* Says has looked at Sukhoi Superjet, but no firm order
(Adds detail, quotes, background)
STOCKHOLM, March 26 Icelandair (ICEAIR.IC) said
on Thursday it had no plans to cancel an order for four Boeing
(BA.N) 787 Dreamliners despite the slump in the airline industry
and the crisis that has engulfed Iceland's economy.
The list price for each Boeing 787-8 aircraft, part of a
future range of mid-sized lightweight jets, is $166 million.
"We are still excited about the programme," Sigthor
Einarsson, Icelandair Group deputy chief executive, told Reuters
in answer to a query about the order's status.
The U.S. planemaker and European rival Airbus EAD.PA have
seen new orders for planes slump this year, while airlines have
also cancelled orders placed before the global financial crisis.
Iceland's economy is expected to contract more than 10
percent this year after the collapse of its banking system and
its currency in the wake of the global credit crunch.
Einarsson said conditions were tough in the airline industry
and it was impossible to say when things would improve.
"That's the million dollar question," he said. "We expect
the next winter will be as hard at least as this winter."
He said that Icelandair Group, which operates hotels, ground
service for airlines and leasing solutions, generated only 20
percent of its revenues in Iceland.
Einarsson said Icelandair had already leased out the first
787-8 -- due to be delivered in 2010, but due to delays in the
programme, now expected to arrive late 2012 or early 2013.
"That takes care of the financing of that aircraft,"
Payments on the second aircraft are due to start in early
2011. "So we are not worried about that at all," he said.
Einarsson said the company had also looked at the Sukhhoi
Superjet 100, a regional jet being developed by Russian warplane
maker Sukhoi, with investment from Italy's Finmeccanica
SIFI.MI and Thales (TCFP.PA) and Safran (SAF.PA) of France,
but that Icelandair had not placed any firm order.