Singapore Airlines has placed an order to continue renewing its fleet. The Singapore Airlines Boeing order is worth some $14 billion at list prices. This will likely be much more than what the airline will pay, as they tend to get discounts. The airline placed an order for 39 aircraft. Of these, 20 are 777-9Xs and 19 are 787-10s. The 787-10 orders are on top of the 30 that the airline already had purchased beforehand.
Boeing over Airbus
I was very surprised that Singapore Airlines chose Boeing over Airbus. They have had a good experience with their A350s, and I was expecting them to place an order half for Airbus and half for Boeing. The 777-9X is the best selling variant of the newest version of the 777 family. The aircraft already has over 250 orders, without the SQ order. The airliner is poised to become Boeing’s largest production model, unless the plane maker launches the stretched version 777-10X. Airbus has not planned a competitor to the 777-9X’s payload, leaving the Boeing plane the only twin-engine member in that market segment.
Death of the A380?
This order could be one of the last blows in the coffin of the A380 program. The world’s largest airliner is plagued with sluggish orders. Besides Emirates, no airline has committed to the aircraft in a large scale. The double-decker plane was accused of underperforming economically. Then again, it is very difficult to turn a profit on such a large aircraft. The A380 is currently at a crossroads. Emirates placed a large order for 777-9s, which could easily replace the A380s on most routes. They may not be as glamorous, but they will probably be more economical.
If no major changes happen in the A380 program, we can expect it to fold in the next five years. The life of the program is almost exclusively in the hands of Emirates. If they do not place an order for a re-engined version, we can almost certainly say goodbye to the A380.
Singapore Airlines has some of the best flight products in the world, in all four classes they offer. I am sad to see this as a blow to the A380 program, as I do not see it surviving much into the future. With the Gulf Big Three not doing as well economically, they may have spelled the end of the A380. I am excited to see if SQ adds first class suites on the 777-9s. I also want to see how they will update their current suites, as they have changed little since they were introduced.
What do you think? Should SQ place first class suites on the 777-9? Do you think the A380s days are numbered? Should Airbus come out with a plane to compete with the 777-9? Let us know!
All Images from Wikimedia Commons.