SINGAPORE AIRLINES (SIA) and its Indian joint-venture partner Tata Industries have told airframe and engine manufactures to resubmit tenders for a 150-seat aircraft order.

The contract is for up to 16 aircraft to equip a proposed start-up domestic airline. A decision had been expected by the end of March.

Indian sources say, however, that the submitted tender packages proved too diverse for a selection to be made. The requirements have been refined and the six bidders told to resubmit their proposals by mid-April.

Aircraft in the competition include the Boeing 737-300/400, the Airbus A320 and the McDonnell Douglas (MDC) MD80/90. Proposed engines are the CFM56 (for the 737 and A320), the International Aero Engines V2500 (for the A320 and MD-90) and the Pratt and Whitney JT8D-200, (for the MD-80).

New considerations include an Indian offset-package proposed by MDC chief executive Harry Stonecipher. This would include the manufacture of parts for the MD-80/90 and MD-11. Another is India's decision to temper runaway growth in the country's domestic-airline industry.

New Delhi sources suggest that approval might now initially cover a smaller batch of aircraft introduced over a longer period.

Source: Flight International