Aviation Singapore Airlines goes big with Boeing

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Photo of Geoffrey Thomas

As it celebrates half a century of flying to Perth, the airline has innovative new planes on the way.

Singapore Airlines, celebrating its 50th year of service to Perth, has ordered 39 more aircraft from Boeing, including the new 777-9 which promises a quantum leap in economics and versatility.

The order for 20 777-9s and 19 more 787-10s will maintain the airline’s leading role as an innovator of new technology aircraft.

While the Boeing 777-9 carries the 777 moniker, it is an all-new design.

It sports a new carbon fibre wing, new engines, wider internal fuselage and incorporates all the passenger-pleasing features of the 787 including larger windows.

The Boeing 777-9 will burn about 20 per cent less fuel than the 777-300ER that it will replace.

The 777-9 will carry more than 400 passengers, is a true Boeing 747 jumbo replacement, and will open new routes for airlines.

And with a range of more than 15,000km it will have the lowest operating cost per seat of any aircraft.

Singapore Airlines will probably also buy 777-8 aircraft touted by Boeing as the most flexible jet in the world.

That model will seat 350 passengers with a range of more than 17,220km.

Emirates president Tim Clark was the driving — and demanding — force behind the 777-9 and 777-8, which were originally codenamed 777X. He describes the aircraft as “an absolute peach”.

“Every (long haul) airline will want to buy this plane,” Mr Clark told The West Australian when it was launched in late 2015.

“This (777X) will be poetry in motion . . . it will have enormous versatility.”

The 777X should enter service in 2020. And the secret to the plane’s extraordinary economy is the General Electric GE9X — the largest engine ever built by diameter. It will be 3.35m wide and produce 160,000hp.

Singapore Airlines also has outstanding orders for five Airbus A380-800s and 57 A350-900s.

Over the past 50 years, SIA has grown from twice weekly flights to Perth and Sydney to operating 127 weekly flights from six Australian cities.

The airline now has 28 weekly flights to Perth.

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