The move allows the group to cut spending and recalibrate the rate at which capacity is added in the future.
As the complete recovery of the global aviation industry is still some time away, perhaps it’s no surprise that the Singapore Airlines Group has reached agreements with both Airbus and Boeing to revise its aircraft delivery schedule. SIA has deferred more than S$4 billion (US$3 billion) of capital expenditure between the 2020/21 and 2022/23 financial years to a later period, and the delivery stream has now been spread out beyond the immediate five years stipulated in contracts with both aircraft manufacturers.
The company is also converting its existing order for 14 Boeing 787-10s into 11 additional Boeing 777-9 aircraft. With these recent changes accounted for, the updated SIA Group order book consists of 35 Airbus A320s, 15 Airbus A350-900, 31 Boeing 737-8s, 20 Boeing 787s, and 31 Boeing 777-9 aircraft.
Singapore Airlines Chief Executive Officer Goh Choon Phong said in a statement, “The agreements with Airbus and Boeing are a key plank of our strategy to navigate the disruptions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. They allow us to defer capital expenditure and recalibrate the rate at which we add capacity, aligning both with the projected recovery trajectory for international air travel.”
Meanwhile, Singapore’s government is now one month into its efforts to inoculate 37,000 frontline workers in the aviation and maritime sectors, and the exercise will be completed by the middle of March. Singapore Airlines, SilkAir, and Scoot all flew their first flights with a full complement of vaccinated pilots and cabin crew last week, though not all operating crew have received their jabs (that distinction has only been achieved by Gulf carrier Etihad). More than 90 percent of all pilots and cabin crew within the SIA Group have so far signed up for the vaccine, which Goh has said is “key to the reopening of borders and enhancing travel confidence.”
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