March 26, 2009 / 4:19 PM / 11 years ago

UPDATE 1-Icelandair says no plans to cancel Boeing orders

* Says has looked at Sukhoi Superjet, but no firm order

(Adds detail, quotes, background)

STOCKHOLM, March 26 (Reuters) - 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,” Einarsson said.

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.

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