Singapore Suite Availability Suggests Delayed Airbus A380 Return

Singapore Airlines has removed the availability of its first class and A380 suite cabins for the next year. The move suggests that the giant of the skies may not return any time soon, although it looks positive that the aircraft will eventually make a return to service.

Singapore Airlines, Airbus A380, Return
Singapore Airlines has indicated that its Airbus A380s may not be back in the skies for some time yet. Photo: Getty Images

The Airbus A380 has felt the full force of the COVID-19 pandemic. Indeed, except for China Southern’s five aircraft, the entire global fleet was grounded at the height of the pandemic. While some airlines are retiring the giant, others have indicated that it will return. The only question now is when?

Mixed news for Singapore’s Airbus A380s

While it seems fairly certain that 12 Singapore Airlines Airbus A380s will return to service, when they will do so is less clear. However, the latest news suggests that the airline doesn’t see the aircraft returning this year.

Stay informed: Sign up for our daily and weekly aviation news digests!

As noted by One Mile At A Time, Singapore Airlines has now stopped selling suite seats on the Airbus A380 until late February 2022. The same has happened to the airline’s first class suites on the Boeing 777. Of course, this doesn’t necessarily directly mean that the A380 won’t return until this date. However, it suggests that there is a reasonable chance that it won’t.

Singapore Airlines, Airbus A380, Refurbishment
The airline is not selling its A380 suites for the next year. Photo: Singapore Airlines

OMAAT points out that the airline is currently using the A350 and 787 on routes that would usually feature the 777 and A380. These don’t have first class or suites. By not selling these seats, the airline won’t have to accommodate passengers if they don’t operate the relevant aircraft by this date. However, they always have the option of re-adding such availability later should they decide to use the aircraft.

What’s the latest with Singapore Airlines’ Airbus A380s?

Recently we’ve seen a flurry of good news when it comes to the Singapore Airlines A380. While Lufthansa appears to be scrapping the type, Singapore Airlines remains committed to the type.

However, it’s one thing to say you’re committed and another actually to show you are. After all, British Airways initially only sent its Boeing 747s to storage temporarily, even though they’ll now never come back.

Singapore Airlines, Airbus A380, Refurbishment
The airline is continuing to invest in improving its Airbus A380 product. Photo: Singapore Airlines

Singapore Airlines has given us a pretty good sign that the type will return to the skies. While the fleet remains grounded, the airline has been shuffling aircraft around Australasia to facilitate the cabins’ refurbishments. These refurbishments are costly and not something that any airline would want to spend on if it weren’t reasonably sure it would make a return on the investment.

Commenting previously, Singapore Airlines told Simple Flying,

“The aircraft, registration 9V-SKQ, has been moved to Sydney to undergo routine checks following its storage, before returning to Singapore where it will be retro-fitted as part of our plan to have all 12 remaining A380 in our fleet fitted with the latest A380 cabin product.”

What do you make of Singapore Airlines removing Airbus A380 availability? Let us know what you think and why in the comments.