Singapore Airlines will order five additional Airbus A380s and 20 more A350s in a deal valued at USD$7.5 billion at list prices."This major order will provide us with additional growth opportunities and is consistent with our longstanding policy of maintaining a young and modern fleet," SIA's chief executive, Goh Choon Phong, said in a statement on Wednesday.The order also reflected the Singapore flag carrier's confidence in the strength of the market for premium full-service travel, he added.IATA said last week that the number of passengers flying in first and business class rose 8.5 percent in August from a year ago.SIA is facing increased competition from Middle Eastern carriers such as Emirates on longer routes at a time when passengers in the West have become more cost-conscious.The Singapore carrier has frozen cadet-pilot recruitment and cut flying hours for junior pilots, the Straits Times newspaper reported earlier this week.SIA operates 19 A380-800 superjumbos and already has firm orders in place for 20 A350s. Deliveries of the new Airbus planes are due to begin in 2017.Hints of the SIA-Airbus deal emerged on Tuesday when French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault, who has just returned from a business trip to Singapore and the Philippines, told Airbus workers their company had signed an order for 15 aircraft and taken options for the A350 and possibly the A380.SIA said that as part of its deal with Airbus, the European aircraft maker will buy back five A340-500s, which will be withdrawn from service in the fourth quarter of 2013.The withdrawal of the A340-500s will result in the end of non-stop flights between Singapore and Los Angeles and between Singapore and Newark. The Newark service, which connects Singapore to New York in 19 hours, is an all business-class flight and one of the world's longest scheduled services.Rolls-Royce has won a USD$2.6 billion order from SIA for Trent engines to power the 25 Airbus aircraft.Rolls said the order was for Trent XWB engines to power the Airbus A350-900s and Trent 900 engines for the A380s.The order includes a long-term service support package, Rolls said.In a separate statement on Wednesday, SIA's long-haul low-cost unit Scoot said it agreed to acquire 20 Boeing 787 aircraft for delivery starting in 2014. The 787s were originally ordered by SIA, Scoot said.The 787s will replace Scoot's Boeing 777-200 fleet and help its ongoing expansion, the low-cost carrier said. Source: Reuters
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