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Singapore Airlines withdrawing Airbus A380s from Delhi

From December 2022, Singapore Airlines will replace its daily Airbus A380 flights to Delhi with older Boeing 777-300ERs.

Question is, where might the superjumbo fly instead this winter, now that borders have been relaxed in both Japan and Hong Kong?

Singapore Airlines has made a major change to its northern winter flight schedule on the Delhi route, removing its Airbus A380 superjumbos from the city pair starting in December 2022, and replacing them with four-class Boeing 777-300ERs instead.

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While this isn’t a huge deal for those booked in Business Class, Premium Economy or Economy Class, if you snagged a Suites award or forked out cash for this exclusive cabin, the alternative seat you’ll now have isn’t quite on-par.

Additionally, with an 11th refitted A380 joining the Singapore Airlines fleet soon, this withdrawal from a daily flight looks set to mean there’s more news to come for the type’s deployment this winter.

This could potentially include an extra Sydney rotation, and perhaps even a Tokyo or Hong Kong connection, now that borders have been relaxed.

Delhi schedule

Singapore Airlines reintroduced its Airbus A380s on India flights in mid-April 2022, following border relaxations in both countries.

Here’s how SIA’s Singapore – Delhi route currently looks in the schedules, with twice daily flights in both directions, including the daily Airbus A380 option.

Singapore Airlines Delhi Schedule
(until 30th November 2022)

  Days
M T W T F S S
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Singapore_Airlines_Small.png SQ402
787-10
SIN
02:25
DEL
05:55
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Singapore_Airlines_Small.png SQ406
A380
SIN
16:25
DEL
20:00
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Singapore_Airlines_Small.png SQ401
787-10
DEL
09:55
SIN
18:15
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Singapore_Airlines_Small.png SQ403
A380
DEL
21:50
SIN
06:05*

* Next day

From December 2022 the afternoon SQ406 flight, which returns to Changi overnight for an early morning touchdown in the Lion City, will be downgauged from the Airbus A380 to the Boeing 777-300ER, as shown in the following schedule.

Singapore Airlines Delhi Schedule
(from 1st December 2022)

Boeing 777-300ER flights highlighted

  Days
M T W T F S S
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Singapore_Airlines_Small.png SQ402
787-10
SIN
02:25
DEL
05:55
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Singapore_Airlines_Small.png SQ406
777-300ER
SIN
16:25
DEL
20:00
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Singapore_Airlines_Small.png SQ401
787-10
DEL
09:55
SIN
18:15
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Singapore_Airlines_Small.png SQ403
777-300ER
DEL
21:50
SIN
06:05*

* Next day

The aircraft change on this route comes a month after Singapore Airlines restores double daily London flights using Airbus A380 aircraft, with daily SQ308/319 flights upgrading to the superjumbo from late October, a move we first announced back in July.

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SIA’s A380 service to and from Mumbai each day is not affected by these changes.

Cabin products

The biggest selling point of the newly-configured A380s currently plying the SQ406/403 Delhi flights is the latest Suites cabin, located on the forward upper deck with a capacity of just six, three either side of a central aisle.

Two of the Suite pairs (1A/2A and 1F/2F) can even combine to form a double suite, if you are travelling with a companion.

New A380 double suite. (Photo: Singapore Airlines)

The Boeing 777-300ER, on the other hand, has a four-seat First Class cabin, arranged in a single row at the front of the jet in a 1-2-1 configuration.

Singapore Airlines Boeing 777-300ER First Class. (Photo: MainlyMiles)

This product, combined with SIA’s excellent service, always provides a fantastic trip in our experience, but sadly it doesn’t match “suite standards”, which is probably what you would have been expecting if you’re booked in the First Class cabin on this route after December.

Do check out our recent review of the Boeing 777-300ER First Class on the Frankfurt – Singapore route.

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Further behind the First Class section, Singapore Airlines’ Boeing 777-300ERs offer the 2013 Business Class seat, rather than the A380’s newer 2017 Business Class, with the Premium Economy and Economy Class cabins being largely comparable between the two types.

2013 Business Class isn’t quite as good as the 2017 version on the A380, but it provides similar comfort and space. (Photo: jyl4032 via Flickr)

The news should mean new A380 flights

Singapore Airlines currently has 10 Airbus A380s in service, including those that ply the daily SQ406/403 Delhi services, as shown in the following table.

Singapore Airlines A380 Fleet
(as of 28th September 2022)

Aircraft Current
Location
Version Status
9V-SKM SIN V3^   In Service
9V-SKN SIN V3^   In Service
9V-SKP SIN V2
(V3 pending)
Refit & Re-entry
9V-SKQ SIN V3^ Pending Re-entry
9V-SKR SIN V3^   In Service
9V-SKS SIN V3^   In Service
9V-SKT SIN V3^   In Service
9V-SKU SIN V3   In Service
9V-SKV SIN V3   In Service
9V-SKW SIN V3   In Service
9V-SKY SIN V3   In Service
9V-SKZ SIN V3   In Service

Sources have told Mainly Miles that 9V-SKQ, which was returned from storage in Australia back to Changi in February 2021 for refit into the newest cabin configuration, is set to return to service next month, which would bring the airline’s fleet of active superjumbos to 11.

As we already identified earlier this year, completion of 9V-SKQ and 9V-SKP’s refits isn’t even necessary for the carrier to launch twice daily London flights with the type from late October.

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The removal of Delhi from the superjumbo’s roster in December and the addition of 9V-SKQ back to the fleet should therefore pave the way for new Airbus A380 flights on other parts of the network, just in time for the busy Christmas, New Year and Lunar New Year travel seasons.

More SIA Airbus A380 flights should be coming this winter, but the question is – which ones? (Photo: Shutterstock)

With aircraft 11 coming back online soon, and one less route to serve, at least two more daily rotations with the type could be slotted in, while still retaining a spare aircraft to cover operational disruptions.

Here’s where SIA was operating the superjumbo prior to COVID-19, but has yet to return to with the type.

  • Auckland
  • Beijing
  • Hong Kong
  • Melbourne
  • Osaka (seasonal)
  • Tokyo
  • Zurich

Thanks to recent border relaxations, Hong Kong and Tokyo could be good options, though we’d expect the carrier to perhaps make a return to double daily Sydney services (i.e. adding the A380 to SQ221/232) at some stage too.

Where else is the A380 flying?

While there’s almost inevitably more to come, here’s where you’ll find the Singapore Airlines superjumbo fleet deployed this winter, based on confirmed schedules at the time of writing.

Singapore Airlines A380 Flights
(as of 28th September 2022)

Current Flights
Route Commenced Frequency
London
SQ322/317
18 Nov 2021 7 x weekly
Sydney
SQ231/222
1 Dec 2021 7 x weekly
Mumbai
SQ424/423
14 Mar 2022 7 x weekly
Frankfurt
SQ26/25
27 Mar 2022 7 x weekly
New York JFK*
SQ26/25
27 Mar 2022 7 x weekly
Shanghai
SQ830/833
4 Jul 2022 1 x weekly
Delhi
SQ406/403
15 Apr 2022
(ends 30 Nov 2022)
7 x weekly
Future Flights
Route Starts Frequency