(Cover Photo: BK Tan)
Singapore Airlines welcomed three brand new aircraft to its fleet in September 2019, a Boeing 787-10 and two Airbus A350-900s, the latter pair arriving almost in formation from Toulouse on the same day.
When those A350s entered commercial service on 18th September, also in close formation within less than an hour of one another, they marked a shift change for SIA we all knew was coming.
The Airbus A350 now represents the largest in-service fleet in the airline, a status it is now likely to retain for at least the next decade.
In other news we finally got word that the second A380 to be refitted with the latest 2017 cabin products is due to rejoin the fleet as early as this month. It will be used to give the other A380 Version 3 aircraft some breathing room for the latter part of the year before supporting daily Tokyo services with the new seats from January 2020.
There were 132 registered aircraft in the Singapore Airlines passenger fleet as reported by the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) on 30th September 2019. Here’s how the aircraft are distributed across the fleet, which are in active service and which are set for disposal.
Here’s how the Singapore Airlines fleet totals looked on 2nd October 2019.
|In maintenance, or delivered but yet to enter service:||-4|
The official registered aircraft data in combination with analysis of actual flight movements over the last few weeks allows us to determine the actual ‘in service’ fleet of 127 planes at 2nd October 2019, 123 of which are currently active.
Click here to see the official CAAS list of registered aircraft in Singapore at 30th September 2019.
Singapore Airlines Fleet at 2nd October 2019
This table shows the Singapore Airlines fleet including how many of each aircraft type are legally registered (‘Registered’), available to the airline (‘In Service’) and currently operating revenue passenger flights (‘Active’).
Correct at 2nd October 2019.
Differences between registered, in service and active aircraft in the table:
No longer in service (but still legally registered)
- A330-300 9V-STR has already stopped flying for return to lessor. Onward operator unknown.
- A330-300 9V-STY has already stopped flying for return to lessor. Onward operator unknown.
- 777-200 9V-SQJ has already stopped flying for disposal.
- 777-200 9V-SRO has already stopped flying for disposal.
- 777-200ER 9V-SVN has already stopped flying for disposal.
Additional to the above, not currently active
- A380-800 v1 9V-SKF is undergoing maintenance in Kuala Lumpur.
- A380-800 v2 9V-SKL is undergoing maintenance in Singapore.
- A380-800 v2 9V-SKT is undergoing maintenance and cabin refit in Singapore.
- 777-300ER 9V-SWJ is undergoing maintenance in Singapore.
Changes this month
Since September 2019 (and since the CAAS database at 31st August 2019) the following changes have been recorded:
- 9V-SSH entered routine maintenance at Changi on 8th September after a flight from Kuala Lumpur, but returned to service today (2nd October) to Taipei.
- 9V-SSI, in maintenance since late August, re-entered service to Colombo on 10th September.
- 9V-STW was de-registered after conducting a test flight from Paya Lebar Air Base on 9th September. It is now registered OE-IED and has been returned to Irish lessor Seraph Aviation Management, departing Paya Lebar on 2nd October in all-white livery. Onward operator was rumoured to be Air Canada but is still unconfirmed.
- The registered A330 fleet stands at 15 aircraft, with 13 in service and active.
- Two new aircraft, 9V-SMW and 9V-SMY were delivered on the same day – 14th September. SMW entered commercial service to Tokyo-Haneda on 18th September while SMY got going with its first passenger flight less than an hour later to Hong Kong.
- No changes, with 24 aircraft registered and active.
Airbus A350-900 Regional
- No changes, with 10 aircraft registered and active.
- No changes, with 7 aircraft registered and active.
- 9V-SKF seems to get no luck. After being in maintenance for 3 months it re-entered service in mid-August, only to be flown to Kuala Lumpur on 1st October for yet more maintenance.
- 9V-SKJ, in maintenance since mid-August, re-entered service to Sydney on 22nd September.
- 9V-SKL entered maintenance at Changi on 18th September, following a flight from Beijing.
- Currently 19 aircraft registered and 16 active.
- 9V-SRO, which stopped flying in mid-August, conducted a test flight on 18th September. It is for disposal.
- Currently 6 aircraft registered with 4 active.
- 9V-SVN stopped flying after a flight from Yangon on 6th September. It is for disposal.
- Currently 5 aircraft registered, with 4 active.
- No changes, with 5 aircraft registered and active.
- 9V-SWJ entered routine maintenance at Changi on 24th September after a flight from Tokyo-Haneda.
- 9V-SWR, in maintenance since early August, re-entered service to Melbourne on 27th September, following a test flight the previous day.
- 9V-SWS, in maintenance since mid-August, re-entered service to Melbourne on 14th September, following a test flight the previous day.
- Currently 27 aircraft registered, with 26 active.
- 9V-SCN was delivered on 7th September and entered commercial service to Bangkok on 10th September.
- Currently 14 aircraft registered, all of which are active.
Upcoming fleet changes
Here’s our usual look at how the current in service fleet looks in comparison to the fleet development plan set for the end of the current financial year on 31st March 2020.
|Aircraft Type||Passenger Fleet Totals|
|2 Oct ’19||Leaving||Joining||31 Mar ’20|
|A350-900 Regional||10||+ 5||15|
|All Types||127||– 11||+ 8||124|
The fleet development plan is subject to change.
Over the next six months or so there are still an additional 5 A330s, 3 777-200s and 3 777-200ERs set to leave the fleet, in addition to those already listed as having left service.
8 additional deliveries over the same period will comprise 2 A350-900s, 5 A350-900 Regionals and a single 787-10 to replace the above aircraft.
The A350 is now the airline’s largest in-service fleet
With the delivery and entry into service of two more 3-class A350s in September, combined with another 777-200ER leaving the fleet last month, there are now 41 Airbus A350s in service in the Singapore Airlines fleet compared with 40 Boeing 777s.
The disparity between the size of the two fleets will continue to grow, with the plan at 31st March 2020 calling for 48 Airbus A350s in the fleet but only 34 Boeing 777s.
Even with forthcoming deliveries of Boeing 777-9s and additional 787s, it’s hard to see any aircraft type eclipsing the A350 as the backbone of the Singapore Airlines fleet for at least the next decade.
Indeed by the time all 67 Airbus A350s on order have been delivered to the airline, the type will represent over half the total fleet.
The focus for most of our readers next year and beyond will be how the airline chooses to split its remaining 19 Airbus A350s (from April 2020 onwards) between the three variants.
Singapore Airlines has secured production slots right up to its 58th A350, but has not confirmed the variant for those arriving from approximately June 2020 (aircraft number 49) onwards.
A total of 10 A350s should join the fleet in financial year 2020/21, and as soon as we know more about the variants chosen we’ll be sure to update you.
The second refitted A380 is returning to service
The second Singapore Airlines Airbus A380 to be refitted with the latest 2017 cabin products, 9V-SKT, is now nearing completion and is set to conduct a test flight later this month. Shortly after that it will return to the active fleet.
The aircraft isn’t needed to support the current list of A380 Version 3 routes, which are operated by the six existing aircraft, so it will likely be used to provide breathing room for the other A380v3 aircraft, some of which may need some maintenance downtime over the next couple of months.
All seven of the new and refitted jets will need to be in action from 1st January 2020, when the daily Tokyo SQ637/638 flight switches across to the new products.
We’ll keep our ear to the ground as to which A380 will be next in line for refit, but it may well be 9V-SKL, an A380v2 aircraft which entered maintenance at Changi a couple of weeks ago.
For the rest of 2019 we will probably only see three more new aircraft deliveries, in approximate order:
- 9V-SMZ: A 3-class A350 (due November 2019)
- 9V-SCO: A 787-10 (due approx. December 2019)
- 9V-SJA: A 3-class A350 (due approx. December 2019)
The next A350 Regional, 9V-SHL, might just squeeze in for a December delivery as well.
That will leave 4 or 5 more A350 Regionals for delivery in the first three months of 2020, though the exact fleet development plan may have shifted slightly and the mid-November 2019 update from SIA will paint a more accurate picture.
As always you can see full details of each aircraft type in the Singapore Airlines fleet at the following links, including aircraft registrations specific to each configuration.
- Airbus A330
- Airbus A350 (3 versions)
- Airbus A380 (3 versions)
- Boeing 777-200 (2 versions)
- Boeing 777-200ER
- Boeing 777-300
- Boeing 777-300ER
- Boeing 787-10
If the seat types and routes interest you more – see our Seats Guide.
You can also check our tracker pages for the new 2017 A380 cabin products and 2018 Regional cabin products, outlining the flights they are planned to operate across the network:
We also list the planned seat types for every Singapore Airlines service by flight number, so you can choose your next trip with confidence. It’s currently up to date through to the end of March 2020:
Stay tuned for the next fleet update in early November 2019.