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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 18 June 2018

Singapore Airlines to finalise $13.8bn Boeing order 

The carrier said it would confirm its order for 39 aircraft this week

Singapore Airlines planes sit on the tarmac in Singapore's Changi Airport. Edgar Su / Reuters
Singapore Airlines planes sit on the tarmac in Singapore's Changi Airport. Edgar Su / Reuters

Singapore Airlines said on Friday it will finalise an order for 39 Boeing aircraft worth $13.8 billion at list prices when Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong visits Washington DC next week.

The airline said in February it would order 20 777-9 and 19 787-10 wide-bodies as part of plans to modernise its fleet over the next decade, but the deal is yet to be finalised and placed in Boeing’s order book as a Singapore Airlines order.

The deal was viewed as a major blow to Airbus as it battles against Boeing in the wide-body market. Airbus has lagged Boeing in net orders in the first nine months of the year, with 271 at the end of September versus 498 for its US rival.

Mr Loong told CNBC television on Thursday that he hoped an agreement would be signed with Boeing to buy more aircraft for Singapore Airlines during his US visit from Sunday to Thursday next week.

More details about the order would be revealed after the signing ceremony in Washington, a Singapore Airlines spokesman said.

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Boeing in June booked orders for 20 777Xs and 19 787-10 aircraft for an unidentified customer or customers, making it possible the Singapore Airlines aircraft are already counted in this year’s net orders. Boeing declined to comment.

Singapore Airlines is investing in modern, fuel efficient aircraft while at the same time undertaking a strategic review designed to help cut costs amid growing competition from Chinese and Middle Eastern rivals.

While the Boeing order is worth $13.8bn at list prices, airlines typically get discounts on jet orders. Jefferies in February estimated the deal’s value at closer to $6.5bn, or about a tenth of the US plane maker’s annual volume.

Singapore Airlines is the launch customer for the 787-10, a stretch version of the Dreamliner, having made 30 firm orders in addition to the 19 announced in February. Boeing completed final assembly of the airline’s first 787-10 earlier this month ahead of delivery in the first half of 2018