SIngapore Airlines to Phase Out Four Airbus A380s

By Gaurav Raghuvanshi Features Dow Jones Newswires

Singapore Airlines Ltd. (C6L.SG) will surrender the lease on four of its oldest Airbus A380 superjumbo jets, confirming that the first airline to operate the biggest passenger jets doesn't want to keep the earliest delivered planes of the model on its fleet.

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Singapore Airlines, however, will take delivery of three A380 jets by March 2018 as it seeks to operate a young fleet of planes that require less maintenance. The flag carrier also said it will take delivery of 10 Airbus A350 planes during its current fiscal year that runs through March 2018.

The decision to phase out the oldest A380 jets was expected. The planes are on lease and will be 10-years old by the time they leave Singapore Airlines' fleet. The jets will test the second-hand market for the plane, which can seat 540 passengers in a typical cabin layout and over 700 passengers in an all-economy configuration.

Airlines have struggled to find dense-enough routes to fly the A380s, though the double-deck jets are extremely popular with passengers. Malaysia Airlines, another A380 operator, has decided to reconfigure its planes into all-economy class and place them in a new airline that would seek to tap the Muslim religious tourism market.

Singapore Airlines also said it will spend 29.3 billion Singapore dollars (US$21 billion) to buy new planes over the next five years. That includes S$5.3 billion in the current fiscal year that started April 1.

-- Write to Gaurav Raghuvanshi at Gaurav.Raghuvanshi@wsj.com

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(END) Dow Jones Newswires

May 18, 2017 20:39 ET (00:39 GMT)