News Scoot Singapore Airlines

More Singapore Airlines A380s head to long-term storage

Singapore Airlines has flown two more of its Airbus A380s to Alice Springs, with Scoot and NokScoot also flying wide-body aircraft into storage overnight

SQ A380 Landing FRA (TJDarmstadt)

This morning another batch of SIA Group aircraft made what’s now becoming a familiar journey to Alice Springs Airport in Australia, where they will enter long-term storage. Part of the pack was a pair of Singapore Airlines Airbus A380s, meaning six of the airline’s 19 superjumbos will be residing in Alice Springs for the foreseeable future.

With a third of SIA’s Airbus A380 fleet now in long-term storage overseas and potentially more to follow, there looks to be no realistic prospect for a full return to service for the type until late 2021 at the earliest.

The Airbus A380s were accompanied by two Scoot Boeing 787-8s and three NokScoot Boeing 777-200s, all of which have now arrived in Australia.


Details: Singapore Airlines

The two Singapore Airlines aircraft departed from Changi this morning, as follows:

  • SQ8865 (9V-SKP / A388 / Dep 06:12 / Arr 12:42)
  • SQ8867 (9V-SKQ / A388 / Dep 07:34 / Due 14:05)
SIA TGW to ASP 26-6
Scoot and Singapore Airlines aircraft en-route to Alice Springs (click to enlarge)

Here are the two Airbus A380 aircraft which are currently either en-route to Alice Springs or have recently touched down at the time of writing, including details of their most recent passenger flight.

Registration Delivered Last flew
Singapore_Airlines 9V-SKP 12 Jan 2012
(age 9.0 yrs)
24 Mar 2020
Singapore_Airlines 9V-SKQ 2 Apr 2012
(age 8.7 yrs)
26 Mar 2020

Note that aircraft age is based on first pre-delivery test flight date.

These are relatively new Version 2 aircraft, with the high-density Business Class layout, but the older 2006 Business Class seats and Suites. They join four of the airline’s Version 3 A380s with the newer 2017 seats, still in storage at the Alice Springs facility.

Details: Scoot

Two Scoot Boeing 787-8s also flew down to Alice Springs last night, the first wide-body aircraft from the airline’s fleet to be placed in long-term storage.

  • TR7001 (9V-OFB / B788 / Dep 03:00 / Arr 09:49)
  • TR7003 (9V-OFD / B788 / Dep 03:50 / Arr 10:44)

They joined four of the low-cost subsidiary’s Airbus A320s, which were flown to the facility in April 2020.

Registration Delivered Last flew
Scoot 9V-OFB 29 Aug 2015
(age 4.8 yrs)
21 Mar 2020
Scoot 9V-OFD 21 Dec 2015
(age 4.6 yrs)
18 Mar 2020

Note that aircraft age is based on first pre-delivery test flight date.

These aircraft had not flown for around three months and were being temporarily stored at Changi.

TR and SQ Aircraft Parked (Changi Airport)
25 Scoot and 3 SIA aircraft parked at Changi’s ‘South Apron’ parking area. (Photo: Changi Airport)

Details: NokScoot

The three NokScoot Boeing 777-200s departed first from Bangkok Don Mueang Airport late last night as follows:

  • XW992 (HS-XBF / B772 / Dep 21:43 / Arr 07:21)
  • XW994 (HS-XBG / B772 / Dep 22:35 / Arr 07:59)
  • XW996 (HS-XBA / B772 / Dep 23:29 / Arr 08:52)
NCT to ASP 26-6
NokScoot aircraft en-route to Alice Springs (click to enlarge)

Here are the three NokScoot aircraft which flew to Alice Springs, including details of their most recent passenger flight.

Registration First
Last flew
Nok_Scoot HS-XBA
22 Mar 2001
(age 19.3 yrs)
30 Nov 2019
Nok_Scoot HS-XBF
28 Jul 2003
(age 16.9 yrs)
24 Mar 2020
Nok_Scoot HS-XBG
25 Aug 2003
(age 16.9 yrs)
3 Mar 2020

Note that aircraft age is based on first pre-delivery test flight date, delivery date is based on first delivery to Singapore Airlines.

The NokScoot Boeing 777-200 aircraft are all owned by Singapore Airlines, previously carrying the 9V-SR* series registrations.

SIA has written down their book value to market value in a S$106.9 million charge, following the almost inevitable liquidation of NokScoot and zero prospect of the aircraft flying passengers again for the airline.

SQ222 is picking up the crews

As with each previous time a batch of SIA aircraft was relocated to Alice Springs, Singapore Airlines is diverting today’s Sydney – Singapore SQ222 flight (a cargo-only service) via the airport, presumably to collect the pilots and deliver them back home this evening.

SQ222 27-6
(click to enlarge)

At the time of writing the aircraft, Boeing 787-10 9V-SCO, had just departed Sydney on its way to Alice Springs.

Fun fact: This is the fourth time a Singapore Airlines Sydney to Singapore flight has been routed via Alice Springs to pick up the flight crew of aircraft delivered into storage, and the first time a Boeing 787-10 will have landed at the airport. The other three such flights were:

  • 5th April 2020: Boeing 777-300 9V-SYL
  • 26th April 2020: Boeing 777-300ER 9V-SWM
  • 30th April 2020: Boeing 777-300 9V-SYJ (to collect a NokScoot crew)

SIA’s long-term stored aircraft

Here’s a summary of the 26 Singapore Airlines Group aircraft in long-term storage at Alice Springs as of 27th June 2020.

SIA and Scoot-branded aircraft
stored in Alice Springs
Airline Aircraft Total Reg.
Singapore_Airlines Airbus A380 6 9V-SKP
Boeing 777-200ER 3 9V-SVB
SilkAir Boeing 737 MAX 8 6 9V-MBA
Scoot Airbus A320 4 9V-TAN
Boeing 787-8 2 9V-OFB
Nok_Scoot Boeing 777-200 5 HS-XBA
Total 26

These aircraft are now under the care of Asia Pacific Aircraft Storage, and will benefit from the dry desert climate, essential for preserving aircraft in long-term storage.

We have a full list of which other Singapore Airlines aircraft remain active or in short-term storage at Changi Airport as of 18th June 2020 in our regular monthly fleet update here, which showed that 66 aircraft are effectively in a form of at least ‘temporary storage’ mode.


More could follow

Two more Singapore Airlines Airbus A380 Version 3 aircraft made test flights at Changi Airport this week, 9V-SKU on Tuesday and 9V-SKV on Friday, and could be set to join the others in storage, assuming SIA is not readying them for passenger service.

We suspect some may head to alternative storage facilities in the USA, with Alice Springs now becoming heavily populated with aircraft from several operators in the region.

Any Singapore Airlines Airbus A380 passenger flights seem unlikely for the rest of 2020, with these additional examples entering long-term storage suggesting the full complement of 19 aircraft operating again may not even be achieved in 2021.

This week Qantas announced it would be storing its entire fleet of 12 Airbus A380s in the USA until 2023.

Singapore Airlines does seem to have long-term future for its Airbus A380 Version 3 aircraft and newer Version 2 aircraft, prioritising many of these so far for storage in Alice Springs.

A380v3 96K (Agent Wolf SS)
Many of SIA’s Airbus A380s in long-term storage are fitted with the airline’s newest cabin products. (Photo: Agent Wolf / Shutterstock)

Whether the oldest Version 1 aircraft, all of which are mothballed at Changi, will ever return to service, let alone be refitted with the latest cabin products, is anyone’s guess.

Refit plans themselves look uncertain, with the Singapore Airlines CEO making the following statement when asked whether the programmes on the A380s and Boeing 737-800s would be accelerated or delayed:

“The various retrofit programmes… are actually under intense review by us… this also involves discussions with the various suppliers… until there is something concrete we can announce, we will not be talking about it in public.”

Goh Choon Phong, CEO Singapore Airlines



Alice Springs is becoming busy, with 26 SIA Group aircraft now parked at the facility, nine of which are Singapore Airlines’ own wide-bodies.

SQ A380s ASP (Steve Strike)
Aircraft in storage at Alice Springs Airport. (Photo: Steve Strike)

There still appear to be two different strategies for using the Alice Springs storage facility.

Storing 19-year-old Boeing 777-200 there, aircraft never likely to be used again by the group, seems more like a retirement plan for those assets.

On the other hand storing nearly new (or freshly refitted) Airbus A380s and brand new Boeing 737 MAX and Boeing 787-8 aircraft there seems more like a ‘best preservation’ solution, so that these aircraft remain in good condition and can return to the fleet with minimal maintenance work when the time comes.

Even the latest pair of Airbus A380s arriving today are relatively young at 9 years old.

Scoot has sent its first wide-body aircraft to Alice Springs, so it will be interesting to see if this trend continues in the months ahead.

Scoot 787-8 (Alec Wilson)
Scoot’s first pair of Boeing 787s in storage include 9V-OFB, less than 5 years old. (Photo: Alec Wilson)

Boeing 787-8s were chosen, which have lower passenger capacity but also carry 20% less cargo than the Boeing 787-9s, a possible reason the airline has a preference for operating these larger aircraft at the moment.

NokScoot has ceased trading and a liquidation of the carrier now looks inevitable, with its seven Boeing 777-200s returning to owner Singapore Airlines. Five of these are now stored in Alice Springs and the other pair will surely follow.

(Cover Photo: T J Darmstadt)



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