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Singapore Airlines

Singapore Airlines Fleet: May 2021

This month Singapore Airlines confirmed four of its oldest 777-300ERs have been retired, while 737-8 MAX aircraft and more efficient wide-body jets will continue to arrive in the year ahead.

This month the most significant news about the Singapore Airlines fleet has been the revelation that four older Boeing 777-300ERs have been retired from service, in continued response to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on SIA’s fortunes.

Meanwhile it has been confirmed that a large boost to the fleet over the current financial year will arise from not only the six Boeing 737-8 MAX aircraft moving across from SilkAir, but a further eight of the type currently stored in the USA under Boeing’s care.

This will boost the MAX fleet to 14 by March 2022, though it’s not yet clear when the type will be cleared to operate again in Singapore, nor whether all 14 would be brought into passenger service immediately as they are delivered.

The troubled Boeing 737 MAX 8, now cleared to fly in many countries but still awaiting approval here in Singapore, will also eventually replace the older 737-800s, and the first two to receive the SIA colour scheme and new cabin products have now been rolled out of the hangar.

Meanwhile the wide-body fleet renewal process is set to continue, with more Airbus A350s and Boeing 787-10s confirmed for delivery this year.

Fleet totals

Here are the Singapore Airlines passenger fleet totals at 31st May 2021.

  CAAS Database: 146  
  Awaiting certification:
For disposal:
-5
-27
 
  In Service: 114  
  In maintenance / stored:
-25
 
  Active: 89  

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 114 planes at 31st May 2021, 89 of which were recently active.

  Click here to see the official CAAS list of registered aircraft in Singapore at 30th April 2021.


 

 

SIA Passenger Fleet at 31st May 2021

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
3
0 0
A350-900
!A359.png
26 26 25
A350-900 Regional
!A359.png
22
22 21
A350-900 ULR
!A359.png
7 7 7
A380-800 v1
!A388.png
6 0 0
A380-800 v2
!A388.png
4 3 0
A380-800 v3
!A388.png
9 9 0
737-800
9 9 9
737-8 MAX
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is B38M-Label-Small-v2.png
5 0 0
777-200
!B772.png
8 0 0
777-200ER
!B772.png
3 0 0
777-300
!B773.png
2 0 0
777-300ER
!B773.png
27 23 12
787-10
!B78X.png
15 15 15
Total 146 114 89

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.

Additionally, four newly announced Boeing 777-300ER retirements and all currently registered Boeing 737-8 MAX aircraft, which are awaiting re-certification, are excluded from the ‘In Service’ column.

This reflects a future fleet of 114 aircraft, plus future near-term deliveries of Airbus A350s, Boeing 737-8 MAXs and Boeing 787-10s.

Fleet activity

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 monthly fleet update ‘snapshots’, from April 2020 to date.

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
SIA fleet activity timeline (2021)
  A350
B738
B77W
B787
Total
LH
R
ULR
Jan
26 18 6 9 15 74
Feb
25 17 6 9 15 72
Mar
26 17 7 4 11 15 80
Apr
26 19 7 8 11 15 86
May
25 21 7 9 12 15 89

Almost all Airbus A350s and Boeing 787-10s remain in consistent use, alongside the nine recent Boeing 737-800 deliveries, while the deployment of Boeing 777-300ERs has risen to 52% of that fleet, now that we know only 23 of the aircraft will return to service.

Overall the airline was actively using a total of 89 aircraft in May 2021, its highest total since the COVID-19 pandemic began.

Here’s a graphical look at the active vs. stored fleet.

Type Active / Inactive  
A330-300 □□□ 0%
A350 ■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■ 96%
A350 R ■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■ 95%
A350 ULR ■■■■■■■ 100%
A380 □□□□□□□□□□□□□□□□□□□ 0%
737-800 ■■■■■■■■■ 100%
777-200 □□□□□□□□ 0%
777-200ER □□□ 0%
777-300 □□ 0%
777-300ER ■■■■■■■■■■■■□□□□□□□□□□□ 52%
787-10 ■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■ 100%

 

Here’s a look at how busy each aircraft fleet has been, based on active aircraft over the seven-day period from 21st May 2021 to 27th May 2021.

Type Total flights per week Average per active aircraft
Flights per week Daily utilisation
A350 190 7 11.3h
A350 R 252 12 9.9h
A350 ULR 29 5 11.9h
737-800 54 6 2.0h
777-300ER 90 8 3.3h
787-10 207 14 10.5h

Airbus A350s are the current ‘workhorses’ in terms of daily flying hours per aircraft, though the Boeing 787s aren’t far off.

Not surprisingly, with 21 active aircraft and a focus on regional routes, the A350 Regional is flying the highest number of flights per week.

Four Boeing 777-300ERs have been retired

In SIA’s latest financial update, the carrier confirmed it had written-down the value of four Boeing 777-300ERs, with these aircraft now retired from the fleet. They will therefore not be returning to operation post-COVID.

We checked with Singapore Airlines, who confirmed to us that the affected aircraft are:

  • 9V-SWA (age 14.7 years)
  • 9V-SWD (age 14.5 years)
  • 9V-SWE (age 14.5 years)
  • 9V-SWF (age 14.5 years)

These are the four oldest Boeing 777-300ERs in the fleet, notably excluding 9V-SWB which has been spared an early retirement.

9V-SWB suffered extensive wing damage after a fire in June 2016, while landing at Changi after turning back from a proposed flight to Milan, due to a technical problem.

The repairs took five months to complete and the expenses incurred probably resulted a much higher write-off to bring the aircraft to ‘book value’ for resale, likely the reason it is being retained in the fleet for now.

Boeing 737 MAX joins the SIA fleet

This month, with the final SilkAir passenger flight completed, five of the regional wing’s six existing Boeing 737-8 MAX aircraft (9V-MBA to 9V-MBE) have been formally transferred to the Singapore Airlines Air Operator Certificate.

Here’s how the fleet will look once 9V-MBF also makes the shift.

SIA Boeing 737-8 MAX Fleet

Registration Age
(years)
Current
Livery
Current
Location
9V-MBA 3.6 SIN
9V-MBB 3.5 ASP
9V-MBC 3.4 SIN
9V-MBD 3.1 ASP
9V-MBE 3.0 ASP
9V-MBF* 2.2 SIN

* Still registered to SilkAir as of 30th April 2021.

In March Singapore Airlines confirmed that its Boeing 737-8 MAX cabin refit programme had commenced, starting with its first aircraft returned from Alice Springs (9V-MBA).

According to our sources a second aircraft, 9V-MBC, has now also had its refit completed.

Aside from a repaint from SilkAir colours, the process also involves:

  • Installation of flat-bed Thompson Vantage Business Class seats
  • Installation of new Economy Class seats with seat-back entertainment systems
  • The addition of Wi-Fi connectivity

Here’s 9V-MBA pictured at Changi in late April sporting its new colours, with the tell-tale Wi-Fi antenna on the roof.

SIA’s first Boeing 737 MAX 8 at Changi Airport on 29 April 2021. (Photo: Plane’s Portrait Aviation Media / Malcolm Lu)

The MAXs will eventually replace SIA’s Boeing 737-800s, for a consistent product and service offering across the narrow-body and wide-body fleets, however the type is still awaiting approval to fly again in Singapore from the Civil Aviation Authority (CAAS).

No timescale for a reintroduction of the aircraft type in Singapore has yet been announced, but hopefully once that does happen we can look forward to a formal reveal of the new cabin products.

Airbus A330s

Three Singapore Airlines Airbus A330s remain in storage at Changi. All aircraft have ceased service, not flying revenue flights for over a year, and are for return to their respective leasing companies.

This process should finish in Q3 2021 with 9V-SSI.

!A330v3 Label
Aircraft Location Last flew Days ago
9V-SSG SIN 23 Mar 20 434
9V-SSH SIN 28 Mar 20 429
9V-SSI SIN 25 Nov 19 553

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

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 17 months ago in mid-December 2019, but has not flown since.

Airbus A350s

The Airbus A350-900 long-haul fleet remained at close to full strength in May 2021, with an operating total of 25 out of 26 aircraft. 9V-SMH appears to be having routine maintenance.

!A359 Label
Aircraft Location Last flew Days ago
9V-SMA SIN 31 May 21 0
9V-SMB SIN 30 May 21 1
9V-SMC SIN 30 May 21 1
9V-SMD SIN 31 May 21 0
9V-SME SIN 31 May 21 0
9V-SMF SIN 31 May 21 0
9V-SMG SIN 29 May 21 2
9V-SMH SIN 17 May 21 14
9V-SMI SIN 23 May 21 8
9V-SMJ SIN 31 May 21 0
9V-SMK SIN 30 May 21 1
9V-SML SIN 30 May 21 1
9V-SMM SIN 30 May 21 1
9V-SMN SIN 31 May 21 0
9V-SMO SIN 31 May 21 0
9V-SMP SIN 30 May 21 1
9V-SMQ SIN 30 May 21 1
9V-SMR SIN 31 May 21 0
9V-SMS SIN 31 May 21 0
9V-SMT SIN 30 May 21 1
9V-SMU SIN 30 May 21 1
9V-SMV SIN 30 May 21 1
9V-SMW SIN 29 May 21 2
9V-SMY SIN 29 May 21 2
9V-SMZ SIN 30 May 21 1
9V-SJA SIN 30 May 21 1

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

The next A350 delivery looks likely to be 9V-SJB, which has now completed its first test flight in Toulouse.

It will be the 27th A350 Long Haul variant in the SIA fleet.

There is currently one Airbus A350-900 Regional aircraft in storage or maintenance (9V-SHI), meaning 21 of this variant were flying recently, with the most recently delivered trio 9V-SHT, -SHU and -SHV all active.

!A359R Label
Aircraft Location Last flew Days ago
9V-SHA SIN 31 May 21 0
9V-SHB SIN 30 May 21 1
9V-SHC SIN 31 May 21 0
9V-SHD SIN 30 May 21 1
9V-SHE SIN 31 May 21 0
9V-SHF SIN 30 May 21 1
9V-SHG SIN 27 May 21 4
9V-SHH SIN 31 May 21 0
9V-SHI SIN 7 Apr 21 54
9V-SHJ SIN 31 May 21 0
9V-SHK SIN 31 May 21 0
9V-SHL SIN 30 May 21 1
9V-SHM SIN 31 May 21 0
9V-SHN SIN 31 May 21 0
9V-SHO SIN 29 May 21 2
9V-SHP SIN 31 May 21 0
9V-SHQ SIN 31 May 21 0
9V-SHR SIN 31 May 21 0
9V-SHS SIN 30 May 21 1
9V-SHT SIN 31 May 21 0
9V-SHU SIN 30 May 21 1
9V-SHV SIN 31 May 21 0

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

As we predicted last month, the test flight of 9V-SHF in late April was a precursor to this aircraft returning to service, having been ‘missing’ from the active fleet and in storage for over nine months.

All of the airline’s Airbus A350-900 ULR aircraft are in service, covering daily San Francisco and New York JFK services.

!A359 ULR Label
Aircraft Location Last flew Days ago
9V-SGA SIN 30 May 21 1
9V-SGB SIN 29 May 21 2
9V-SGC SIN 26 May 21 5
9V-SGD SIN 20 May 21 11
9V-SGE SIN 31 May 21 0
9V-SGF SIN 29 May 21 2
9V-SGG SIN 30 May 21 1

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

Airbus A380s

Seven of the airline’s Airbus A380 aircraft are currently 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 July 2021.

In fact Singapore Airlines has now removed the aircraft type from all its flight schedules for the rest of the northern summer 2021 season, provisionally reappearing only from November 2021 (though that remains TBC).

!A388 Label
Aircraft Location Last flew Days ago
9V-SKF SIN 24 Mar 20 433
9V-SKG SIN 25 Mar 20 432
9V-SKH SIN 22 Mar 20 435
9V-SKI SIN 20 Mar 20 437
9V-SKJ SIN 20 Mar 20 437
9V-SKK ASP 21 Mar 20 436
9V-SKL ASP 27 Mar 20 430
9V-SKM SIN 21 Mar 20 436
9V-SKN SIN 15 Oct 19 594
9V-SKP ASP 24 Mar 20 433
9V-SKQ SIN 26 Mar 20 431
9V-SKR SIN 19 Mar 20 438
9V-SKS SIN 12 Mar 20 445
9V-SKT ASP 18 Mar 20 439
9V-SKU SIN 25 Mar 20 432
9V-SKV SIN 28 Mar 20 429
9V-SKW ASP 26 Mar 20 431
9V-SKY ASP 27 Mar 20 430
9V-SKZ ASP 30 Mar 20 427

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

SIA has confirmed 12 of its A380 aircraft will be remaining under current plans for the post-COVID recovery, all to be fitted with new cabin products before returning to service.

Boeing 737-800s

All nine Boeing 737-800s moving across from SilkAir to Singapore Airlines are now in service with the mainline carrier.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is B738-Label-Small.jpg
Aircraft Location Last flew Days ago
9V-MGA SIN 31 May 21 0
9V-MGB SIN 27 May 21 4
9V-MGC SIN 30 May 21 1
9V-MGD SIN 28 May 21 3
9V-MGE SIN 29 May 21 2
9V-MGK SIN 30 May 21 1
9V-MGL SIN 31 May 21 0
9V-MGM SIN 29 May 21 2
9V-MGN SIN 31 May 21 0

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

SilkAir’s last passenger flight was on 6th May 2021, from Kathmandu to Singapore. Don’t miss our tribute to the regional subsidiary’s 29-year history.

Boeing 737-8 MAX

As mentioned above, five ex-SilkAir Boeing 737-8 MAX aircraft were registered to Singapore Airlines since our last update, as stated in the latest CAAS aircraft register.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is B38M-Label-Small.png
Aircraft Location Last flew Days ago
9V-MBA SIN 11 Mar 19 812
9V-MBB ASP 11 Mar 19 812
9V-MBC SIN 10 Mar 19 813
9V-MBD ASP 12 Mar 19 811
9V-MBE ASP 11 Mar 19 812

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

These aircraft have not flown since early 2019 when the fleet was grounded by regulators due to safety concerns. They are in the process of being returned to Singapore for cabin refits in anticipation of clearance to fly again in the coming months.

Only 9V-MBF is still registered to SilkAir, likely to also reflect as an SIA aircraft at the next update. Eight further aircraft already built by Boeing and stored in the USA will join the fleet between now and March 2022.

Boeing 777-200 / -200ER / -300s

In 2020 SIA inherited back a set of seven Boeing 777-200s it was leasing to the now-defunct NokScoot. These aircraft were all initially 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 2 Aug 18 1,033
9V-SRF ASP 30 Nov 19 548
9V-SRG ASP 1 Feb 20 485
9V-SRH ASP 23 Mar 20 434
9V-SRJ ASP 7 Jun 20 358
9V-SRL ASP 24 Mar 20 433
9V-SRP SIN 24 Mar 20 433
9V-SRQ SIN 15 Jun 20 350

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

Both 9V-SRP and 9V-SRQ were returned from Alice Springs to Singapore in early April 2021, presumably in preparation for disposal / sale.

Last flight and number of days shown reflects most recent passenger service with NokScoot in the case of SRF to SRQ.

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

!B772ER Label
Aircraft Location Last flew Days ago
9V-SVB ASP 17 Mar 20 440
9V-SVC ASP 19 Mar 20 438
9V-SVE ASP 21 Mar 20 436

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

There are still two retired Boeing 777-300 (non-ER) aircraft in the fleet, also for disposal.

!B773 Label
Aircraft Location Last flew Days ago
9V-SYF SIN 10 Apr 20 416
9V-SYH SIN 5 May 20 391

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


 

 

Boeing 777-300ERs

12 of SIA’s 27 Boeing 777-300ERs were active over the last two weeks, the highest since slimmed-down COVID-19 schedules took effect in April 2020.

The other 15 aircraft are stored at Changi, though as we mentioned above 9V-SWA, -SWD, -SWE and -SWF have been retired and will not rejoin the fleet, leaving only 11 to be activated again.

!B773ER Label
Aircraft Location Last flew Days ago
9V-SWA SIN 29 Mar 20 428
9V-SWB SIN 24 Mar 20 433
9V-SWD SIN 19 Mar 20 438
9V-SWE SIN 1 Feb 21 119
9V-SWF SIN 28 Sep 20 245
9V-SWG SIN 30 May 20 366
9V-SWH SIN 30 May 21 1
9V-SWI SIN 29 May 21 2
9V-SWJ SIN 4 May 20 392
9V-SWK SIN 31 May 21 0
9V-SWL ASP 13 Mar 21 79
9V-SWM SIN 13 Feb 21 107
9V-SWN SIN 3 May 21 28
9V-SWO SIN 28 May 21 3
9V-SWP SIN 31 May 21 0
9V-SWQ SIN 30 May 21 1
9V-SWR SIN 30 May 21 1
9V-SWS SIN 30 May 21 1
9V-SWT SIN 31 May 21 0
9V-SWU SIN 29 May 21 2
9V-SWV SIN 30 May 21 1
9V-SWW SIN 30 May 21 1
9V-SWY SIN 5 Dec 20 177
9V-SWZ SIN 27 Jun 20 338
9V-SNA SIN 23 Jun 20 342
9V-SNB SIN 16 Mar 20 441
9V-SNC SIN 14 Jun 20 351

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

One of these aircraft, 9V-SWL, is stored at Alice Springs.

The Boeing 777-300ER fleet has been predominantly operating cargo-only flights for the last year or so, though these aircraft are now increasingly being used for passenger services too.

Routes include London, Sydney, Jakarta and Hong Kong, including a First Class cabin from June 2021.

Boeing 787-10s

All of SIA’s 15 Boeing 787-10s are currently active, flying a mixture of passenger and cargo-only flights.

!B78X Label
Aircraft Location Last flew Days ago
9V-SCA SIN 30 May 21 1
9V-SCB SIN 31 May 21 0
9V-SCC SIN 31 May 21 0
9V-SCD SIN 31 May 21 0
9V-SCE SIN 31 May 21 0
9V-SCF SIN 30 May 21 1
9V-SCG SIN 30 May 21 1
9V-SCH SIN 31 May 21 0
9V-SCI SIN 23 May 21 8
9V-SCJ SIN 31 May 21 0
9V-SCK SIN 29 May 21 2
9V-SCL SIN 31 May 21 0
9V-SCM SIN 30 May 21 1
9V-SCN SIN 31 May 21 0
9V-SCO SIN 31 May 21 0

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

Alice Springs storage

25 Singapore Airlines Group aircraft remain in long-term storage at Alice Springs airport in Australia as of 31st May 2021, where the hot, dry climate is far more conducive to preservation.

SIA Group aircraft
stored in Alice Springs
Airline Aircraft Total
Singapore_Airlines Airbus A380 7
Boeing 737-8 MAX 3
Boeing 777-200 5
Boeing 777-200ER 3
Boeing 777-300ER 1
Scoot Airbus A320 3
Boeing 787-8 3

A cargo-only Singapore – Melbourne flight (SQ207) on 1st June 2021 is provisionally planned to stop in Alice Springs en-route to its destination, presumably to drop off crew members to fly more aircraft from the facility back to Singapore.

That means we should see some more activity or reshuffles on this list next month.

Fleet development plan

Based on the latest CAAS aircraft register at 30th April 2021 and SIA’s latest financial update in May 2021, here’s how the registered SIA fleet should develop between now and March 2022.

Registered Passenger Aircraft Fleet

Aircraft Type Fleet Totals
30 Apr
2021
Leaving Joining 31 Mar
2022
A330-300 3   3  
A350-900 26     3 58
A350-900 Regional 22
A350-900 ULR 7
A380-800 19   7   12
737-8 MAX 5     9 14
737-800 NG 9     9
777-200 8   8  
777-200ER 3   3  
777-300 2   2  
777-300ER 27   4   23
787-10 15     5 20
All Types 146   27   17 136

Aside from the remaining Airbus A330s, which will be returned to their lessors by Q3 2021, this table assumes that other aircraft being withdrawn will have been formally deregistered by 31st March 2022. That might not be the case, though either way they certainly won’t be returned to revenue service.

The latest total SIA Group orders for fleet modernisation and replacement stands as follows.

(click to enlarge)

Additionally, Scoot has committed to taking 10 Airbus A321neo aircraft through leasing companies over the coming months, two of which have now been delivered, for a total of 16 such aircraft including the carrier’s six firm orders.

Scoot’s first Airbus A321neo delivery was 9V-NCB, on operating lease. (Photo: Dillon Chong)


 

 

Summary

It’s been sad to receive news this month of four older Boeing 777-300ER aircraft being moved into early retirement, though with the prolonged COVID-19 situation keeping most borders restricted the recovery trajectory must seem increasingly uncertain for SIA.

The airline relies wholly on international travel and even once that is permitted, analysts are favouring point-to-point options recovering first, not the hub-and-spoke model SIA uses.

SIA’s Boeing 777-300ER fleet is shrinking earlier than planned. (Photo: Plane’s Portrait Aviation Media / Malcolm Lu)

With this in mind, smaller aircraft like the Airbus A350 and Boeing 737-8 MAX are the company’s focus to drive the recovery, so it’s perhaps no surprise that four Boeing 777-300ERs are joining the previously announced seven A380s on the airline’s scrap heap.

In good news towards an ultimate recovery, SIA is now actively flying 89 aircraft, its highest since schedules were slashed in April 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic decimated schedules to just 4% of usual flying.

Stay tuned for the next fleet update in June 2021.

(Cover Photo: Aero Icarus)

1 comment

  1. Actually, I am rather excited at the possibility of Singapore Airlines refitting Scoot 787s and coming onto mainline service as the A321neos replace them.

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