Earlier this week, we saw a Singapore Airlines A380 depart storage in Alice Springs. Having undergone standard return to service work in Sydney, the aircraft has now returned to its Singapore home.
The global A380 fleet is at a crossroads. At one point, all but five A380s belonging to China Southern were grounded, with some wondering if they would ever come back. While carriers such as Air France and Lufthansa don’t appear to want the type back, others like British Airways and Singapore Airlines have shown their commitment to the type by continuing to spend money on upkeep.
A Singapore A380 flies home
9V-SKQ is one of the 12 remaining Singapore Airlines Airbus A380s. The aircraft had been sent to Alice Springs in Australia for long-term storage, given it is not expected to return to the skies soon. However, it has now left its sunny storage for the time being.
Stay informed: Sign up for our daily aviation news digest.
On Monday, Simple Flying reported that the behemoth had departed Alice Springs. However, rather than flying north to Singapore, it instead flew southeast to Sydney. Here the aircraft underwent the kind of maintenance an aircraft being returned from long-term storage would need.
After just two days on the ground in Qantas’ home, the maintenance was done. Yesterday at 17:17, the A380 took to the skies from Sydney, according to RadarBox.com. It flew for seven hours and 41 minutes before landing at its Singapore home at 21:59 as SQ8899.
Commenting on the A380’s flight, a Singapore Airlines spokesperson told Simple Flying,
“Singapore Airlines can confirm that one of our Airbus A380 aircraft that was stored in Alice Springs has begun its planned returned to Singapore ahead of a schedule retro-fitting and maintenance programme.
“The aircraft, registration 9V-SKQ, has been moved to Sydney to undergo routine checks following its storage, before returning to Singapore where it will be retro-fitted as part of our plan to have all 12 remaining A380 in our fleet fitted with the latest A380 cabin product.”
Good news for the A380 fleet
The refurbishments are great news for the A380 fleet. While we don’t know when Singapore Airlines will return the type to service, we know it intends to. After all, it would be crazy to spend money on an aircraft that you had no intention to return to the skies.
Similar flight patterns suggest the same for British Airways’ A380s fleet. Also comprising 12 aircraft, the airline has continued to fly the giants to and from storage regularly for maintenance. This shows the airline has some intention to return the aircraft to service sooner rather than later. Otherwise, it would make sense to place the aircraft into deep storage until needed again in the future.
What do you make of Singapore Airlines’ Airbus A380 flight back home? Let us know what you think and why in the comments!