La novità è odierna ed ufficiale: i voli di ultra lungo raggio operati da Singapore Airlines tra la capitale del sud-est asiatico con le città di Los Angeles e New York hanno un futuro a tempo limitato, perchè ben presto la compagnia procederà alla loro soppressione.
A comunicarlo è proprio Singapore Airlines in un comunicato ufficiale, nel quale – nel contempo – annuncia un nuovo maxi ordine di aeromobili alla europeissima Airbus.
Il nuovo ordine prevede 5 ulteriori Airbus A380 e ben 20 A350 quali aumento della flotta stessa e rinnovamento della stessa, per una commessa di 7,5 miliardi di dollari. Le consegne saranno a partire dal 2017.
In questo affare, rientra anche la riconsegna dei 5 Airbus A340-500 con cui la compagnia operava i collegamenti non-stop da e per Los Angeles e New York Newark.
Conseguentemente con la soppressione di detti collegamenti, i voli commerciali più lunghi effettuati diverranno rispettivamente il Sydney – Dallas DFW (7454nm) della australiana Qantas e il Johannesburg – Atlanta (7334nm) della Delta.
Singapore Airlines has agreed to order five more Airbus A380s and another 20 A350s for additional capacity growth and fleet renewal.The firm order commitments are valued at US$7.5 billion based on Airbus’ published list prices. Deliveries are due to begin in 2017.
SIA currently operates 19 A380-800 superjumbos and already had firm orders in place for 20 A350s, for delivery from 2015. As with the earlier A350 order, the A350-900 variant has been selected for the 20 additional aircraft, all powered by Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engines. Trent 900 engines will power the additional A380s.
“This major order will provide us with additional growth opportunities and is consistent with our longstanding policy of maintaining a young and modern fleet. It demonstrates our commitment to the Singapore hub, and our confidence in the strength of the market for premium full-service travel,” said SIA CEO Mr Goh Choon Phong.
“The aircraft will enable us to further enhance our network, providing more travel options to our customers. They will also feature the next generation of in-flight cabin products to keep us at the forefront of airline product innovation.”
SIA’s A380s now serve 10 destinations, namely Frankfurt, Hong Kong, London, Los Angeles, Melbourne, New York, Paris, Sydney, Tokyo and Zurich, and they have carried more than 9 million passengers since entering service on 25 October 2007. The A350s are intended for use on medium and long-haul routes.
As part of the deal, Airbus has agreed to acquire SIA’s five A340-500s, which will be removed from service in the fourth quarter of the 2013 calendar year, in line with the Airline’s policy to maintain a young fleet. This will result in the cessation of non-stop flights between Singapore and Los Angeles and between Singapore and Newark, in the absence of replacement aircraft in the SIA fleet with sufficient range and operating economics.
“Although disappointing that we will be halting these services, we remain very committed to the US market. Over the past two years we have increased capacity to both Los Angeles and New York by deploying A380 superjumbos on flights via Tokyo and Frankfurt. We will also continue to explore additional options to enhance our US services,” added Mr Goh.
With the new commitments announced today, SIA will have firm purchase or lease orders in place with Airbus and Boeing for 68 new widebody aircraft, including 15 additional A330-300s and eight additional B777-300ERs ordered last year. This excludes 20 B787s on firm order that will be transferred to low-cost subsidiary Scoot to support its growth plans, as well as regional arm SilkAir’s recent order commitments for at least 54 B737 aircraft.