Singapore Airlines

Singapore Airlines Fleet & Storage Report: December 2020

Singapore Airlines is rounding off a torrid year operating its busiest schedule and highest number of passenger aircraft since the COVID-19 pandemic brought an almost complete halt to operations in April 2020. This month 70 of the airline’s wide body jets are flying a mixture of passenger and cargo-only flights.

Though we’ve already said goodbye to many older aircraft types, there’s a formal farewell this month for the airline’s longest-serving Airbus A330, and a sign of yet more new aircraft deliveries to come in the New Year.

Looking forward we should also see the introduction of ex-SilkAir Boeing 737-800s to the Singapore Airlines fleet in 2021, plus the return of Boeing 737 MAX 8s into service.

Fleet totals

Here are the Singapore Airlines passenger fleet totals at 24th December 2020.

  CAAS Database: 135  
  Recently deregistered:
For disposal:
-1
-28
 
  In Service: 106  
  In maintenance / stored:
-36
 
  Active: 70  

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 24th December 2020, 70 of which are currently active.

  Click here to see the official CAAS list of registered aircraft in Singapore at 30th November 2020.

SIA Passenger Fleet at 24th December 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)
6*
0 0
A350-900
!A359.png(full details)
26 26 26
A350-900 Regional
!A359.png(full details)
19
19 18
A350-900 ULR
!A359.png(full details)
7 7 3
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 9
787-10
!B78X.png(full details)
15 15 14
Total 134 106 70

* CAAS database at 30th November 2020 reflects 7 A330s, however 9V-STC was deregistered on 21st December 2020. Data is correct at 24th December 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
B773
B77W
B787
Total
LH
R
ULR
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
Dec 26 18 3 9 14 70

Almost all Airbus A350s and Boeing 787-10s are now in consistent use, while the deployment of Boeing 777-300ERs remains at around a third of that fleet, with the airline actively using a total of 70 aircraft in December 2020, it’s highest total in eight 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 14th December and 20th December 2020.

Type Active / Inactive   Average Daily Utilisation
A330-300 □□□□□□□ 0%
A350 ■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■ 100% 9.3h
A350 R ■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■ 95% 9.5h
A350 ULR ■■■□□□□ 43% 3.8h
A380 □□□□□□□□□□□□□□□□□□□ 0%
777-200 □□□□□□□□ 0%
777-200ER □□□ 0%
777-300 □□□□ 0%
777-300ER ■■■■■■■■■□□□□□□□□□□□□□□□□□□ 33% 4.1h
787-10 ■■■■■■■■■■■■■■ 93% 10.2h

Boeing 777-300ER activity remains low, dropping from 6 hours on average per aircraft in November to around 4 hours in December. These aircraft continue to mostly be deployed on cargo-only services, with some passenger flights in the mix including to Bangkok and Ho Chi Minh, where the First Class cabin is not sold.

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

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

The Airbus A350 long-haul fleet continues to be 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.

This partly explains the return to service of the Airbus A350 ULRs, with those three active aircraft gently re-entering service this month flying an average of 4 hours per day.

This will ramp up as all seven aircraft are brought back into operation with daily New York and San Francisco flights from mid-January 2021.

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

  • Airbus A330
  • Airbus A380
  • Boeing 777-200
  • Boeing 777-200ER
  • Boeing 777-300

Fleet retirements

In case you missed the news, many of these stored aircraft will not be returning to the Singapore Airlines fleet even after COVID-19, following a fleet and network review undertaken announced in early November alongside the carrier’s first half financial results.

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

9V-STC has been deregistered

Earlier this week Singapore Airlines finally said goodbye to Airbus A330-300 9V-STC.

Why was 9V-STC so interesting? It was the longest-serving Airbus A330 in the fleet by far. First delivered on 25th February 2009 as the airline’s third model on an initial five-year lease, it ended up registered to the airline for nearly 12 years!

We can only assume Singapore Airlines got a very good lease renewal deal or two from the aircraft’s owner, DAE Capital, since it remained in the fleet while other much newer A330s were returned after lease expiry.

Fun fact: In 2014, as 9V-STC’s initial lease period was coming to an end, global average monthly lease rates for a brand new Airbus A330-300 were around US$850,000. However, a 10-year old aircraft (like -STC today) would set an airline back less than US$400,000 per month in 2019.

9V-STC operated its final passenger service from Yangon to Singapore on 2nd April 2020, making it the last A330 in the fleet to carry passengers, just as the airline wound its operations up to a skeleton schedule 96% smaller than usual for the month due to COVID-19.

9V-STC was the longest-serving Airbus A330 in the Singapore Airlines fleet, clocking up nearly 12 years with the airline

The aircraft was formally deregistered on 21st December 2020 and has been transferred to Air Canada as C-GHKC, but has yet to leave Changi.

Like 9V-STQ (pictured), -STC will have a new life with Air Canada, but has yet to be delivered to the airline. (Photo: Dillon Chong)

The work of the A330 fleet has now been taken up by Airbus A350 Regional and Boeing 787-10 aircraft in the SIA fleet, though there are still six registered A330s in storage at Changi.

These are due for return to lessors between now and September 2021.

Another A350 Regional is coming

Speaking of A330 replacements, on the same day 9V-STC was formally deregistered from Singapore the next brand new Airbus A350 took its first flight in Toulouse.

The aircraft, which will be 9V-SHT on delivery, is part of the next batch of four A350s due for delivery in relatively close succession.

Registrations (and therefore variants) have not been assigned for the next three aircraft, so we’re not sure at this stage whether these will also be Regional or perhaps Long Haul models.

Last time SIA took a batch of new A350 Regionals it waited for four to accumulate in Toulouse then had them delivered in close succession, so it could still be a few more months before we see these next four join the fleet.

The A350 ULR is back in service

As we announced last month, Singapore Airlines’ Airbus A350 ULRs have returned to service on the recently reinstated San Francisco route, operating three times per week.

At this stage three of the seven aircraft in this sub-fleet have been operating, however we expect all seven will return to active service by mid-January 2021, when the New York JFK route switches to daily A350 ULR service and San Francisco also becomes daily on the ULR.

Three Airbus A350 ULRs, including 9V-SGE, were back in passenger service during December 2020. (Photo: Dillon Chong)

The storage report: December 2020

Here’s how SIA’s passenger fleet activity looked on 24th December 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 nine months.

These aircraft are being progressively returned to their leasing companies, a process expected to be completed in Q3 2021.

!A330v3 Label
Aircraft Location Last flew Days ago
9V-STC SIN 2 Apr 20 266
9V-SSD SIN 31 Mar 20 268
9V-SSE SIN 27 Mar 20 272
9V-SSF SIN 13 Mar 20 286
9V-SSG SIN 23 Mar 20 276
9V-SSH SIN 28 Mar 20 271
9V-SSI SIN 25 Nov 19 395

9V-STC completed a test flight on 9th November 2020. It was formally deregistered on 21st December 2020 and transferred to Air Canada as C-GHKC, but has yet to leave Changi.

9V-SSI has yet to make a test flight appearance after sustaining tail damage during a landing incident at Yangon in November 2019. The aircraft was ferried empty to Singapore over a year ago on 14th December 2019, but has not flown since.

Airbus A350-900

The Airbus A350-900 long-haul fleet rose to full strength for the first time since the pandemic, with 9V-SME breaking its eight-month absence with a flight to Amsterdam on 28th November 2020, following a test flight earlier in the day.

The aircraft is now back in regular service, bringing the operating fleet to 26 with none in storage.

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

!A359 Label
Aircraft Location Last flew Days ago
9V-SMA SIN 24 Dec 20 0
9V-SMB SIN 24 Dec 20 0
9V-SMC SIN 23 Dec 20 1
9V-SMD SIN 15 Dec 20 9
9V-SME SIN 24 Dec 20 0
9V-SMF SIN 23 Dec 20 1
9V-SMG SIN 23 Dec 20 1
9V-SMH SIN 23 Dec 20 1
9V-SMI SIN 23 Dec 20 1
9V-SMJ SIN 23 Dec 20 1
9V-SMK SIN 23 Dec 20 1
9V-SML SIN 23 Dec 20 1
9V-SMM SIN 23 Dec 20 1
9V-SMN SIN 24 Dec 20 0
9V-SMO SIN 21 Dec 20 3
9V-SMP SIN 24 Dec 20 0
9V-SMQ SIN 24 Dec 20 0
9V-SMR SIN 23 Dec 20 1
9V-SMS SIN 23 Dec 20 1
9V-SMT SIN 20 Dec 20 4
9V-SMU SIN 24 Dec 20 0
9V-SMV SIN 22 Dec 20 2
9V-SMW SIN 23 Dec 20 1
9V-SMY SIN 24 Dec 20 0
9V-SMZ SIN 23 Dec 20 1
9V-SJA SIN 23 Dec 20 1

Airbus A350-900 Regional

There is now only one Airbus A350-900 Regional aircraft in storage or maintenance (9V-SHF), down from two last month.

Overall 18 of this variant were flying over the last two weeks, each operating an average of 11 flights per week.

!A359R Label
Aircraft Location Last flew Days ago
9V-SHA SIN 24 Dec 20 0
9V-SHB SIN 24 Dec 20 0
9V-SHC SIN 24 Dec 20 0
9V-SHD SIN 24 Dec 20 0
9V-SHE SIN 21 Dec 20 3
9V-SHF SIN 24 Jul 20 153
9V-SHG SIN 23 Dec 20 1
9V-SHH SIN 22 Dec 20 2
9V-SHI SIN 24 Dec 20 0
9V-SHJ SIN 24 Dec 20 0
9V-SHK SIN 24 Dec 20 0
9V-SHL SIN 23 Dec 20 1
9V-SHM SIN 24 Dec 20 0
9V-SHN SIN 22 Dec 20 2
9V-SHO SIN 23 Dec 20 1
9V-SHP SIN 23 Dec 20 1
9V-SHQ SIN 20 Dec 20 4
9V-SHR SIN 24 Dec 20 0
9V-SHS SIN 24 Dec 20 0

Airbus A350-900 ULR

As mentioned earlier, an initial batch of three Airbus A350-900 ULR aircraft has re-entered regular passenger service on the Singapore – San Francisco route.

!A359 ULR Label
Aircraft Location Last flew Days ago
9V-SGA SIN 25 Mar 20 274
9V-SGB SIN 22 Mar 20 277
9V-SGC SIN 30 Mar 20 269
9V-SGD SIN 25 Mar 20 274
9V-SGE SIN 19 Dec 20 5
9V-SGF SIN 22 Dec 20 2
9V-SGG SIN 21 Dec 20 3

This should rise to cover all aircraft by mid-January 2021 once New York operations shift to the ULR and US routes increase to daily service.

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 March 2021.

!A388 Label
Aircraft Location Last flew Days ago
9V-SKF SIN 24 Mar 20 275
9V-SKG SIN 25 Mar 20 274
9V-SKH SIN 22 Mar 20 277
9V-SKI SIN 20 Mar 20 279
9V-SKJ SIN 20 Mar 20 279
9V-SKK ASP 21 Mar 20 272
9V-SKL SIN 27 Mar 20 278
9V-SKM SIN 21 Mar 20 278
9V-SKN SIN 15 Oct 19 436
9V-SKP ASP 24 Mar 20 275
9V-SKQ ASP 26 Mar 20 273
9V-SKR SIN 19 Mar 20 280
9V-SKS SIN 12 Mar 20 287
9V-SKT ASP 18 Mar 20 281
9V-SKU SIN 25 Mar 20 274
9V-SKV SIN 28 Mar 20 271
9V-SKW ASP 26 Mar 20 273
9V-SKY ASP 27 Mar 20 272
9V-SKZ ASP 30 Mar 20 269

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, all to be fitted with new cabin products.

Boeing 777-200

Earlier this year SIA inherited back a set of seven Boeing 777-200s it was leasing to NokScoot. These aircraft are now stored in Alice Springs, with one additional aircraft hibernating at Changi for a couple of years now.

!B772 Label
Aircraft Location Last flew Days ago
9V-SQJ SIN 10 Aug 18 867
9V-SRF ASP 30 Nov 19 390
9V-SRG ASP 1 Feb 20 327
9V-SRH ASP 23 Mar 20 276
9V-SRJ ASP 7 Jun 20 200
9V-SRL ASP 24 Mar 20 275
9V-SRP ASP 24 Mar 20 275
9V-SRQ ASP 15 Jun 20 192

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 20 282
9V-SVC ASP 19 Mar 20 280
9V-SVE ASP 21 Mar 20 278

Boeing 777-300

As mentioned last month, 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 20 258
9V-SYH SIN 5 May 20 233
9V-SYJ SIN 29 Oct 20 56
9V-SYL SIN 17 Jun 20 190

Boeing 777-300ER

Nine of SIA’s 27 Boeing 777-300ERs were active over the last two weeks, with the other 18 stored at Changi.

These aircraft are now mostly dedicated to cargo-only operation in the current schedule through 31st March 2021, having ceased almost all passenger services in June 2020, though Bangkok and Ho Chi Minh routes both see the aircraft operating with the First Class cabin remaining vacant.

!B773ER Label
Aircraft Location Last flew Days ago
9V-SWA SIN 29 Mar 20 270
9V-SWB SIN 24 Mar 20 275
9V-SWD SIN 19 Mar 20 280
9V-SWE SIN 18 Dec 20 6
9V-SWF SIN 28 Sep 20 87
9V-SWG SIN 30 May 20 208
9V-SWH SIN 24 Dec 20 0
9V-SWI SIN 6 May 20 232
9V-SWJ SIN 4 May 20 234
9V-SWK SIN 22 Dec 20 2
9V-SWL SIN 13 Dec 20 11
9V-SWM SIN 7 Dec 20 17
9V-SWN SIN 4 Dec 20 20
9V-SWO SIN 19 Dec 20 5
9V-SWP SIN 23 Dec 20 1
9V-SWQ SIN 23 Dec 20 1
9V-SWR SIN 22 Dec 20 2
9V-SWS SIN 23 Dec 20 1
9V-SWT SIN 23 Mar 20 276
9V-SWU SIN 30 Apr 20 238
9V-SWV SIN 13 Jun 20 194
9V-SWW SIN 13 Jun 20 194
9V-SWY SIN 5 Dec 20 19
9V-SWZ SIN 27 Jun 20 180
9V-SNA SIN 23 Jun 20 184
9V-SNB SIN 16 Mar 20 283
9V-SNC SIN 14 Jun 20 193

On average the nine active Boeing 777-300ERs in the fleet are flying only five flights per week, including cargo-only flights to Beijing, 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 14 flights per week, the busiest in the fleet by flight volumes.

!B78X Label
Aircraft Location Last flew Days ago
9V-SCA SIN 15 Dec 20 9
9V-SCB SIN 23 Dec 20 1
9V-SCC SIN 23 Dec 20 1
9V-SCD SIN 23 Dec 20 1
9V-SCE SIN 24 Dec 20 0
9V-SCF SIN 21 Dec 20 3
9V-SCG SIN 23 Dec 20 1
9V-SCH SIN 23 Dec 20 1
9V-SCI SIN 24 Dec 20 0
9V-SCJ SIN 23 Dec 20 1
9V-SCK SIN 24 Dec 20 0
9V-SCL SIN 24 Dec 20 0
9V-SCM SIN 16 Sep 20 99
9V-SCN SIN 24 Dec 20 0
9V-SCO SIN 23 Dec 20 1

Alice Springs storage

29 Singapore Airlines Group aircraft remain in long-term storage at Alice Springs airport in Australia at the end of 2020, where the hot, dry climate is far more conducive to preservation.

SIA Group aircraft in storage at Alice Springs include Airbus A380s, Boeing 737 MAX 8s 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.

The bulk of new aircraft deliveries this year was scheduled to be for the Airbus A350, though no more are likely to arrive until 2021. (Photo: Kwok Ho Eddie Wong)

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.

What 2021 will bring for the fleet

While we still don’t know exactly how the new aircraft delivery schedule will look for SIA in the coming year, there are some things we can expect.

  • Former SilkAir Boeing 737-800s will enter service with Singapore Airlines by March 2021. The aircraft will retain their former cabin products, but several have already been painted in Singapore Airlines livery.
  • The SilkAir Boeing 737 MAX 8s are set to be re-certified following modifications. Sources say the six aircraft should start to be returned to Changi from Alice Springs soon. It’s not clear if they will re-enter service with SilkAir or move across to SIA.
  • The final Airbus A330s will be returned to their lessors by September 2021, though the type is not due to re-enter passenger service beforehand.
9V-MGK is one of the Boeing 737-800s due to move across to the Singapore Airlines fleet in 2021

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 January 2021.

(Cover Photo: Aero Icarus)

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