Singapore Aircraft Leasing Rejects Airbus Offer for A380 Jets
Singapore, March 1 (Bloomberg) -- Singapore Aircraft Leasing Enterprise, part owned by Singapore Airlines Ltd., said it decided not to buy four Airbus Industrie A380 superjumbos estimated at $900 million.
Singapore Aircraft Leasing had been in talks with Airbus for sometime, hoping to use orders by Singapore Airlines and a partner carrier to cut the price of the proposed plane. The company declined to comment on why it opted not to buy the jets.
``We turned down the offer,'' said Robert Martin, managing director of Singapore Aircraft Leasing. ``I don't know who bought the four but it wasn't us.''
The decision is a blow to Airbus, which is trying to win its second order from an aircraft leasing company for the 550-seat jetliner to widen its customer base. The A380 will be the world's largest airliner when it begins commercial service in 2006, eclipsing Boeing Co.'s 747.
Singapore Airlines last year ordered 10 A380s to be delivered from 2006, with an option to buy 15 more. The package, with engines and spares, is valued at $8.6 billion. Singapore Airlines' 49 percent-owned unit, Virgin Atlantic Airways, also ordered six A380s with an option for six more, at a price tag of $3.8 billion including engines and spares.
Airbus said this week it had a separate order for an additional four aircraft from a customer it declined to identify, counting the purchase as a certainty in its overall A380 order tally of 66.
International Lease Finance Corp., among the biggest customers for both Boeing and Airbus, said last year it planned to buy five superjumbos from Airbus.
Airbus is 80 percent owned by the European Aeronautic, Defense and Space Co. It completes detailed negotiations on the financing of all the A380s before they are considered firm orders.
Boeing is planning a ``stretched'' version of its 747. It has yet to win any orders for the plane, which would add about 100 seats to the 747's usual layout of 416.
Singapore Airlines shares traded at S$14.60 by the midday break, down 1.3 percent of the day. European Aeronautic shares yesterday fell 0.11 euro (10 cents) to 22.5 euros, while Boeing shares fell $1.50 to $62.20.
Feb/28/2001 23:59 ET
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