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.
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.
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.
Here are the Singapore Airlines passenger fleet totals at 14th January 2020.
|In maintenance, or delivered but yet to enter service:||-5|
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’).
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.
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- No changes, with 5 aircraft registered and 3 active.
- 9V-SVN, which stopped flying in September 2019, has been de-registered.
- Currently 4 aircraft registered and active.
- No changes, with 5 aircraft registered and active.
- 9V-SWA entered routine maintenance at Changi on 9th December 2019 after a flight from Shanghai.
- Currently 27 aircraft registered, with 26 active.
- 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|
|A350-900 Regional||12||+ 3||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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.