Singapore Airlines is to retire a further seven Airbus A380 aircraft this quarter. The airline became the first carrier to retire the giant of the skies, with its first five retirements taking place between 2017 and 2018. This will leave Singapore Airlines with 12 Airbus A380s.
The Airbus A380 is the largest passenger aircraft currently in the skies. However, the large capacity has always been its downfall. This excessive capacity has made the giant of the skies even more problematic for airlines as they struggle to fill their aircraft amid the COVID crisis. Tied in with this is the lower fuel efficiency of powering four large engines.
Seven more A380s to be retired
Singapore Airlines is set to retire a further seven Airbus A380 aircraft from its fleet. The airline took delivery of a total of 24 A380s from Airbus. It was notable in that it was the launch customer of the aircraft back in 2007. The airline retired its first A380 in June 2017, according to Planespotters.net.
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It was always intended that these first A380s wouldn’t stay in the fleet for long. However, until now, further retirements had not been on the cards. Yet, Singapore Airlines hasn’t been flying the type since traffic around the world ground to a halt in the first quarter of the year.
However, it’s not only the Airbus A380 that is surplus in Singapore Airlines’ fleet due to the current situation. In its latest quarterly results, the airline revealed that it has an excess of 26 aircraft. This is comprised of:
- Seven Airbus A380s
- Four Boeing 777-200/200ERs
- Four Boeing 777-300s
- Nine Airbus A320s
- Two Airbus A319s
The airline recorded an impairment of $1.3 billion on the carrying values of these older aircraft.
What is happening to Singapore’s retired A380s?
So far, Singapore Airlines had retired five Airbus A380s. While four of these were turned into scrap, the fifth one got a second lease of life when Hi Fly took it for wet lease operations. Earlier this week, Hi Fly revealed that it would be retiring the only A380 that it is operating. This is also likely the only A380 that will ever be converted for use as a cargo aircraft, albeit in a makeshift configuration.
TARMAC Aerosave in Tarbes has already scrapped at least two of the airline’s Airbus A380s. It had even been possible to buy parts of these aircraft at the time. Recently Emirates flew its first retired Airbus A380 to the Tarbes facility, while Etihad flew an A380 to the French aircraft graveyard yesterday, although this was possibly for storage. Some retired Air France A380s were also sent to the facility.
It was not immediately clear which Singapore Airlines A380s would be retired. However, seven have been in deep storage at Australia’s Alice Springs. These could be obvious candidates.
Do you think Singapore Airlines is right to be parting with more Airbus A380s? Let us know what you think and why in the comments!