Many people are talking about how SQ
has over ordered and this is a PR
move by SQ
to make it sound like Airbus wants to cancel the order. But it isn't. Airbus needs the 2017 slots desperately to secure a contract. As for why SQ
is doing the deal instead of other airlines, you simply have to take a look at the airlines that have 2017 production slots. The number shrinks dramatically. QR
needs the aircraft to expand, while other airlines needs it to replace their fuel guzzling A340, B747 or old B772. (AY
comes to mind). That leaves SQ
pretty much one of very few options for Airbus. Airbus knows SQ
needs the A350 to replace their old B772 and A330 (which is still very new and in excellent condition). The A330 are leased on excellent rates as compensation from Airbus due to A380 delays.
, sensing that Airbus is desperate in concluding the contract, managed to get compensation for release of production slots while extending the A330 leases, and brought forward some of its latter A350 deliveries forward (from open slots due to EK
's cancellation) to replace the A330 that has been extended now. As for the cancellation of 7 orders instead of deferring it, don't forget that SQ
still has options for 20, and they most probably won't utilise all the options if they didn't cancel the 7 planes. The net order impact will be negligible.
However, Airbus is not at the losing end. This arrangement would most probably be a precursor for the extra long range aircraft that SQ
's CEO is talking about over the past few months.