By Nicholas Ionides in Singapore
Airbus will be watching the results of a Singapore Airlines (SIA) board meeting carefully this week, hoping the carrier will again delay ordering new twinjets and instead await more details of the radically revised A350 offering.
Industry sources say Airbus chief executive Gustav Humbert and chief operating officer customers John Leahy made a secret visit to Singapore late in April in a bid to have SIA hold off from placing an expected order for Boeing 787s at a 9 May board meeting.
The sources say it is believed the two Airbus executives gave the carrier’s top managers an initial briefing on what changes are planned to the aircraft as well as a timeframe for when full details will be available.
SIA has been considering a major order for either 787s or A350s for nearly a year and repeatedly pushed back a decision, in part because of the many changes that have been made to the A350.
SIA chief executive Chew Choon Seng recently said that Airbus should offer an all-new design rather than an aircraft based on the existing A330 fuselage.
SIA could still decide on orders for more more A380s or the Boeing 747-8 at this week’s board meeting.