Singapore Airlines

What is the current Singapore Airlines cargo schedule?

Shifting cargo is currently SIA's primary business, with 80 departures from Changi per week by passenger aircraft carrying only freight on board. Where are they all going?

SQ Cargo 747 3

Most of us are now aware that Singapore Airlines is flying very few passenger services from Changi Airport each day, since early April through to at least the end of June 2020. In fact there are between just two and eight daily passenger departures, depending on the day of the week, with some of the 15 cities on the list receiving only a once weekly connection.

That doesn’t mean all other Singapore Airlines flights are grounded, however. At least a dozen SIA flights leave Changi each day carrying only cargo, either in the underfloor holds of passenger aircraft or in one of the airline’s seven dedicated Boeing 747 freighter jets.

Here’s how the airline’s 145 departures from Changi last week looked.

Singapore Airlines SIN Departures
(w/c 20th April 2020)
Day Passenger Aircraft
SQ 787 SCA Delivery (Paul Schmid)
Freighters
SQ Cargo 747
Pax +
Cargo
Cargo-
only
Mon 5 10 4
Tue 2 7 4
Wed 6 16 4
Thu 3 14 6
Fri 8 11 3
Sat 2 11 6
Sun 7 11 4
Total 34 80 31

As you can see cargo-only operations by the passenger fleet far outweigh any other kind of flights at the moment, making up over half the airline’s flying activity. There are up to 16 daily departures in this category (compared to a maximum of 8 daily passenger flights and 6 daily dedicated freighter ones).

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Which routes?

Where are these 80 belly hold cargo services operating? We took a look at last week’s schedule to get an idea and listed them in the following table alongside the airline’s passenger services (which incidentally will also be carrying as much cargo as possible to maximise revenue).

Key:

Cargo-only flight
Passenger and cargo flight
Cargo outbound, pax and cargo inbound

As you can see, there is significant cargo activity to and from China and Hong Kong, including 11 weekly services to Beijing and 21 per week to Shanghai (only one of these flights each week also accepts passengers).

There are also several cargo-only flights using passenger aircraft to Australia and even some to Europe.

Singapore Airlines Passenger Fleet Activity
SIN Departures
(w/c 20th April 2020)
South East Asia
Dest Flt Days Acft
M T W T F S S
BKK SQ976 787
BWN SQ148 773
CGK SQ960 787
SQ966 359
HAN SQ176 359R
KUL SQ104 359
MNL SQ910 359R
SGN SQ178 787
SQ186 787
North Asia
Dest Flt Days Acft
M T W T F S S
ICN SQ600 787
359 R
CAN SQ850 787
PEK SQ802 359R
SQ806 77W
NRT SQ12 787
773
SQ638 787
PVG SQ828 77W
SQ830 787
SQ836 787
TPE SQ876 787
HKG SQ8252 787
South West Pacific
Dest Flt Days Acft
M T W T F S S
BNE SQ265 359
MEL SQ217 359
SQ227 77W
PER SQ213 787
SQ223 787
SYD SQ211 77W
773
SQ221 77W
SQ241 773
Europe / USA
Dest Flt Days Acft
M T W T F S S
CPH SQ352 359
FRA SQ26 77W
SQ326 77W
LAX SQ38 359
LHR SQ322 359
ZRH SQ346 77W

You probably thought Melbourne and Perth were both off the network for the time being. In fact they each see four flights a week with passenger aircraft only carrying cargo on board. Even Copenhagen is still being served, and SQ26 to Frankfurt lives on twice per week in addition to the three times weekly SQ326 flights.

Here are the top five routes for cargo-only flights using the passenger fleet:

  1. Shanghai: 20/week
  2. Beijing: 11/week
  3. Ho Chi Minh: 7/week
  4. Hong Kong: 6/week
  5. Sydney: 6/week
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Aircraft types

One thing that’s clear to see from the table above is that Singapore Airlines is focusing its cargo-only operations (and remaining passenger flights for that matter) on three aircraft types:

  • Boeing 777-300s / -300ERs
  • Boeing 787-10s
  • Airbus A350-900s

We’ve had SIA crew share with us passenger loads as low as 4 (on a flight earlier this week), and not much higher than 30 on the bare bones passenger network, so this would make you think Singapore Airlines would utilise its lower capacity aircraft where possible at the moment – like the 285-seat Airbus A330, not the 337-seat Boeing 787-10.