Singapore Airlines has taken yet another Airbus A380 out of long-term storage in Alice Springs. The jet was first flown to Sydney for maintenance on September 1st and more recently flew back to home base at Singapore Changi. This is the third aircraft to fly out of Alice Springs in 2021, giving us more hope that the superjumbo will be back in service soon.
Back home to Changi
The Singapore Airlines A380 registered 9V-SKY (MSN 253) left Alice Springs at 11:39 local time on September 1st, bound for initial maintenance at Sydney airport. Flying at 25,000 feet, the aircraft reached Sydney at approximately 15:41.
After spending the entirety of September 2nd in Sydney, 9V-SKY departed for Singapore Changi this morning, September 3rd, at 12:45 local time. At the time of this article’s publication, the aircraft is still en route to SIN, flying over Queensland and the waters of the Arafura Sea. The jet is due to arrive at its destination at 18:17 after flying for approximately seven and a half hours.
The third A380 removed from storage in 2021
Before 9V-SKY’s flight, we already had two superjumbos fly out of Alice Springs:
- 9V-SKQ was reactivated in late February 2021, first stopping in Sydney.
- 9V-SKW left Alice Springs on July 28th for Sydney before flying back to Singapore on July 30th.
This continued ‘repatriation’ of Singapore Airlines’ A380s is indeed quite promising, with the airline scheduling the type to fly sometime this fall.
Is a travel boom on the horizon?
Commenting on the movement in late July, a Singapore Airlines spokesperson said,
“This movement is part of the ongoing management of our fleet, ensuring we remain nimble, flexible, and prepared to deploy capacity to markets as the demand warrants. The aircraft’s return to Singapore will allow for scheduled maintenance to be conducted.”
Unfortunately, the airline’s official statement doesn’t exactly promise a return to service. However, its statement on fleet agility and flexibility makes sense considering the fact that Singapore is hoping to allow quarantine-free travel for the fully vaccinated in the very near future.
Reporting on a statement made by the Finance Minister in mid-August, Reuters notes that the country will establish travel corridors with other countries or regions where the virus is under control.
Up until recently, the country had been pushing for a COVID-zero strategy, working hard to essentially eradicate the virus from the small city-state (New Zealand has been the model country for this, even activating a lockdown after the detection of a single case). However, the quest for COVID-zero has had a devastating impact on the small country’s economy. With rising vaccination rates, it’s now pivoting and reconsidering how it might live with COVID.
Therefore, if borders open up to the fully vaccinated, 9V-SKY and other A380s belonging to Singapore Airlines may soon find themselves flying regular passengers on scheduled commercial flights.
Are you optimistic about Singapore Airlines’ A380s returning to service? Let us know in the comments!