Tigerair buys Airbus orders 37 A320s with option for 13 more

SINGAPORE: Singapore budget carrier Tigerair will buy 37 Airbus A320neo planes valued at US$3.8bil, enabling the airline to cut fuel costs and fly to new, more distant destinations.

Tigerair, which is 40% owned by Singapore Airlines, said in a statement yesterday it also has the option to buy up to 13 additional aircraft and to convert the A320neo planes to the bigger A321neo model.

Delivery of the fuel-efficient planes will start from 2018 through to 2025, the airline said in a statement.

As part of the deal, Tigerair’s existing order for nine A320s, which were part of a bigger 2007 order, will be cancelled. The planes were to have been delivered this year and in 2015.

The statement said the planes will be powered by Pratt & Whitney’s PW1100G-JM engines.

The carrier said the A320neo, which will replace the A320ceo, has a longer flight range “which will enable Tigerair to fly to new and promising destinations“.

It also said the combination of the Pratt & Whitney engines and the large “sharklet” wing-tips would deliver 15% greater fuel efficiency compared with the current generation of the A320ceo.

“This translates into an estimated S$40mil in savings annually, based on the current fleet’s fuel expenditure,” Tigerair said.

The new orders come after the airline reported a net loss of S$118.5mil (US$93mil) for the three months ended December 2013, owing to tough competition in Asia’s budget carrier sector.

“We have re-calibrated our strategy and taken the necessary steps to reposition Tigerair for a brighter future,” said Tigerair Group chief executive Koay Peng Yen.

“This deal effectively dissipates some concerns over a potential capacity overhang in the next couple of years. It also allows us to continue building on our leadership position in budget travel at a measured pace.”

The carrier said that although the deal is valued at US$3.8bil based on catalogue prices, the negotiated price “was significantly lower“. — AFP


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