Singapore Airlines will buy as many as 39 Boeing aircraft in a deal valued at $19.5 billion (US$13.8 billion). The delivery of the new aircraft will start from 2020. The biggest aircraft order from the Asian bellwether since 2013 underscores the industry's positive outlook although fuel prices have started edging up.
"Today's major order for wide-body aircraft enables us to continue operating a modern and fuel-efficient fleet, providing the SIA Group with additional expansion opportunities to ensure that we retain our industry-leading position," SIA chief executive Goh Choon Phong said, according to the Straits Times.
Goh said the purchase will fuel SIA's plans to expand its Singapore hub. The new aircraft buy will also help the ongoing fleet modernisation. Analysts have said SIA is in the process of replacing ageing fleet, especially the A330s and A380s.
Earlier this week SIA said net profit in the third quarter plunged 35.6 percent to $177.2 million due largely to a $79 million write-down in Tigerair. The airline said operating profit rose a marginal 1.7 percent on the back of growth from cargo and mail volumes even as fuel expenses edged down
"2017 is expected to be another challenging year amid tepid global economic conditions and geopolitical concerns, alongside other market headwinds such as overcapacity and aggressive pricing by competitors. Loads and yields for both the passenger and cargo businesses are projected to remain under pressure," SIA said in a statement released to the media.
Singapore Airlines is due to take delivery of five Airbus A380-800s and 57 A350-900s but the new orders is a win for the American aircraft maker.