Airbus secures $2.7 billion Singapore Air order for A380

Mumbai: Beleaguered European aircraft maker Airbus SAS has secured a $2.7-billion contract from Singapore Airlines Ltd. for nine A380s. The order is the first new order in a year for the 555-seat airliner, which is battling cancellations and deferrals on the model.

This is part of a series of orders Singapore Airlines placed with Airbus. The airlines also reached a "satisfactory agreement" on compensating delivery delays for an earlier order for 10 A380s, its chief executive officer Chew Choon Seng said.

The contract, initially signed in July, includes options for another six of the plane. Singapore Airlines will also lease 19 A330-300s, a 335-seater from Airbus. SilkAir, the carrier's regional outfit, also placed a $1.3-billion order for 11 Airbus A320s with a likely addition of nine more. SilkAir will take delivery of its A320s between 2009 and 2012.

"The acquisition of these new planes will allow us to meet growth opportunities while maintaining a young, modern fleet of aircraft,'' SilkAir chief executive officer Mike Barclay said in a statement.
Airbus has been going through a lean period with low order book position has trailed American aircraft maker Boeing Co. in securing plane orders this year. This has been attributed partly to difficulties with installing 480 km (300 mile) of wiring in each A380 that delayed the project by as long as two years.

The A380 received European and US regulatory approvals for flight on December 12, making the double-decker passenger airliner. Singapore Airlines will receive its first A380 in October 2007.

Singapore Airlines is Asia's most profitable carrier and an industry leader for purchase of new planes.