The Return Of Singapore Airlines’ Airbus A380

Today is a big day for Singapore Airlines and its Airbus A380 fleet. The carrier will reintroduce the type on long-haul flights to London Heathrow tonight, having been refamiliarizing crew with the superjumbo on shorter sectors for two weeks. Today also saw Singapore Airlines bring another example of the double-decker quadjet out of storage in Australia.

The airline initially reintroduced the A380 on shorter flights. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying

A key month for increased A380 use

The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has significantly impacted Airbus A380 operations worldwide for nearly two years. The reduced demand brought on by the global health crisis has largely seen the superjumbo’s extra capacity deemed surplus to requirements.

However, with the world of commercial aviation now beginning to make a steady recovery as restrictions ease, airlines are increasing their use of the quadjet once more. As Simple Flying reported last month, November has been a busy time as far as the A380 is concerned. Indeed, it has seen British Airways and Singapore Airlines return the type to service.

For two weeks, Singapore Airlines has been deploying the Airbus A380 on hour-long familiarization flights to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Data from shows that aircraft such as 9V-SKM, 9V-SKU, and 9V-SKV have been operating these sectors since November 4th. However, tonight will see the airline reintroduce the type to long-haul work.

Airbus A380, Singapore Airlines, First Flight
It has been more than 14 years since Singapore Airlines launched the A380. Photo: Getty Images

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Back to what it knows best

Passengers on the Singapore-Kuala Lumpur route have surely been enjoying the A380’s presence. However, Airbus built the superjumbo to operate longer flights. Tonight will see Singapore Airlines return the A380 to what it knows best: high-capacity long-haul services.

Operating as part of Singapore’s Vaccine Travel Lane scheme, the first destination for the reintroduced A380 will be London Heathrow (LHR). Data from shows that the superjumbo will depart Singapore’s Changi (SIN) tonight at 23:45 local time as SQ322.

At the time of writing, the exact registration of the first Singapore Airlines A380 to operate a long-haul flight in this new era was unknown. In any case, it will touch down in London at 05:55 tomorrow morning, after a flight time of 14 hours and 10 minutes.

Singapore Airlines Map
It took around seven and a half hours for the stored A380 to return to Singapore. Image:

Singapore Airlines had previously operated this flight with the Boeing 777. The return leg, SQ317, will leave London at 10:55 tomorrow, arriving back in Singapore at 07:50 on Saturday. Traveling eastward, the flight is somewhat shorter, at 12 hours and 50 minutes.

Another example leaves storage

In addition to reintroducing the A380 on flights to London, Singapore has also brought another example out of storage this week. According to Australian Aviation, 9V-SKT had been sitting dormant in Alice Springs, Australia, between April 2020 and now.

The aircraft flew from Alice Springs to Sydney on Tuesday, before continuing to Singapore this afternoon. Taking seven hours and 36 minutes, it left Sydney at 12:28 local time, and touched down in Singapore at 17:04. Interestingly enough, Sydney will be the next long-haul destination for the carrier’s A380s, with superjumbo services restarting in December.

Are you happy to see Singapore Airlines operating the Airbus A380 on certain long-haul flights once again? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!