SIA's move to phase out 777-200ERs gathers pace

Singapore
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Singapore Airlines (SIA) has finalised a deal with Russian carrier Transaero for the sale of four Boeing 777-200ERs and other carriers such as Royal Brunei Airlines and Portugal's EuroAtlantic Airways are also speaking to SIA about acquiring 777s.

"We have now finalised an agreement with Transaero covering the sale of four 777-200s, manufacturing serial numbers 28998, 28999, 28514 and 28523," says a SIA spokesman.

Flightglobal's ACAS database says these are all -200ERs and three were built in 1998 while 28523 was built in 1999.

These aircraft are all in a two-class configuration, the spokesman adds.

Transaero announced late last month it would be getting 14 ex-SIA 777s but the SIA spokesman says "at that point [last month] it was a letter-of-intent" only whereas now the deal has been finalised.

SIA's spokesman declines to comment on whether Royal Brunei and EuroAtlantic Airways will be getting ex-SIA 777s as well.

But a Royal Brunei spokeswoman says the carrier does plan to add 777s in June and is working to finalise a deal in the coming days.

"It is no secret that the party we are speaking to is SIA," says the spokeswoman. Royal Brunei's CEO, Robert Yang, is SIA's former VP for eastern USA and South America.

Royal Brunei's online booking engine shows that it plans to replace its Boeing 767s on the Bandar Seri Begawan-London Heathrow route starting 24 June but the service will continue to have a stop-over in Dubai.

Its non-stop Bandar Seri Begawan-Brisbane service will switch from 767s to 777s effective 25 June, it says.

National carrier Biman Bangladesh Airlines, meanwhile, has added an ex-SIA 777-200ER and this aircraft is leased from Portugal's EuroAtlantic Airways.

"We have one [ex-SIA 777-200ER] in the fleet with another 777-200ER in the process," says the spokesman, adding that the second aircraft will also be an ex-SIA aircraft on lease from EuroAtlantic.

He says the carrier is also talking to EuroAtlantic about adding a third and fourth 777-200ER.