Singapore ordered 34+43 B777s with Trent engines

From:         Andrew Chuang <chuanga@iia2.org>
Date:         14 Nov 95 14:46:19 
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Singapore Airlines (SIA) announced today (Nov 14th) its order of 77
B777-200Bs (way to many sevens, :-), of which 34 are firm orders and
43 are options.  If all the options are converted, the order will
worth up to US $12.7 billion.  Also, SIA has selected Rolls-Royce
Trent engines to power the new B777.  This order has significantly
increased Rolls' B777 market share from a dismal 17% to a respectable
30% (P&W now has 43% and GE 27%).  This is a big blow to P&W since SIA
is currently the largest PW4000 customer, and it's a big surprise that
SIA did not select the PW4084.  This is also a big vote of confidence
for Rolls-Royce.  With SIA's frequent fleet renewal, SIA needs to have
aircraft that are re-marketable.  In the past, Rolls-powered B747 are not
highly re-marketable.

For years, SIA has used big aircraft orders for publicity.  I wonder why
SIA did not order 35, one more than the United order, so that it could have
claimed to be the largest B777 order.  Boeing must have made a very sweet
deal to convince SIA to increase its original intent of ordering only 17
aircraft plus 16 options.  I believe many of the order will later be
converted to the -300 and -100X.  I'll not be surprised that SIA may
eventually reduce its A340 orders and use the -100X instead.  SIA has
never been shy in dumping a fleet.  In the past 15 years, it has dumped
the DC-10-30, A300B4, B727, and the B757, all at relatively early age
(some less than three, four years old).  In October, SIA became the
largest B747-400 operator; now it seems that it wants to be the largest
B777 operator.

Personally, I really think Airbus mis-sized the A330 that's why it's not
selling well.  (Actually, when I first learned about the B777, I thought
it was a bit too big, and I still think it's too big for SIA to replace
its A310s.)  Airbus has practically lost the three-year advantage the
A330/A340 has over the B777.  Now, Boeing has almost the same number of
B777 orders as Airbus has the A330/340 orders.  I'm a skeptic of using
a twin over the Pacific Ocean, nevertheless, I'm really impressed by the
marketing of the B777.  Airbus did make a small coup.  Gulf Air, which
has cancelled its B777 order earlier this year, ordered the A330
yesterday.

>From what I remember, this is the third time in the past two years that
Airbus had prematurely announced its lead in major orders which Airbus
eventually failed to secure.  The three are Saudia, ValuJet, and the SIA
one.

One last note: I'm glad the order came thru, because I've predicted SIA's
B777 order in e-mail to several people.  When Airbus announced its
intention to launch the A330M10 last week, I thought my prediction was in
jeopardy.  My next prediction: Malaysia is going to order the B777, too.
No doubt the B777 is going to rule in Asia.  Boeing would love too see the
B777 to do well in the U.S. as it does in Asia.  Boeing and Airbus will
fiercely compete for the American and Delta orders.

--
  H Andrew Chuang   chuanga@iia2.org