WOW: Singapore Airlines Reduces Fleet To Just 9 Planes

Singapore Airlines is down to operating just nine aircraft. The announcement came today as the nation banned transit passengers. Very few people are currently allowed into Singapore, apart from citizens and key workers.

Singapore Airlines A350
Singapore Airlines is currently only operating 9 aircraft. Photo: Getty Images

Last week was one of the worst ever seen by the aviation industry. Multiple carriers announced intentions to suspend operations completely. Those that haven’t completely suspended operations are down to a skeleton fleet. However, it looks as though this week could be even worse than last. As the industry continues to be crippled by the unprecedented coronacrisis, global restrictions are being ramped up.

Only nine aircraft flying

The huge drop in passenger demand globally has seriously hit Singapore Airlines. The airline has a fleet of 147 aircraft. However, 138 of these have now been grounded, meaning that only nine remain in service. At the time of writing, the airline was still operating some Airbus A380s on routes including to London and Auckland.

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The story is similar at the airline’s low-cost arm Scoot. This airline has a fleet comprised of 49 aircraft. Of these aircraft, just two planes, or 4% of the fleet, remain flying.

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Singapore Airlines A380 Aircraft
Singapore Airlines is still operating some Airbus A380s. Photo: Getty Images

Why such a drastic reduction?

As a result of the Singapore Government’s decision to ban transit passengers at Singapore Airport, the vast majority of Singapore Airlines’ remaining business has dried up. Now the airline can only serve a select group of passengers including citizens and key workers.

The government is taking a strong stance on the crisis. According to the Straits Times, 80 percent of new coronavirus cases over the past three days were imported into Singapore.

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Singapore Airlines has already been feeling the effect of the coronavirus pandemic for a couple of months. In fact, there were already concerns in the region when the Singapore Airshow was held in early February.

Qantas Singapore Airlines
Other airlines have grounded their A380s at this time. Photo: Getty

Not a complete grounding

Thus far Singapore Airlines has resisted completely grounding its fleet of aircraft. However, depending on how the situation plays out, this could be on the cards. There does come a point where it is more economical to pay to park aircraft than to keep them flying. Additionally, some are calling for airports to waive some fees at this difficult time for the industry.

Airlines that have been hit hard such as Singapore Airlines are trying to keep some key routes operational in order to repatriate stranded passengers. Even those that have grounded their entire fleet, such as Austrian Airlines, are keeping some aircraft operationally ready. This is so that should their use be needed, they are good to go.

Unfortunately, it seems as though the global situation is going to get worse before it gets better. Airlines halting operations are currently doing so for a period of around four weeks.

Have you been affected by Singapore Airlines grounding aircraft? What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments.

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Andrew Pollock

Two A350’s on the ground at EWR here this morning

Trudi compton

I flew to koh samui from London stopping at Singapore on the 17th March and I have a return ticket for the 30th March. I have heard nothing about my return flight and I have tried several times to call them but there is no answer…. Absolutely ridiculous and very, very stressful

Suzie Young

I’m stuck in New Zealand. Trying to get back to uk

Derek Snow

If anyone has heard any news, please get in touch. I HAVE to get to London from Auckland. d.snow at live.com.

Jeanette Weatheritt

We flew to Houston from Manchester. With the lock down in the USA we have been unable to get back. The foreign office is telling us to return to the UK. But how there is no flights.

Annemare Labuschagne

Stuck in Perth, couldn’t get through to the airline, no response to emails other than acknowledging my email. Only flight left now from Perth to Johannesburg at ridiculously inflated prices.

Louise

They abandoned us in Houston, we had to pay over £1000 to get back to Manchester via Newark with United Airlines, only offered to rebook after April! Errr not good enough, no reply to emails. I want at least a refund. You should have re routed us. Untied are part of the Star Alliance too!

Louise

They abandoned us in Houston, we had to pay over £1000 to get back to Manchester via Newark with United Airlines, only offered to rebook after April! Not good enough, no reply to emails. I want at least a refund. You should have re routed us. Untied are part of the Star Alliance too!

Louise Mitchell

They abandoned us in Houston, we had to pay over £1000 to get back to Manchester via Newark with United Airlines, only offered to rebook after April! Not good enough, no reply to emails. I want at least a refund. You should have re routed us. Untied are part of the Star Alliance too!

Mark Chadderton

BNE MAN yesterday.If wanting SQ flight suggest attend airport service desk for face to face. SQ staff very helpful.

Craig Overall

I am trapped in Tacloban City Philippines and have to say that I have tried to get home for some time now only to be blocked.5 foreign Embassies sent their citizens to catch the last connecting flight’s from Tacloban Airport but the Mormon missionaries Boss from Utah USA bribed Philippine Airlines and the Government and blocked us who are virus free from catching that flight.They blocked 5 foreign Embassies with their money and left us all stuck here with basically no help from the Australian Embassy for me ,shocking corrupted cordinationon on behalf of all. We will never forget what happened here. I still have tickets for Singapore Airlines and Philippine Airlines but can’t get through or home.Even Hello World travel has been messed around with information getting blocked or messed around.

John Wright

SQ278 TOOK OFF 45MINUTES AGO FROM ADL TO SIN

Martin Palmer

Stuck in Davao. Due to fly via Singapore to London 25th. Flights cancelled and nothing coming from Singapore Airlines. I am a pensioner and you would think they would offer some help

Martin Palmer

Stuck in Davao. Due to fly via Singapore on 25th March. I am a pensioner running out if the medication I need to take. Nothing coming from Singapore Airlines. You would think they would help

Mark Evans

Why are you people flying? You complain about being stranded or feeling abandoned. Its your fault!

Gary

When does this come into effect from? I checked flightradar24.com and set the filter to show Singapore airlines only. At 01:00 GMT there were 22 SQ aircraft in the air : the A380 A350 B777 were flying.

P Clegg

Yes we are stranded in Auckland as our flight was the first to be hit by transit rules.If Singapore is worried about infection many of UK travellers have not been in the UK since Feb so they should not be a problem.By the way a large group of French tourists left Auctland today???

Hein Vandenbergh

I guess we’re all universally affected, Tom, though the effect of any indivudual airline’s service reduction is hard to quantify. HOWEVER, as a related qyestion, looking at my FlightRadar, it appears that most aircraft flying right now are large freighters. Understandable. Surely, SinAir has kept its cargo fleet active? I know they have more than 9, so surely the SinAir group has, what, maybe 3 dozen a/c still active? Thanks for your clarification.

Hein Vandenbergh

I guess we’re all universally affected, Tom, though the effect of any indivudual airline’s service reduction is hard to quantify. HOWEVER, as a related question, looking at my FlightRadar, it appears that most aircraft flying right now are large freighters. Understandable. Surely, SinAir has kept its cargo fleet active? I know they have more than 9, so surely the SinAir group has, what, maybe 3 dozen a/c still active? Thanks for your clarification.

Stefan

I m stuck in Perth.
Need to go back to Germany.
2 rebooked flights have been cancelt.

Rahman Mohammed Eklashur

I am stuck at Bangladesh,, I have to go back Singapore 30 march 11.55pm. Is it the flight still active? I hark from Bangladesh news 21 march to 31 march all flight suspended. So, I want to know when is our next flight?? And please give me document if the flight cancelled. Thanks

Rahman Mohammed Eklashur

I am stuck at Bangladesh,, I have to go back Singapore 30 march 11.55pm. Is it the flight still active? I hark from Bangladesh news 21 march to 31 march all flight suspended. So, I want to know when is our next flight?? And please give me document if the flight cancelled. Thanks

Mark Evans

Why are you still travelling? You know the consequences so take responsibility and do not expect your government to assist you when created your own nightmare.

Stephen Lister

Stuck in Newzealand,with visa about to expire.Kept ringing Singapore Airlines, recored music for over a hour then call drops out, sent emails and completed their standard online form but no response.

Steve

Stuck in Newzealand,with visa about to expire.Kept ringing Singapore Airlines, recored music for over a hour then call drops out, sent emails and completed their standard online form but no response.

Dan

We were due to fly to Brazil and Argentina on April 5th. We canceled all flights and hotels bookings. All reservations were made in August 2019. All cancellations were made March 10th, when we realized that matters would go worst and worst.
We lost 1200 euros each only for the air tickets.
Bust at least, we are at home, safe and not stuck in a d***y place

Alan Hickman

Booked return flights to Perth Australia, with Singapore airlines,last August 2019, for flights on 10/01/20 return flights on 30/03/20,we where text to say the return flight from Perth had been rescheduled to the 29/03/20.only a week later informed that flight has been cancelled, tried several times to contact the airline, with no success, just cutoff. Sent the online form, twice, only respond was email acknowledgement.We don’t know what to do next to get home. They say that that want to get Singaporean students home from London, surly they’re not flying over empty planes to achieve this, when so many UK citizens need to go home.

Bjorn

Stranded in Australia and not able to get back to the Netherlands. Singapore doesn’t care about the well-being of others than Singaporeans. We have nothing here in Australia and, although the situation in our own country is worse than here in Australia, we just want to get home.

Bo Boe

Stranded in Australia and not able to get back to the Netherlands. Singapore doesn’t care about the well-being of others than Singaporeans. We have nothing here in Australia and, although the situation in our own country is worse than here in Australia, we just want to get home.

Scott Gordon

Am stuck in Taiwan, due to fly to South Africa 02/04,flight out has been cancelled, what now?

Ros

Not good service at all, tried telephone, online,filling forms, kris robot you name it, no answers. It’s really bad for Singapore airlines and i wish they would at least send e mails to people either cancelling, refunding or change people’s flights. So stressful with them, very disappointed

Rosaline A Beretta

Not good service at all, tried telephone, online,filling forms, kris robot you name it, no answers. It’s really bad for Singapore airlines and i wish they would at least send e mails to people either cancelling, refunding or change people’s flights. So stressful with them, very disappointed

Elaine Forbes

Have you any flights from Auckland to London Heathrow in the next two days