Singapore Airlines releases seven A350 jet orders back to Airbus

SINGAPORE, July 30 (Reuters) - Singapore Airlines has agreed to a request from Airbus to release seven of its A350-900 widebody jet orders back to the aircraft manufacturer, the carrier said in a statement.

This reduces the airline’s A350s on order to 63, it said, in a series of adjustments to orders and deliveries to meet the immediate needs of the airline and the plane maker. Its purchase options for 20 of the wide-body A350-900s remain unchanged, the airline said.

The carrier also brought forward the deliveries of some of the other A350-900s it has on order and can extend the leases on some A330-300s it has in service, to meet its fleet renewal and growth plans, SIA said.

The airline also has orders for Boeing 777-300ERs and 787-10s, as well as Airbus A380 superjumbos.

On Wednesday, the SIA Group reported a first-quarter net profit of S$91.2 million ($66.6 million) for the three months to end-June, up from S$34.8 million a year before. Revenues were up slightly at S$3.73 billion versus S$3.68 billion.

Operating profit at the flagship full-service carrier increased to S$108 million from S$45 million, largely due to lower fuel costs and revenues from the sale of the seven production slots.

SIA’s long-haul low-cost subsidiary Scoot lost S$20 million during the quarter, down from a loss of S$25 million a year before, and its cargo business remained in the red.

Looking ahead, SIA said that passenger and air cargo yields would remain under pressure in the July-September quarter due to a competitive environment and over-capacity. (Editing by Edmund Klamann)