Singapore Airlines collects its sixth Airbus A350-900

Singapore Airlines is taking delivery of its sixth A350-900 on Oct 14, 2016 from the Airbus headquarters in Toulouse, France.
Singapore Airlines is taking delivery of its sixth A350-900 on Oct 14, 2016 from the Airbus headquarters in Toulouse, France. PHOTO: AIRBUS

TOULOUSE - Singapore Airlines (SIA) collected its sixth Airbus A350-900 from the European manufacturer on Friday (Oct 14).

The plane, which will be used for SIA's non-stop flights between Singapore and San Francisco from Oct 23, is also the 10,000th aircraft that Airbus has delivered.

At a ceremony held at the delivery centre in Toulouse, France, SIA chief executive Goh Choon Phong said Airbus aircraft have "contributed greatly" to Singapore Airlines' successes over the decades.

Airbus group chief executive Tom Enders described SIA as "a true partner" of Airbus.

The relationship between the two firms has spanned nearly four decades.

SIA placed its first order with Airbus in 1979 for the A300B4 and has since operated every model that has been produced - the A300, A310, A320, A330, A340, A350 and A380 families.

The airline's order of 67 A350s also makes it the second largest customer for the A350 planes, after Qatar Airways' order of 80.

SIA, however, will be the biggest operator of the A350-900 type, and is the first customer for the ultra-long-range version of the A350-900, which will allow even longer flights from Singapore to Los Angeles and New York in 2018.

The airline's first A350-900 was launched in March and is used for flights to Amsterdam, Johannesburg and Dusseldorf.

More destinations will be added as more aircraft is added to the fleet.

The relationship between SIA and Airbus goes beyond aircraft purchases and includes business partnerships as well.

Earlier this year, Airbus and SIA Engineering Company - an SIA subsidiary - signed an agreement to form a joint-venture heavy maintenance facility in Singapore.

Last year, SIA and Airbus jointly launched Airbus Asia Training Centre, providing pilot training on Airbus aircraft types in the Asia-Pacific region.