SINGAPORE AIRLINES (SIA) has changed the requirements for its "Y-aircraft" competition and increased the number of aircraft required, to cover a wider range of weight and size options.

Rival airframe and engine manufacturers have all resubmitted their tenders to meet SIA's new requirement for a larger family of aircraft. Selection is not expected to be completed, until towards the end of November.

Bids were first submitted in late May, with a decision expected by early October on an order for up to 16 aircraft, plus 17 options. Competing for the deal are Boeing, with its 777, and Airbus, offering its A330/340. Engine manufacturers competing are General Electric, with its GE90 and CF6-80; CFM International; Pratt & Whitney, with the PW4168/4084; and Rolls-Royce, offering its Trent 700/800.

The competition was intended originally to find a partial replacement for SIA's Airbus A310, which is used on higher-density regional routes. The selection has now been enlarged to include the airline's requirement for a 200- to 250-seat aircraft and a larger-capacity regional jet

SIA is keen to keep the number of different airframe and engine types to a minimum, by ordering one basic aircraft type in large numbers.

Airbus and Boeing, in response, are proposing families of different A330/340 and 777 variants to SIA. Derivative aircraft under consideration include Boeing's "stretch" 400- to 550-seat 777-30O and Airbus' proposed "shrunk" A300-M10. In the past, SIA has also expressed interest in the planned ultra-long-range Boeing 777-100X and Airbus A340-8000.

Source: Flight International