Singapore Airlines orders Boeing 777-9 plus more 787-10s

By David Flynn, February 9 2017
Singapore Airlines orders Boeing 777-9 plus more 787-10s

Singapore Airlines is turning to Boeing to shape its long-range fleet for the next decade, with a US$13.8 billion (A$18bn) order for both the Boeing 777-9 and 787-10 Dreamliner jets.

The Singaporean flag-carrier has inked a deal for 20 of the next-gen Boeing 777-9, due for delivery from the 2021-2022 financial year, alongside 19 of the passenger-packing Boeing 787-10, for which it is already the global launch customer on the back of a 30-strong order due from 2018-2019.

Singapore Airlines also has a tranche of all-new Airbus A380s slated for October 2017, which will see the debut of all-new first class suites and business class seats, along with the ultra-long range Airbus A350-900ULR which will restart direct flights to New York and Los Angeles from 2018.

Star Alliance sibling Lufthansa is another customer for the Boeing 777-9 but has opted not to install first class on the aircraft, instead plumping for an enlarged business class cabin with a new generation of seats.

Qantas has also flagged the Boeing 777-9 as a likely replacement for the Airbus A380 as the airline reshapes its international network around long-range direct flights to cities such as New York and London.


David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

06 Sep 2012

Total posts 229

Good to see SQ order the aircraft and give confidence to the B777 program. Wonder why they chose this aircraft over the A350-1000? 

SQ probably wanted the additional capacity. The A350-1000 is around 365 pax, the 777-9 is about 400 pax. 

That said, I would've wagered on the A350-1000 myself. Perhaps SQ will order -1000s as well to serve routes that don't need the 777-9s capacity but do need more than the A350-900s?

09 May 2015

Total posts 33

They are getting with the "America First" program and giving the EU the middle-finger

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

26 May 2014

Total posts 470

Except for the 60 or so A350s and 5 A380s on order!  

31 Mar 2016

Total posts 622

@Jedinak K:

"Wonder why they chose this aircraft over the A350-1000?"
Superficially and for now, it does give the appearance that SQ has chosen the 779 over the 35K...@ least per layman/generic  assumptions.  However, if we look deeper into their current fleet & order book and understand the typical fleet planning practices in this industry, we know both hv been chosen in practice by SQ...unofficially.  In fact, some may even argue that in a low profile way, SQ already betted on 35K earlier than they did on 779.  Here are the reasons:
1.  SQ fleet has a long standing practice to dump each airframe after 12-15yrs of service maximum.
2.  At the top of the SQ longhaul fleet foodchain today, there're only 2 types: 380 & 77W.....all other types in fleet hv far lower payload and/or range.  The oldest frame of each of these 2 types today is nearly 10yrs old.
3.  For the 380, fleet size will very likely remain @ 19 frames(I firmly believe the upcoming 5 frames still on order are purely to replace their oldest 380 x5) until complete type retirement.  For the 77W, there're 27 frames.  Within about 10-12yrs(2029), most or all of these 46 frames will be gone fm SQ fleet.
4.  Assuming SQ won't order more 380/77W to replace their existing 380s/77Ws(All recent signs indicated these Airbus/Boeing programs are winding-down anyway), the only comparable nex-gen types in the mkt for the top of the SQ fleet  foodchain are 779 & 35K.
5.  Does anyone seriously believe 779 x20 alone confirmed by SQ last wk can replace the total seat capacity loss fm 380+77W x46?  Not a chance in hell even if SQ longhaul is planning to cut its op size by half for the nex decade.  In general, replacement for this part of the SQ fleet is roughly 26 frames short.
6.  Go down the SQ fleet foodchain further today to the lower portion in terms of payload/range, we see:
333 x26(Almost all on leases with terms of 8yrs or less), 772 x11, 772ER x12, 773 x6...all up 55 frames which will be gone even sooner than the 380/77W.
7.  The 359 & 78J ordered by SQ yrs ago are precisely designed to replace the lower part of SQ fleet foodchain and here are their firm backlogs not yet delivered to SQ today:
359 x57, 78J x49(including those ordered last wk)...all up 106 frames confirmed incoming.
8.  Why take delivery of 106 new frames to replace 55 old frames?  Of course, some are for pure growth @ SQ & Scoot, not for replacement @ the bottom part of SQ fleet.  But realistically, the quantity destined for pure growth won't be anywhere near 51 frames.  Some of these 51 must be for other purposes.
9.  Per normal industry practice, both the 359 and 78J contracts held by SQ contain rights for SQ to easily convert part of the order into another variant of the 350/787 families with relatively short notice.
10.  Unlike the 78J, 359 is NOT the largest variant of its family.

I expect SQ to convert 359 x26 already on firm order into 35K x26 within a few yrs.  Both 779 AND 35K will be @ the top of the SQ longhaul fleet foodchain in the nex decade.

On the other hand, SQ's most bitter enemy CX also has 35K x26 on firm order(Plus 779 x21).....coincidence?

Air New Zealand - Airpoints

21 Jan 2016

Total posts 197

I am curious about the comment ".. alongside 19 of the extended range Boeing 787-10" or is the comment referring to the A350-900ULR which SQ has 7 on order?.

I haven't seen any media release to-date about Boeing producing a B787-10ER to-date.

24 Oct 2010

Total posts 2551

That wasn't in direct reference to an 'ER' version and we've edited the text to clear that up, thanks Krisdude.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

15 Aug 2012

Total posts 171

This is inteteresting as the story here in some respect is if this signals another nail in the A380 coffin?

It certainly appears the new 777 could be the A380 killer just like the original 777 ended the A340.

Time will tell.


19 Apr 2012

Total posts 1425

The issue with the 789 for QANTAS is if they can get the 787-10 for a roughly equivalent (2005) price as the 789. It is the perfect replacement for the A333s from 2022. Very similar capacity and a similar range but for a much lower operating cost. I am sure there is some haggling happening on this to have 787-10s in the 45 aircraft mix.

31 Mar 2016

Total posts 622


" if they can get the 787-10 for a roughly equivalent (2005) price as the 789."
Per normal industry practice in this kinda bulk buy deals(i.e. multiple dozens of firm order+options for a specific family like QF Group and SQ Group re 787), customers usually pay roughly the diff in current list prices between 2 variants on top of the contract price for the originally selected variant.

So if QF got 789 @ US$ X price on their contract back in 2005 and when they decide to convert some 789 to 78J, they'll most likely pay Boeing about US$ 41m(Diff in current list price 789 vs 78J) for each 78J in addition to US$ X for each remaining 789 option still held by QF.

"...the perfect replacement for the A333s..."
Pretty sure some would argue that the 339 is equally <perfect> as 333 replacement particularly from the acquisition price   perspective.

"Very similar capacity.."
333 has practically the same usable cabin floor area(i.e. potential seat capacity in similar density) as the 789 and in fact identical to the 339.  In contrast, 78J is @ least 10% larger than the 333/'s even a bit larger than the 359(e.g. fuselage about 60in shorter /18 fewer Y seats than 78J).  If QF select 78J to replace 333, logically, it will also imply QF plan to upgauge on  current 333 routes/missions...basically the game plan taken by SQ re 333 replacement.

"..and a similar range"
Yes per manufacturer nominal /brochure specs.  In real live op mission planning and in similar cabin density, we can expect 78J able to carry equal payload a bit further than 339 and significantly further than 333(i.e. range NOT similar to 78J @ equal mission payload).  In practical QF mission terms, a 333 will hv load restriction issue @ full pax on SYD-PEK while a 78J won''s essentially a larger 333 with nearly 332 range performance.

"..but for a much lower operating cost."
About 25-30% lower fuel burn per seat than 333...if we believe Boeing mkting/PR.  Anyway, that magnitude is like the total fuel requirement of every three 333 flights being enough for four 78J flights.


19 Apr 2012

Total posts 1425

Thanks FLX for the detail. It will come down to haggling that $40m. The lager size may suit as a lot of the higher capacity routes in Asia are to slot constrained airports that currently use 744s, Having something a little bigger that the 789 might be useful. It may also be able to make Brisbane LA which would suit the ongoing New York sector. It all comes down to the extra capital required with the smallish cost advantage over the 789.

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