Some of Singapore Airlines’ Airbus A380s are on the move. Two of the superjumbos have now been moved out of long-term storage in the Australian desert and sent to their normal home at Singapore’s Changi International Airport. The airline wants to ensure it’s ready to deploy the birds once market conditions allow. Could this be happening soon?
Most of the A380 fleet out of the desert
According to data from Planespotters.net, many of Singapore Airlines’ 12 Airbus A380s are parked at their ‘typical’ home at Singapore Changi. The website actually notes that the airline has 19 A380s- but from November 2020 news we know that Singapore Airlines will only be keeping 12.
A few still remain in the desert at Asia-Pacific Aircraft Storage (APAS), located in Alice Springs, Australia. At this point, that number is six but maybe we’ll see that continue to go down further in the coming months.
The two most recent movements are as follows:
- 9V-SKQ: In late February 2021, this aircraft flew from APAS to Sydney for maintenance checks before joining the rest of the A380 fleet in Singapore.
- 9V-SKW: This aircraft left Alice Springs on July 28th for Sydney. The jet then made the journey back to Singapore on July 30th.
Commenting on the most recent movement, a Singapore Airlines spokesperson said,
“Singapore Airlines can confirm that one of its Airbus A380 aircraft, registration 9V-SKW, that was being stored in Alice Springs, was relocated to Sydney for maintenance checks before returning to Singapore. 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.”
An anonymous source familiar with the matter notes that more APAS-parked A380s are slated for ‘repatriation’ back to Singapore. This will happen slowly, although no timeframe has been provided. The source also adds that the airline has plans to resume flying the birds in September. This will, of course, depend on government travel restrictions and market conditions.
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Aircraft movements out of long-term storage alone wouldn’t normally guarantee reactivation. Indeed, if Singapore Airlines hadn’t offered us any confirmation, the flights could have been prepared for the scrap yard.
However, in addition to the insider news, the most exciting sign that Singapore Airlines will hang on to its A380s is the airline’s investment in new cabins for the superjumbos.
These retrofits will see six new first class suites product installed on the forward upper deck. Additionally, two of these suite pairs can be made into double beds. Downstairs in the main cabin, economy class passengers will get to enjoy Recaro CL3710 seats and the latest IFE system with an 11.1-inch screen.
September is fast approaching. The country of Singapore has managed to keep its new daily case count fairly low throughout much of the crisis. With vaccinations ongoing and a small third-wave on the decline, next month might indeed be a perfect time to get some of these superjumbos back in the air- something we will just have to wait and hope for.
Are you excited to see Singapore Airlines’ Airbus A380s back in the air again? Let us know your thoughts by leaving a comment.