Singapore Airlines to finalize $13.8bn Boeing order next week

Singapore Airlines is the launch customer for the 787-10, a stretch version of the Dreamliner. (Reuters)
Updated 20 October 2017
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Singapore Airlines to finalize $13.8bn Boeing order next week

SINGAPORE: Singapore Airlines said on Friday it will finalize an order for 39 Boeing aircraft worth $13.8 billion at list prices when Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong visits Washington DC next week.
The airline said in February it would order 20 777-9 and 19 787-10 widebodies as part of plans to modernize its fleet over the next decade, but the deal is yet to be finalized and placed in Boeing’s order book as a Singapore Airlines order.
The deal was viewed as a major blow to Airbus as it battles against Boeing in the widebody market. Airbus has lagged Boeing in net orders in the first nine months of the year, with 271 at the end of September versus 498 for its US rival.
Lee told CNBC television on Thursday that he hoped an agreement would be signed with Boeing to buy more aircraft for Singapore Airlines during his US visit from Oct. 22 to 26.
More details about the order would be revealed after the signing ceremony in Washington, a Singapore Airlines spokesman said.
The airline in February said it had also acquired options to order six more aircraft of each type.
Boeing in June booked orders for 20 777Xs and 19 787-10 aircraft for an unidentified customer or customers, making it possible the Singapore Airlines aircraft are already counted in this year’s net orders. Boeing declined to comment.
Singapore Airlines is investing in modern, fuel efficient aircraft while at the same time undertaking a strategic review designed to help cut costs amid growing competition from Chinese and Middle Eastern rivals.
While the Boeing order is worth $13.8 billion at list prices, airlines typically get discounts on jet orders. Jefferies in February estimated the deal’s value at closer to $6.5 billion, or about a tenth of the US plane maker’s annual volume.
Singapore Airlines is the launch customer for the 787-10, a stretch version of the Dreamliner, having made 30 firm orders in addition to the 19 announced in February. Boeing completed final assembly of the airline’s first 787-10 earlier this month ahead of delivery in the first half of 2018.


Cyprus, Egypt sign accord for Mediterranean gas pipeline

Updated 19 September 2018
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Cyprus, Egypt sign accord for Mediterranean gas pipeline

NICOSIA: Cyprus and Egypt on Wednesday signed an agreement paving the way for the Mediterranean’s first subsea pipeline to carry Cypriot natural gas to the Arab country for re-export to Europe.
“Today’s signing is an important milestone, not only for Cyprus but also the entire eastern Mediterranean region,” said Energy Minister George Lakkotrypis after he signed alongside visiting Egyptian Oil Minister Tarek el-Molla.
He said the agreement, “the first of its kind in our shared region,” was crucial for channelling gas from the island’s “Aphrodite” offshore field to Egypt and to attract multi-billion-dollar infrastructure investments.
A joint committee would be set up in 30 days to oversee the project.
Texas-based Noble Energy in 2011 made the first discovery off Cyprus in the Aphrodite block estimated to contain 4.5 trillion cubic feet (130 billion cubic feet) of gas but it has yet to be extracted.
The Aphrodite consortium, which also includes Israel’s Delek and Royal Dutch Shell, seeks to renegotiate terms before it taps the gas.
It is currently in talks with the Cypriot government over a bigger share of profits to make the project viable.
The discovery of nearby Egypt’s huge Zohr offshore reservoir in 2015 has stoked interest that Cypriot waters could hold the same riches.
Wednesday’s agreement is backed by the European Union in its search to diversify energy sources.
“We are essentially talking about a European pipeline, intended to transport Cypriot natural gas to Egypt for re-export to Europe in the form of liquified natural gas (LNG),” said Lakkotrypis.
The pace of construction of the pipeline to deliver gas to Egypt would depend on commercial agreements with investors.
Cyprus aims for natural gas to start flowing to Egypt’s LNG facilities in 2022, thus generating its first revenue from natural gas.
The island has also issued exploration licenses to ENI of Italy, the US firm ExxonMobil and France’s Total.