Singapore Airlines to retire
Airbus fleet early
Singapore Airlines is dropping its current fleet of Airbus planes sooner than planned, as the fear of flying due to Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome continues to take its toll on travel demand, according to The Straits Times.
The national carrier, whose fleet is made up mostly of Boeing airplanes, said in April it will phase out all of its 12 Airbus aircraft by June, five months earlier than originally announced.
It will replace them with Boeing airplanes and, in December, a super-long-range version of the Airbus A340, the paper said.
Singapore Airlines—which has cut seat capacity by 20 percent—has already stopped flying three A340-300s since April 15, an airline spokesman told The Straits Times. These planes were used on short- to medium-haul flights like Beijing. The airline recently halved flights there to seven a week.
SIA's remaining nine Airbus planes, which are the smaller A310-300s flying to regional destinations such as Kuala Lumpur, Bali and Penang, will cease flying by June. SIA's weekly flights to these three places have been cut by up to a third.
New Boeing 777 aircraft, seating 288, and the ultra-long-range Airbus A340-500 aircraft that the airline will use to fly non-stop flights to United States cities for the first time, will replace the Airbus A310s and A340-300s.
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