain SIA’s fleet as one of the industry’s youngest, as the B747-400 is progressively retired.
The B777-300ER was chosen for its higher operating efficiency, commonality with existing fleet, and cabin spaciousness.
SIA Chief Executive Officer, Mr Chew Choon Seng, said the evaluation process was comprehensive, and the competition between Boeing and Airbus for the order was very keen.
“With its use of new generation avionics
and materials, and its higher operating efficiency, the
B777-300ER will deliver lower operating costs. It should
integrate well with our existing fleet,
which already includes fifty-five aircraft from the B777 family. Our choice recognises the popular appeal among travellers of the B777 aircraft,” Mr Chew said.
As with previous orders, SIA expects to finance the purchase largely from internally generated cash flow, but if attractive, the Airline will consider other options like leasing or debt financing.
SIA had also sought proposals from manufacturers for suitable aircraft to operate on its regional routes. The manufacturers offered the Airbus A330-200 and the new Boeing 7E7 for evaluation. SIA has decided not to place any order for the regional aircraft because the proposals submitted did not meet SIA’s financial criteria. The airline will continue to use the B777-200 to serve the regional routes.
SIA currently operates 89 wide-bodied aircraft comprising 29 B747s, 55 B777s and five A340-500s, with firm orders for an additional four B777s and 10 A380s. SIA will be the launch customer for the A380 in 2006.
The average age of the passenger fleet is just five years.