Singapore Airlines to Address Boeing 777-9 Delays with -300ERs

Singapore Airlines plans to use its Boeing 777-9 as a partial replacement for the A380.



November 15, 2022

DALLAS — Singapore Airlines (SQ) has stated that it will depend on the Boeing 777-330ER to accommodate delays in the Boeing 777-9 program.

The airline has no plans to reinstate extra Airbus A380s into its fleet while it waits for the Boeing 777-9 delivery. While the carrier was supposed to receive the first of thirty-one examples of the aircraft in 2023, due to delays, Singapore is set to accept the first 777-9 in 2025.

Singapore Airlines plans to use its Boeing 777-9 as a partial replacement for the A380, which currently operates twelve examples. According to Singapore officials, they are confident that Boeing will be able to meet its revised timetable for 2025.

In January 2020, the Boeing 777-9 made its maiden flight, but orders for the aircraft started in 2011 when Emirates ordered six Boeing 777-9s. Then, in 2013, Lufthansa (LH) placed a firm order for twenty Boeing 777-9, with an option for an additional 14 aircraft.

Seven airlines have ordered the aircraft: ANA All Nippon Airways (NH), Cathay Pacific (CX), Emirates (EK), Etihad Airways (EY), LH, Qatar Airways (QR), and SQ.

Due to the delays on the aircraft, carriers such as Lufthansa have ordered additional Boeing 787 Dreamliners. In May, the German flag carrier ordered an additional seven Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners due to the delayed Boeing 777-9.

Image: Boeing

Singapore Airlines Fleet

Singapore Airlines has stated that during the 2020s, it will maintain its fleet of 12 Airbus A380-800s. The Changi-based carrier currently has eleven of the aircraft type in service and six in storage. The carrier currently operates eighteen Boeing 777-300ERs and has eight in storage. 

Because of the Boeing 777-9 delay, Singapore Airlines is using the opportunity to revisit designs for its new first and business class, premium economy, and economy cabins. The airline to see if there is room for improvement based on new technologies and emerging trends. 

Singapore is not interested in the Airbus A321XLR as it believes its fleet of sixty-one Airbus A350-900s will better serve its long-haul destinations. On the narrowbody side, Singapore has a fleet of ten Boeing 737-8s, with an additional six set to join the fleet by March 2023.

The cabin of the Boeing 737 MAX features ten lie-flat beds in business class and one hundred and forty-four seats in economy. Also, in February, at the Singapore Airshow, the carrier ordered seven Airbus A350F.

Image: Boeing

Comments from Singapore Officials

During the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines’ 66th Assembly of Presidents in Bangkok, the CEO of Singapore Airlines, Mr. Goh, said, “From my understanding from Boeing – and you really should ask Boeing these questions – they have built in a buffer even with the 2025 delivery. Now, whether they use those buffers, I really don’t know…and you can rest assured that we are constantly in touch.”

In response to the question by FlightGlobal, if any A380s would enter the fleet because of the Boeing 777-9 delays, Mr. Goh stated, “No, because we have the flexibility of keeping our 777-300ERs."

The CEO added, "That is actually part of the flexibility that is built into the fleet plan…it is unfortunate that the 777-9 is delayed because I’m very proud of the product we have already designed for the aircraft.”

Featured image: Boeing