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Singapore Airlines delay deliveries

SINGAPORE, Sep 3 – Recession-hit Singapore Airlines (SIA) said on Thursday it had agreed with Airbus to defer the delivery of eight A380 superjumbo jetliners by six to 12 months.

The airline, which posted its first quarterly loss in six years during the June quarter, already has nine A380s in operation with two more due for delivery in the current financial year.

"The revised schedule will see the 12th aircraft delivered in October 2010 rather than April 2010, while the 19th aircraft will be delivered in January 2012 rather than January 2011," the airline said in a statement.

SIA said in July it lost 307.1 million Singapore dollars (213.26 million US) in the April to June period, its first quarterly loss since the outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) in 2003.

The airline earned a net profit of 358.6 million dollars in the same quarter last year.

Revenue declined 30 percent to 2.87 billion dollars, and the airline warned it expects to report a loss for the full year if the current downturn continues.

The global airline industry has been hit hard by the economic downturn as companies cut back on business travel and families defer holiday plans.

SIA particularly relies on premium travellers for its margins.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) said Tuesday that more than 50 global airlines lost 2.021 billion US dollars in the second quarter, bringing industry losses for the first half to more than 6.0 billion US dollars.

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But while European and Asian-Pacific carriers were worse off than a year ago, North American airlines managed to trim their losses while Latin American and Middle Eastern carriers reported a rise, IATA said.

IATA had earlier forecast losses for the full year would reach about 9.0 billion US dollars.

Sixteen Asian-Pacific carriers posted losses of 1.29 billion US dollars during the second quarter, compared with losses of 958 million US dollars a year ago.

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