Singapore Airlines

Singapore Airlines Fleet: January 2020

SQ A330s 2 (Robert Frola)

Singapore Airlines wound up 2019 with only a handful of older Boeing 777-200s and Airbus A330s left in its fleet, as brand new Airbus A350s and Boeing 787s continued to arrive and enter service even into December.

Indeed you only have to look back a year to see there were 32 of the A330s and 777-200s in service with the airline, down to just 16 today with more set to leave in the coming months.

In other news – operational issues with some of the remaining A330s have brought the airline some headaches, but another A380 refit finally re-entered the fleet after 11 months on the ground.


A330s get no luck

If you’re an A330 in the Singapore Airlines fleet – you know your days are numbered. Only 8 will remain soon, with all of these aircraft planned to have left the carrier next year.

That hasn’t stopped this (now relatively small) fleet picking up a dose of bad luck for SIA lately.

On 25th November 2019 9V-SSI, the airline’s youngest A330, suffered a tail strike while landing in Yangon. Still undergoing repair, it hasn’t flown a passenger flight since.

The aircraft was recovered to Changi on 14th December 2019 with no passengers on board, unpressurised flying below 10,000ft for its duration – standard practice for a ferry flight with possible structural damage.

As a consequence though the flight took 4 hours 13 minutes to reach Singapore, with RGN-SIN flights flight at normal cruising altitude typically lasting only 2 hours 40 minutes.

SQ A330s 2 (Robert Frola)
(Photo: Robert Frola)

Just two days later on 27th November 2019, 9V-SSC left Bangkok at 6.30pm but then returned to the airport due to low oil pressure in one of the engines. One of the passengers on board was Singaporean politician Amrin Amin, who posted on facebook about the incident.

The aircraft was able to return to service on 29th November 2019.

Finally on 5th January 2020, 9V-SSE was struck by a catering truck, with damage to its cargo door. It remains grounded for repairs.

SSE Cargo.jpg
9V-SSE at one of Changi’s remote parking gates on 13th January 2019. (Photo: MainlyMiles)

We taxied past the aircraft yesterday when flying up to KL and noticed it is still missing its forward right cargo door – presumably on back order!

That leaves two of SIA’s A330s (SSE and SSI) currently out of active service, with recent days seeing some Boeing 777-200s deployed on flights like Bali to provide cover. Thankfully there is still a surplus of these older 777s to help out.

Headline numbers

Here are the Singapore Airlines passenger fleet totals at 14th January 2020.

CAAS Database: 132
For disposal: -5
In Service: 127
In maintenance, or delivered but yet to enter service: -5
Active: 122

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 14th January 2020, 122 of which are currently active.

Click here to see the official CAAS list of registered aircraft in Singapore at 31st December 2019.

Singapore Airlines Fleet at 14th January 2020

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’).

Registered In Service Active
(full details)
12 9 7
(full details)
26 26 26
A350-900 Regional
(full details)
12 12 12
A350-900 ULR
(full details)
7 7 7
A380-800 v1
(full details)
6 6 6
A380-800 v2
(full details)
6 6 4
A380-800 v3
(full details)
7 7 7
(full details)
5 3 3
(full details)
4 4 4
(full details)
5 5 5
(full details)
27 27 26
(full details)
15 15 15
Total 132 127 122

Correct at 14th January 2020.

Differences between registered, in service and active aircraft in the table:

No longer in service (but still legally registered)

  • A330-300 9V-STQ has already stopped flying for return to lessor. The aircraft performed a flight test on 7th December 2019. Onward operator is Air Canada.
  • A330-300 9V-STZ flew to Paya Lebar for return to lessor on 20th November 2019. Onward operator is Hi Fly Malta.
  • A330-300 9V-SSA has already stopped flying for return to lessor. Onward operator unknown.
  • 777-200 9V-SQJ has already stopped flying for disposal.
  • 777-200 9V-SQL has already stopped flying for disposal.
STQ to AC (Dillon Chong).jpg
More A330s are leaving the fleet – including 9V-STQ, pictured here returning from a test flight in the livery of its onward operator, Air Canada. (Photo: Dillon Chong)

Additional to the above, not currently active

  • A330-300 9V-SSE was struck by a ground vehicle on 5th January 2020 while being prepared for a flight to Bangkok. It is currently undergoing repairs in Singapore.
  • A330-300 9V-SSI had a landing accident in Yangon on 25th November 2019. It was ferried empty to Singapore on 14th December 2019 and remains grounded undergoing a long-term fix.
  • A380-800 v2 9V-SKM is undergoing maintenance and possibly cabin refit in Singapore.
  • A380-800 v2 9V-SKN is undergoing maintenance and possibly cabin refit in Singapore.
  • 777-300ER 9V-SWA is undergoing maintenance in Singapore.

Changes since our last update

Since November 2019 (and since the CAAS database at 31st October 2019) the following changes have been recorded:

Airbus A330-300

  • 9V-STZ stopped flying on 16th November 2019 after a flight from Hong Kong. It flew to Paya Lebar on 20th November 2019, for de-lease preparation, and will soon join Hi Fly Malta.
  • 9V-SSA stopped flying on 2nd November 2019 after a flight from Hong Kong. It is for de-lease.
  • 9V-STU, which stopped flying on 29th October 2019 after a flight from Osaka, was de-registered. The aircraft has since flown to Portugal and is now registered 9H-HFC with Hi Fly Malta, including SIA’s previous cabin products.
  • 9V-SSE is in maintenance in Singapore.
  • 9V-SSI is in maintenance in Singapore.
  • The registered A330 fleet stands at 12 aircraft, with 9 in service and 7 active.

Airbus A350-900

  • 9V-SJA was delivered on 23rd November 2019. It entered commercial service on 27th November 2019 to Jakarta.
  • Currently 26 aircraft registered, all of which are active.

Airbus A350-900 Regional

  • 9V-SHK was delivered on 30th November 2019. It entered commercial service on 6th December 2019 to Perth.
  • 9V-SHL was delivered on 7th December 2019. It entered commercial service on 13th December 2019 to Brisbane.
  • Currently 12 aircraft registered, all of which are active.

Airbus A350-900 ULR

  • No changes, with 7 aircraft registered and active.

Airbus A380

  • 9V-SKM entered maintenance at Changi on 3rd January 2020, following a flight from Osaka.
  • 9V-SKT re-entered service to Tokyo on 5th January 2020 after a maintenance and cabin refit period lasting over 11 months in total (previously Version 2, now a Version 3 aircraft).
  • Currently 19 aircraft registered and 17 active.

Boeing 777-200

  • No changes, with 5 aircraft registered and 3 active.

Boeing 777-200ER

  • 9V-SVN, which stopped flying in September 2019, has been de-registered.
  • Currently 4 aircraft registered and active.

Boeing 777-300

  • No changes, with 5 aircraft registered and active.

Boeing 777-300ER

  • 9V-SWA entered routine maintenance at Changi on 9th December 2019 after a flight from Shanghai.
  • Currently 27 aircraft registered, with 26 active.

Boeing 787-10

  • 9V-SCO was delivered on 2nd December 2019. It entered commercial service on 5th December 2019 to Nagoya.
  • 9V-SCC entered maintenance for engine replacement at Changi on 29th December 2019 after a flight from Bangkok. It returned to service today (14th January 2019).
  • Currently 15 aircraft registered with 15 active.

Upcoming fleet changes

Here’s how the current in service fleet looks in comparison to the latest fleet development plan, set for the end of the current financial year on 31st March 2020.

Aircraft Type Passenger Fleet Totals
14 Jan ’20 Leaving Joining 31 Mar ’20
A330-300 9 – 1 8
A350-900 26 26
A350-900 Regional 12 + 3 15
A350-900 ULR 7 7
A380-800 19 19
777-200 3 – 2 1
777-200ER 4 – 1 3
777-300 5 5
777-300ER 27 27
787-10 15 15
All Types 127 – 4 + 3 126

The fleet development plan is subject to change.

Between now and the end of March there are still 3 Boeing 777s and a single A330 set to leave the in-service fleet, with 3 new Airbus A350 Regional aircraft joining during the same period.

2018 RJ Overview (Adelaide Airport).jpg
More A350 Regionals means more of the newer Business Class seats on routes of up to 8 hours. (Photo: Adelaide Airport)

It remains unclear what the ‘surplus’ Boeing 777-200ERs will be doing from April 2020, since the airline modified its fleet development plan last year, however this could still be designed to insure against the impact of SilkAir’s 737 MAX grounding.

It may also relate to the last year’s announcement that SilkAir Boeing 737-800s will be refitted with flat-bed seats in Business Class next year, causing an added capacity constraint which requires the Boeing 777-200ERs to stay in service a little longer.

9V-SKT is finally back in service

As we noted in early January, the second of SIA’s Airbus A380s to be refitted with the latest 2017 cabin products, 9V-SKT, has finally re-entered service after more than 11 months on the ground in Changi.

A388 9V-SKT (Dillon Chong).jpg
9V-SKT landing into Changi from its second passenger flight in Version 3 configuration, from Tokyo. (Photo: Dillon Chong)

The aircraft is now supporting a seventh daily flight with the new seats, to and from Tokyo as SQ637/638.

As we mentioned in the last update, the original plan to finish the retrofit work to all 14 older A380 aircraft by the end of 2020 is now completely impossible.

We suspect that at least four of the airline’s A380 fleet (those leased rather than owned) will never see the new cabins and instead be returned to their lessors in the same way 9V-SKA to – SKE were.

2017 J Side (Singapore Airlines)
The 7th Airbus A380 with new cabin products is now back in service, but will 19 of the airline’s superjumbos ever see these seats? Unlikely we say. (Image: Singapore Airlines)

You can see a full list of where Singapore Airlines is deploying its new A380 Version 3 aircraft with the latest cabin configurations at our dedicated tracker page.

Here’s a map of the current routes, which doesn’t mention the upcoming Paris and Auckland options later this year.

A388v3 JanJun20
(click to enlarge)

What about the 737 MAX?

The first Boeing 737 MAX 8 has appeared in Singapore Airlines colours, though any potential return to service for the type is still mired in a regulatory wrangle between Boeing, the FAA and other international aviation authorities.

SIA already confirmed it isn’t waiting any longer to fit flat-bed seats in SilkAir’s 737s, and will start installing them this year on the -800 (NG) models instead.

flydubai 737 MAX Biz (flydubai).jpg
SilkAir’s Boeing 737-800s should start receiving Thompson flat-bed seats, like those offered by flydubai, later this year. (Photo: flydubai)

Ultimately SilkAir brand will disbanded over the next year or two, with aircraft and staff moving across to SIA.

Once we have more information on timelines for the new seats and potential introduction of the MAX in Singapore Airlines, we’ll let you know.

Upcoming deliveries

The next three deliveries for Singapore Airlines are set to be a trio of A350 Regionals – 9V-SHM, -SHN and -SHO. These will all arrive between now and the end of March 2020.

After that, Boeing 787-10 9V-SCP will deliver in approximately May 2020. It will be the 16th example for the airline and will also be the 1,000th Boeing 787 built. Don’t be surprised if that warrants a special sticker, like the 10,000th Airbus one on 9V-SMF and the 1,000th Boeing 747 one on the (then) 9V-SMU.

We don’t have much visibility of the Boeing 787 delivery schedule further into the next financial year, but we do know that a swathe of 11 Airbus A350 aircraft (of unconfirmed configuration) will arrive in the July – December 2020 period.

A good number of these should be in 3-class long-haul configuration, with the recent announcement resurrecting the Brussels route using this layout, plus more San Francisco flights using this model later in the year.