SINGAPORE AIRLINES (SIA) has given Airbus Industrie and Boeing until 31 May to submit tenders to meet its "Y-aircraft" requirement for a new regional-passenger jet airliner.

SIA has asked for pricing on a firm order for 16 aircraft, plus options for a further 17. The aircraft are needed from 1997 onwards as a partial replacement for the airline's fleet of Airbus A310s, used on short- and medium-haul routes within Asia (Flight International, 26 April-2 May, P9).

Airbus and Boeing, together with competing engine companies General Electric, Pratt & Whitney and Rolls-Royce, will submit proposals. Competition is expected to be intense, with one industry source predicting that it will be "the bloodiest battle yet."

The Airbus A330 and A340-200 models offered for the order will be in competition with the Boeing 777 "A"-market aircraft. Selection of either the A330 or 777 will involve an engine competition between the GE CF6-80 or GE90, R-R Trent 700 or 800 and P&W PW4168 or PW4084.

The "Y"-aircraft competition is the second major SIA aircraft contest in just over a year. The airline in June 1994 placed a $10 billion-plus order for 11 Boeing 747-400s and ten Airbus A340-300Es, with options for 20 A340s and 11 747s. The order can alternatively be converted to A330s and 777s.

SIA is expected to complete its airframe and engine selection by late August.

Source: Flight International