The Singapore Airlines order of 31 Boeing 737 MAX jets remains intact: CEO


Singapore Airlines CEO Goh Choon Phong told reporters and analysts on Friday that an order for 31 Boeing 737 Max jets remains "intact" despite the two fatal aircraft crashes in Ethiopia and Indonesia.

This will happen after SilkAir, a regional subsidiary of Singapore Airlines, has grounded six Boeing 737 Max jets in March.

However, Goh stated to CNBC's Sri Jegarajah that the grounding adds "some complications" to the planned merger between Singapore Airlines and SilkAir.

With the 737 Max jets – originally planned to be part of the restructuring program – on the ground, SilkAir will have to maintain the old NG 737 aircraft that would be transferred to Scoot, a low-cost carrier owned by Singapore Airlines, he explained.

This means that the airline will have to decide whether or not to carry out cabin upgrades on the old NG 737 aircraft, Goh said. This also has a "consequential impact" on Scoot, which will now have to "look at growth without the 737 NG", he added

"In both cases, we are examining the solutions and we believe we will have them," Goh told CNBC.

In March, an 837 Max 8 operated by Ethiopian Airlines crashed a few minutes after takeoff, killing all 157 people on board. The accident came less than five months after the same model aircraft operated by Indonesia Air Lion crashed shortly after taking off from Jakarta, killing all 189 on board.

On Thursday, the Singapore airline registered its highest annual turnover, driven by high passenger demand. However, higher fuel costs have taken away a large chunk of the airline's profits, which have almost halved to around $ 682.7 million.

-Reuters contributed to this report.



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