Singapore Airlines

Singapore Airlines Fleet & Storage Report: November 2020

This month Singapore Airlines has been actively operating its highest number of passenger aircraft since the COVID-19 pandemic decimated flight schedules in March 2020, with 66 of its wide body jets flying a mixture of passenger and cargo-only flights over the last two weeks.

Before we dive in to our regular monthly update and storage report, here are some key news items for the SIA fleet this month:

  • The Boeing 777-300 has left service, sealing a 22-year history of SIA flying the type and winding up operation of both the 2006 First Class and 2009 Regional Business Class seats.
  • Four brand new Airbus A350 Regionals delivered last month have all entered revenue service, making this sub-fleet the second largest for the airline in terms of active aircraft.
  • The Airbus A350 ULR fleet, in storage since March 2020, is being brought back into action next month with at least two needed for a resumption of the Singapore – San Francisco route.
  • The A380 Version 3 fleet gained an extra refit, with only three left to receive the new cabins, following confirmation that seven older aircraft will not rejoin the fleet after COVID-19.
  • A Boeing 787-10 flown to the US for repairs due to a manufacturing defect has returned to Singapore and is back in service.

Fleet totals

Here are the Singapore Airlines passenger fleet totals at 28th November 2020.

  CAAS Database: 135  
  For disposal:
-29
 
  In Service: 106  
  In maintenance / stored:
-40
 
  Active: 66  

The official registered aircraft data in combination with recent retirement announcements and analysis of actual flight movements over the last few weeks allows us to determine the actual ‘in service’ fleet (available to the airline) of 106 planes at 28th November 2020, 66 of which are currently active.

  Click here to see the official CAAS list of registered aircraft in Singapore at 31st October 2020.

SIA Passenger Fleet at 28th November 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 or cargo flights (‘Active’).

Type
Registered In Service Active
A330-300
!A330v3.png(full details)
7
0 0
A350-900
!A359.png(full details)
26 26 25
A350-900 Regional
!A359.png(full details)
19
19 17
A350-900 ULR
!A359.png(full details)
7 7 0
A380-800 v1
!A388.png(full details)
6 0 0
A380-800 v2
!A388.png(full details)
4 3 0
A380-800 v3
!A388.png(full details)
9 9 0
777-200
!B772.png(full details)
8 0 0
777-200ER
!B772.png(full details)
3 0 0
777-300
!B773.png(full details)
4 0 0
777-300ER
!B773.png(full details)
27 27 10
787-10
!B78X.png(full details)
15 15 14
Total 135 106 66

Correct at 28th November 2020.

Following confirmation that all the airline’s remaining Airbus A330s, Boeing 777-200s, Boeing 777-200ERs and Boeing 777-300s will not be returning to the fleet after COVID-19, in addition to seven older Airbus A380s, we have removed these from the ‘In Service’ column.

This reflects a future fleet of 106 aircraft, plus future near-term deliveries of Airbus A350s and Boeing 787-10s.

There will also be a number of Boeing 737-800s and potentially some Boeing 737 MAX 8s joining the fleet in 2021, as the SilkAir merger progresses.

Fleet activity

Only four aircraft types are currently in service with the airline, as shown in the table below outlining the number in use at each of our recent fleet update ‘snapshots’.

An aircraft is considered ‘active’ if it has flown at least one passenger or cargo-only flight in the last 14 days.

SIA fleet activity timeline (2020)
  A350
A350R
B773
B77W
B787
Total
Apr 16 10 4 18 15 63
May 14 9 3 18 15 59
Jun 21 12 2 11 15 61
Aug 23 14 1 4 14 56
Sep 24 13 1 7 12 57
Oct 24 13 1 4 12 54
Nov 25 17 10 14 66

Almost all Airbus A350s and Boeing 787-10s are now in consistent use, while the deployment of Boeing 777-300ERs has increased over recent weeks, with the airline actively using 66 aircraft in November 2020, it’s highest total in seven months.

Here’s a graphical look at the active vs. stored fleet, including the average daily utilisation per active aircraft based on the 7-day period between 16th November and 22nd November 2020.

Type Active / Inactive   Average Daily Utilisation
A330-300 □□□□□□□ 0%
A350 ■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■ 96% 9.7h
A350 R ■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■□□ 89% 7.3h
A350 ULR □□□□□□□ 0%
A380 □□□□□□□□□□□□□□□□□□□ 0%
777-200 □□□□□□□□ 0%
777-200ER □□□ 0%
777-300 □□□□ 0%
777-300ER ■■■■■■■■■■□□□□□□□□□□□□□□□□□ 37% 5.9h
787-10 ■■■■■■■■■■■■■■ 93% 9.2h

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is image-22-1024x720.png

The increased active fleet of Boeing 777-300ERs this month also coincided with a ramp-up in their average flying activity, from 1.6 hours per aircraft per day in October to 5.9 hours in November. The aircraft continue to mostly be deployed on cargo-only services, with some passenger flights in the mix including to Bangkok and Surabaya, where the First Class cabin is not sold.

Passengers on routes including Surabaya have benefitted from long-haul Business Class seats on SIA’s Boeing 777-300ER this month, however the small First Class cabin is not being operated. (Photo: MainlyMiles)

Airbus A350s and Boeing 787s on the other hand are far busier, with the active aircraft in those fleets clocking up seven to ten hours per day on average.

The Airbus A350 long-haul fleet is now very stretched, due to the significant downtime the aircraft are spending in Europe and the USA (over two days each time they visit in some cases), to accommodate the restricted schedule and minimise crew layover durations in high-risk countries.

Five aircraft types in the Singapore Airlines fleet remain in storage this month and are not currently being flown at all, which has been the case since early April 2020:

  • Airbus A330
  • Airbus A350 ULR
  • Airbus A380
  • Boeing 777-200
  • Boeing 777-200ER

Fleet retirements

Some of these types will not be returning to service even after COVID-19, following a fleet and network review undertaken by the airline and announced earlier this month alongside the first half financial results.

This will include all Airbus A330s, which are being returned to their lessors as planned by next year, all Boeing 777-200, -200ERs, and -300s, and seven older Airbus A380s.

The Boeing 777-300 has left service

The last Boeing 777-300 has now been withdrawn from service.

9V-SYJ, which has been the only one of four remaining 777-300 aircraft flying for the carrier over the last five months, made its final flight on 29th October 2020 from Bangkok to Singapore. That has sealed the fate of both the 2006 First Class and 2009 Regional Business Class seats.

Singapore Airlines operated the Boeing 777-300 from December 1998 to October 2020, and at one time there were 12 of the type in its fleet.

Singapore Airlines operated the Boeing 777-300 variant for nearly 22 years. (Photo: Singapore Airlines)

The carrier opted for the more capable Boeing 777-300ER variant for its deliveries since November 2006, an aircraft that became far more popular globally than its predecessor and indeed in the Singapore Airlines fleet, with 27 still registered to the carrier and no retirements yet announced.

More A350s enter service

Four brand new Airbus A350 Regional aircraft, all delivered in October 2020, entered revenue service since our last update.

  • 9V-SHP to Mumbai on 28th October 2020 (SQ8022, cargo-only)
  • 9V-SHQ to Mumbai on 4th November 2020 (SQ8022, cargo-only)
  • 9V-SHR to Hong Kong on 19th November 2020 (SQ871)
  • 9V-SHS to Mumbai on 22nd November 2020 (SQ8024, cargo-only)
Almost all of SIA’s Airbus A350 Regionals are currently flying, including on cargo-only services. (Photo: Adelaide Airport)

Only two of the airline’s 19 Airbus A350 Regionals are not currently active; 9V-SHD, which stopped flying in early November, and 9V-SHF, which hasn’t flown for over four months.

The A350 ULR is back in December

Another A350 sub-fleet is rejoining active service next month, the Ultra Long Range (ULR) variant, which we didn’t expect to see back in action this year.

That will happen on 15th December 2020 with three times weekly service to San Francisco. Oddly this route doesn’t even require the range of the ULR model and was originally scheduled to be served only by the regular 3-class long-haul Airbus A350 this winter.

Here’s how the limited return of the ULR will look on the route.

From 15th December 2020

  Days
M T W T F S S
SQ34
A359 ULR
 
SIN
18:40
SFO
17:20
SQ33
A359 ULR
       
SFO
20:50
SIN
06:25(+2)

As with the airline’s other long-haul services, the aircraft and crew will rest together in San Francisco for around 51 hours before returning to Singapore, meaning at least two A350 ULRs will need to be activated from storage for this route.

That’s because each time an aircraft departs on this route, it doesn’t land back until nearly 84 hours later.

At least two of SIA’s seven Airbus A350 ULR aircraft will be activated from storage in December 2020. (Photo: Singapore Airlines)

Even though these seven aircraft have been grounded in Singapore since US flights were suspended in late March 2020 due to the COVID-19 outbreak, they have made occasional test flights at Changi, the most recent being yesterday (27th November).

Aircraft Number of test flights
(since March ’20)
Most recent
test flight
9V-SGA 2 18 Sep 2020
9V-SGB 4 27 Nov 2020
9V-SGC 2 26 Sep 2020
9V-SGD 2 8 Oct 2020
9V-SGE 2 20 Oct 2020
9V-SGF 2 22 Oct 2020
9V-SGG 2 16 Oct 2020

It will be interesting to see which pair of aircraft are brought back, or whether more than two (perhaps even all seven) will be used on sequential rotation as a form of ‘active storage’ for this fleet, which can be cheaper than keeping the aircraft in long-term storage.

A380 refits: Four down, three to go

Singapore Airlines did reveal some good news to us this month, with confirmation that all 12 of the carrier’s future Airbus A380 fleet is destined to receive the latest 2017 cabin products, with a fourth retrofit recently completed and three more in the pipeline.

Though it’s not yet been confirmed, we are predicting that all six of the carrier’s older Version 1 Airbus A380s will be put out to pasture, and one of the Version 2 aircraft.

Specific registrations have not been revealed.

The storage report: November 2020

Here’s how SIA’s passenger fleet activity looked on 28th November 2020, which gives us an indication of which aircraft are stored (last flew 14+ days ago), compared to those either active or in ‘active storage’ (last flew more recently).

Last flew > 60 days ago  
Last flew 14-59 days ago  
Last flew < 14 days ago  

‘Last flew’ dates relate to the aircraft’s last revenue passenger or cargo-only flight.

Airbus A330-300

All the airline’s Airbus A330 aircraft remain stored in Singapore. None have flown passenger flights for the last eight months.

These aircraft are being progressively returned to their leasing companies, a process expected to be completed in 2021.

!A330v3 Label
Aircraft Location Last flew Days ago
9V-STC SIN 2 Apr 20 240
9V-SSD SIN 31 Mar 20 242
9V-SSE SIN 27 Mar 20 246
9V-SSF SIN 13 Mar 20 260
9V-SSG SIN 23 Mar 20 250
9V-SSH SIN 28 Mar 20 245
9V-SSI SIN 25 Nov 19 369

9V-STC completed a test flight on 9th November 2020. It is destined for onward operator Air Canada as C-GHKC, but has yet to be formally deregistered and leave Changi.

9V-SSI has not made an appearance, even on a test flight, since sustaining tail damage during a landing incident at Yangon in November 2019. The aircraft was ferried empty to Singapore almost a year ago on 14th December 2019.

Airbus A350-900

Only one of SIA’s long-haul Airbus A350-900s (9V-SME) is stored at Changi, or potentially undergoing maintenance, with the other 25 aircraft deployed on at least one flight in the last 14 days.

On average, each active aircraft in this fleet is currently flying seven flights per week.

!A359 Label
Aircraft Location Last flew Days ago
9V-SMA SIN 28 Nov 20 0
9V-SMB SIN 28 Nov 20 0
9V-SMC SIN 27 Nov 20 1
9V-SMD SIN 27 Nov 20 1
9V-SME SIN 15 Mar 20 258
9V-SMF SIN 27 Nov 20 1
9V-SMG SIN 27 Nov 20 1
9V-SMH SIN 27 Nov 20 1
9V-SMI SIN 28 Nov 20 0
9V-SMJ SIN 27 Nov 20 1
9V-SMK SIN 27 Nov 20 1
9V-SML SIN 28 Nov 20 0
9V-SMM SIN 28 Nov 20 0
9V-SMN SIN 28 Nov 20 0
9V-SMO SIN 28 Nov 20 0
9V-SMP SIN 28 Nov 20 0
9V-SMQ SIN 28 Nov 20 0
9V-SMR SIN 27 Nov 20 1
9V-SMS SIN 27 Nov 20 1
9V-SMT SIN 27 Nov 20 1
9V-SMU SIN 25 Nov 20 3
9V-SMV SIN 27 Nov 20 1
9V-SMW SIN 27 Nov 20 1
9V-SMY SIN 27 Nov 20 1
9V-SMZ SIN 27 Nov 20 1
9V-SJA SIN 28 Nov 20 0

9V-SME took a test flight this morning (28th November). It is the first time the aircraft has flown in over 8 months, suggesting it will be returned to service, which would bring the A350 long-haul fleet back to full strength for the first time since the pandemic.

Airbus A350-900 Regional

There continue to be two Airbus A350-900 Regional aircraft in storage / maintenance, though as mentioned above the four recently delivered aircraft are now in service.

Overall 17 of this variant were flying over the last two weeks, each operating an average of nine flights per week.

!A359R Label
Aircraft Location Last flew Days ago
9V-SHA SIN 28 Nov 20 0
9V-SHB SIN 26 Nov 20 2
9V-SHC SIN 27 Nov 20 1
9V-SHD SIN 13 Nov 20 15
9V-SHE SIN 27 Nov 20 1
9V-SHF SIN 24 Jul 20 127
9V-SHG SIN 25 Nov 20 3
9V-SHH SIN 27 Nov 20 1
9V-SHI SIN 27 Nov 20 1
9V-SHJ SIN 27 Nov 20 1
9V-SHK SIN 27 Nov 20 1
9V-SHL SIN 27 Nov 20 1
9V-SHM SIN 27 Nov 20 1
9V-SHN SIN 28 Nov 20 0
9V-SHO SIN 28 Nov 20 0
9V-SHP SIN 26 Nov 20 2
9V-SHQ SIN 28 Nov 20 0
9V-SHR SIN 27 Nov 20 1
9V-SHS SIN 27 Nov 20 1

Airbus A350-900 ULR

All the airline’s 7 Airbus A350-900 ULR aircraft remain stored in Singapore, having not flown any passenger services since March 2020.

!A359 ULR Label
Aircraft Location Last flew Days ago
9V-SGA SIN 25 Mar 20 248
9V-SGB SIN 22 Mar 20 251
9V-SGC SIN 30 Mar 20 243
9V-SGD SIN 25 Mar 20 248
9V-SGE SIN 24 Mar 20 249
9V-SGF SIN 27 Mar 20 246
9V-SGG SIN 23 Mar 20 250

As mentioned above, we will see at least two of these back in action from mid-December on the reinstated non-stop San Francisco flights.

Airbus A380-800

Seven of the airline’s flagship Airbus A380 aircraft are now in long-term storage at Alice Springs, with the other 12 aircraft stored at Changi.

No revenue flights with the A380s have been flown since March 2020, and they are not being used in the current schedule through 31st January 2021.

!A388 Label
Aircraft Location Last flew Days ago
9V-SKF SIN 24 Mar 20 249
9V-SKG SIN 25 Mar 20 248
9V-SKH SIN 22 Mar 20 251
9V-SKI SIN 20 Mar 20 253
9V-SKJ SIN 20 Mar 20 253
9V-SKK ASP 21 Mar 20 252
9V-SKL SIN 27 Mar 20 246
9V-SKM SIN 21 Mar 20 252
9V-SKN SIN 15 Oct 19 410
9V-SKP ASP 24 Mar 20 249
9V-SKQ ASP 26 Mar 20 247
9V-SKR SIN 19 Mar 20 254
9V-SKS SIN 12 Mar 20 261
9V-SKT ASP 18 Mar 20 255
9V-SKU SIN 25 Mar 20 248
9V-SKV SIN 28 Mar 20 245
9V-SKW ASP 26 Mar 20 247
9V-SKY ASP 27 Mar 20 246
9V-SKZ ASP 30 Mar 20 243

With First Class and Suites not being sold on any Singapore Airlines flight between now and 31st October 2021, there looks to be no imminent return for the superjumbo fleet, though SIA has now confirmed 12 of the aircraft will be remaining under current plans for the post-COVID recovery.

Boeing 777-200

SIA’s recently inherited set of seven Boeing 777-200s from NokScoot are now stored in Alice Springs, with one registered aircraft hibernating at Changi.

!B772 Label
Aircraft Location Last flew Days ago
9V-SQJ SIN 10 Aug 18 841
9V-SRF ASP 30 Nov 19 364
9V-SRG ASP 1 Feb 20 301
9V-SRH ASP 23 Mar 20 250
9V-SRJ ASP 7 Jun 20 174
9V-SRL ASP 24 Mar 20 249
9V-SRP ASP 24 Mar 20 249
9V-SRQ ASP 15 Jun 20 166

Last flight and number of days shown reflects most recent passenger service with NokScoot in the case of SRF to SRQ. All these aircraft are for disposal.

Boeing 777-200ER

All 3 of the airline’s Boeing 777-200ERs are stored in Alice Springs, and are now confirmed as for disposal.

!B772ER Label
Aircraft Location Last flew Days ago
9V-SVB ASP 17 Mar 20 256
9V-SVC ASP 19 Mar 20 254
9V-SVE ASP 21 Mar 20 252

Boeing 777-300

As mentioned above, Singapore Airlines has ceased operating its last Boeing 777-300 (9V-SYJ), with all four remaining aircraft in the fleet for disposal.

!B773 Label
Aircraft Location Last flew Days ago
9V-SYF SIN 10 Apr 20 232
9V-SYH SIN 5 May 20 207
9V-SYJ SIN 29 Oct 20 30
9V-SYL SIN 17 Jun 20 164

Boeing 777-300ER

Ten of SIA’s 27 Boeing 777-300ERs were active over the last two weeks, the highest total seen since June, with the other 17 stored at Changi.

These aircraft are now mostly dedicated to cargo-only operation in the current schedule through 31st January 2021, having ceased almost all passenger services in June 2020.

!B773ER Label
Aircraft Location Last flew Days ago
9V-SWA SIN 29 Mar 20 244
9V-SWB SIN 24 Mar 20 249
9V-SWD SIN 19 Mar 20 254
9V-SWE SIN 23 Nov 20 5
9V-SWF SIN 28 Sep 20 61
9V-SWG SIN 30 May 20 182
9V-SWH SIN 22 Nov 20 6
9V-SWI SIN 6 May 20 206
9V-SWJ SIN 4 May 20 208
9V-SWK SIN 4 May 20 208
9V-SWL SIN 6 May 20 206
9V-SWM SIN 21 Nov 20 7
9V-SWN SIN 20 Nov 20 8
9V-SWO SIN 27 Nov 20 1
9V-SWP SIN 28 Nov 20 0
9V-SWQ SIN 28 Nov 20 0
9V-SWR SIN 27 Nov 20 1
9V-SWS SIN 28 Nov 20 0
9V-SWT SIN 23 Mar 20 250
9V-SWU SIN 30 Apr 20 212
9V-SWV SIN 13 Jun 20 168
9V-SWW SIN 13 Jun 20 168
9V-SWY SIN 27 Nov 20 1
9V-SWZ SIN 22 Aug 20 98
9V-SNA SIN 25 Jul 20 126
9V-SNB SIN 16 Mar 20 257
9V-SNC SIN 14 Jun 20 167

On average the ten active Boeing 777-300ERs in the fleet are flying only two flights per week, including cargo-only flights to Tokyo and Istanbul.

Boeing 787-10

Only one of SIA’s 15 Boeing 787-10s is currently inactive, with the remainder flying a mixture of passenger and cargo-only flights.

On average, each active Boeing 787-10 aircraft is currently flying 13 flights per week, the busiest in the fleet by flight volumes.

!B78X Label
Aircraft Location Last flew Days ago
9V-SCA SIN 27 Nov 20 1
9V-SCB SIN 28 Nov 20 0
9V-SCC SIN 28 Nov 20 0
9V-SCD SIN 28 Nov 20 0
9V-SCE SIN 26 Nov 20 2
9V-SCF SIN 28 Nov 20 0
9V-SCG SIN 28 Nov 20 0
9V-SCH SIN 28 Nov 20 0
9V-SCI SIN 27 Nov 20 1
9V-SCJ SIN 27 Nov 20 1
9V-SCK SIN 28 Nov 20 0
9V-SCL SIN 26 Nov 20 2
9V-SCM SIN 16 Sep 20 73
9V-SCN SIN 28 Nov 20 0
9V-SCO SIN 28 Nov 20 0

9V-SCI was flown back from Victorville, California on 29th October 2020, having been there for just over three weeks whilst repairs were conducted by Boeing. The aircraft was one of eight worldwide affected by a manufacturing defect in its tail.

It operated back to Singapore via Los Angeles, then returned to service on 4th November 2020 with a cargo-only service to Chennai.

Alice Springs storage

29 Singapore Airlines Group aircraft are currently in long-term storage at Alice Springs airport in Australia, where the hot, dry climate is far more conducive to preservation.

SQ Group at ASP (Steve Strike)
SIA Group aircraft in storage at Alice Springs include Airbus A380s and Boeing 777-200ERs. (Photo: Steve Strike)

These include SilkAir’s Boeing 737 MAX 8 jets, which have been grounded since mid-2019, and some Scoot aircraft.

SIA Group aircraft
stored in Alice Springs
Airline Aircraft Total
Singapore_Airlines Airbus A380 7
Boeing 777-200 7
Boeing 777-200ER 3
SilkAir Boeing 737 MAX 8 6
Scoot Airbus A320 3
Boeing 787-8 3

Future aircraft deliveries

The SIA Group still has large order books with Airbus and Boeing for its fleet modernisation and replacement strategy over the next few years. These comprise:

(click to enlarge)

Additionally, Scoot is taking 10 Airbus A321neo aircraft through leasing companies over the coming years.

Singapore Airlines has now concluded its negotiations with Airbus regarding future aircraft deliveries for the group, however discussions with Boeing remain ongoing.

The airline would not be pressed on whether any cancellations may result from the proposed changes at a recent analyst briefing, when asked whether the discussions were purely for deferral.

“We are not ready to disclose at this point, because negotiation is at an advanced stage”

Tan Kai Ping, EVP Finance and Strategy, Singapore Airlines

Essentially of course, negotiations with Airbus and Boeing will seek to reduce SIA’s new aircraft intake, potentially spreading out this large commitment for 136 additional new aircraft across a longer time period.

SQ A350 Pushback (Alan Wilson)
The bulk of new aircraft deliveries this year was scheduled to be for the Airbus A350, though far fewer will now arrive than were first planned. (Photo: Alan Wilson)

Cathay Pacific recently announced it had deferred its Boeing 777-9 order to “beyond 2025”, so we expect to hear similar news from SIA once negotiations are concluded.

Full details

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.

If the seat types and routes interest you more – see our Seats Guide.

Stay tuned for the next fleet (and aircraft storage) update in December 2020.

(Cover Photo: TK Kurikawa / Shutterstock)

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