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Australians travelling to Singapore on Singapore Airlines or connecting through the Southeast Asian hub will see the airline's latest Airbus A330 aircraft when they arrive in 2013.
Singapore Airlines -- the Asian airline partner for Virgin Australia -- is planning to replace the Boeing 777 aircraft it currently uses with the slightly smaller A330s, according to the airline.
Fifteen of the popular A330 planes -- also operated by Qantas, Virgin Australia, Jetstar and many other airlines -- are on their way from the Airbus factory, and will be delivered between 2013 and 2015.
That'll mean newer seats, better in-flight entertainment, but fewer passengers on the planes overall. It's interesting to note, in contrast, that the Virgin Australia-Singapore Airlines filing with the ACCC competition regulator mentions larger aircraft and more flights.
Of course, Singapore Airlines' A380 superjumbo will still be seen on the Melbourne and Sydney runs. But Adelaide, Brisbane and Perth -- as well as some of the Melbourne and Sydney flights -- can look forward to new planes.
But these won't be the new fleet for Singapore's new long-haul low-cost subsidiary, which will be created before the end of this year to challenge Jetstar and AirAsia X.
However, new planes for the main SIA fleet do make it more likely that the Boeing 777s that the A330s replace will be moved on to the new airline over the next couple of years. So these 777s could form a second wave of expansion for the new -- as yet unnamed -- 'SIA-lite'.