This month Singapore Airlines handed back another Airbus A330 to its leasing company, brought its last Boeing 737 MAX out of storage in Australia, and test flew a repaired plane for the first time since it sustained damage 20 months ago.
Meanwhile there are signs in Charleston that the next Boeing 787-10 is being prepared for delivery, and overall the airline is now actively flying 95 of its aircraft, its highest total since COVID-19 decimated schedules.
With at least some border relaxations promised in the coming months as Singapore residents progressively become vaccinated against COVID-19, there’s finally light at the end of the tunnel for some quarantine-free discretionary and leisure travel.
That’s good news for the aircraft still in storage, which could be making their way back to the skies soon, including the flagship superjumbos.
Here are the Singapore Airlines passenger fleet totals at 31st July 2021.
|In maintenance / stored:
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 115 planes at 31st July 2021, 95 of which were recently active.
Click here to see the official CAAS list of registered aircraft in Singapore at 30th June 2021.
SIA Passenger Fleet at 31st July 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’).
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, four Boeing 777-300ERs and seven Boeing 737-800s.
These are therefore excluded from the ‘In Service’ column.
Additionally, all currently registered Boeing 737-8 MAX aircraft, which are awaiting re-certification, are excluded from the ‘In Service’ column for the time being.
This reflects a future fleet of 115 aircraft, plus future near-term deliveries of Airbus A350s, Boeing 737-8 MAXs and Boeing 787-10s.
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)|
|SIA fleet activity timeline (2021)|
Here’s a graphical look at the active vs. stored fleet.
|Type||■ Active / □ Inactive|
Here’s a look at how busy each aircraft fleet has been, based on active aircraft over the seven-day period from 21st July 2021 to 27th July 2021.
|Type||Total flights per week||Average per active aircraft|
|Flights per week||Daily utilisation|
Average fleet utilisation is similar by aircraft type compared to our June 2021 update. Long-Haul Airbus A350s continue to be the ‘workhorses’ in terms of daily flying hours per aircraft, though the other A350s and Boeing 787s aren’t far off.
July 2021 fleet movements
Here’s a summary of the notable movements we’ve seen in the fleet this month:
- Airbus A350 9V-SJB entered revenue service on 4th July as SQ708 from Singapore to Bangkok.
- Airbus A330 9V-SSI made its first test flight in over 18 months, following repairs to its tail area caused during a landing incident at Yangon in November 2019.
- Airbus A330 9V-SSG has been returned to its lessor and was flown to Alice Springs on 15th July for storage, with no known onward operator.
- Boeing 737-8 MAX 9V-MBB, the final example of the type still stored at Alice Springs, was returned to Changi on 15th July.
- Four more Boeing 737-800s were transferred to SIA from SilkAir, but they will not enter revenue service and instead will be sold.
- Airbus A380 9V-SKW was flown from Alice Springs to Sydney on 29th July, then back to Singapore following maintenance on 30th July.
Airbus A330 9V-SSG was de-registered and returned to its lessor, Ireland’s Fly Leasing, earlier this month. The aircraft was re-registered in Bermuda as VP-BUW and flown from Singapore to Alice Springs on 15th July 2021, where it is now in storage.
There are now only two Airbus A330s in the registered fleet, 9V-SSH and 9V-SSI, due for return to their lessors in approximately Aug/Sep and Sep/Oct respectively, at the end of their six-year lease periods.
|Aircraft||Location||Last flew||Days ago|
|9V-SSH||SIN||28 Mar 20||490|
|9V-SSI||SIN||25 Nov 19||614|
‘Last flew’ dates relate to the aircraft’s last revenue passenger or cargo-only flight.
9V-SSI finally made an appearance this month, over a year and a half after sustaining tail damage during a landing incident in Yangon. The repair work was clearly evident when the aircraft took its one-hour test flight on 12th July.
The Airbus A350-900 long-haul fleet was fully active in July 2021, with all 27 aircraft flying revenue services over the last two weeks.