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Singapore Airlines takes delivery of the world’s 1,000th Boeing 787

Singapore Airlines has taken delivery of its 20th Boeing 787-10, 9V-SCP, which is the 1,000th Dreamliner ever built.

Singapore Airlines took delivery of another brand new Boeing 787-10 yesterday, its fifth such example this year, representing the 20th 787-10 to join the carrier’s fleet, but this one is slightly more special than usual since it represents a milestone in the Dreamliner’s production.


9V-SCP, which at the time of writing has just departed from Nagoya, Japan on the second and final leg of its delivery flight from Charleston to Changi, is the 1,000th Boeing 787 Dreamliner ever built.

9V-SCP carries line number 1000 on the Boeing 787 production list, making it the 1,000th such aircraft to be built, across all Boeing 787 models (-8, -9 and -10 combined).

The aircraft first flew a test flight from Charleston to Charleston on 3rd April 2020, and was originally due to arrive in the SIA fleet way back in May 2020, but COVID-19 put the brakes on new aircraft deliveries to the airline.

9V-SCP conducting its first test flight in April 2020. (Photo: Devin / Charleston Spotter)

The aircraft was taped up in storage mode and no further test flights were conducted for over a year, until 30th July 2021.

Here’s how the aircraft looked during its storage in South Carolina.

The aircraft was then flown from Charleston to San Antonio, Texas, for longer-term storage in a more appropriate desert climate.

The aircraft was finally returned to Charleston a further 2.5 years later, on 22nd February 2023, where it then had maintenance work conducted and completed its test programme of four further flights, prior to formal delivery to SIA on 28th October 2023.


That means this long-awaited addition to the fleet is in fact now over 3.5 years old, following its long-term storage during the pandemic, but the good news is that it’s finally here.

9V-SCP should arrive at Changi Airport at around 9pm this evening, 29th October 2023. As with most recent Boeing 787-10 deliveries, entry into regular passenger service should follow within the coming days, so watch out for this one at the gate if you have a 787 flight coming up with the airline.

Despite 9V-SCP being the 1,000th Boeing 787 built, it was actually China Southern Airlines that received the 1,000th Boeing 787 delivery from the factory.

That was in April 2021, with the arrival of aircraft registration B20-EH, which was the 980th Boeing 787 built. Its delivery had also been delayed by around a year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Boeing has now delivered 1,087 of its 787s to customers, as of 30th September 2023.

Fun fact: Standing nose-to-tail, the world fleet of Boeing 787s would form a line over 56km long. In Singapore, that means they would run the length of the entire PIE and ECP combined!

Singapore Airlines is no stranger to operating milestone aircraft in its fleet.

Back in October 1993, the airline took delivery of the 1,000th Boeing 747, 9V-SMU, which was a 747-400 model. This too wore a special “1000th” commemorative livery.

9V-SMU, a Boeing 747-400 MEGATOP, with “1000th Boeing 747” titles near its nose, on approach to Brussels in March 2003. SIA will restart passenger flights on this route in April 2024. (Photo: Michiel Haspeslagh)

The titles were removed after 10 years, in November 2003, and the aircraft was eventually retired from Singapore Airlines service in December 2010, but flew as a freighter in the USA for five further years.

Unfortunately, Singapore Airlines missed out on operating the 1,000th Boeing 777. That aircraft was delivered to Emirates in March 2012.

However, the airline does operate the 10,000th Airbus aircraft ever built – 9V-SMF.

9V-SMF if the 10,000th Airbus aircraft built. (Photo: Airbus)

This one is similarly adorned with a special livery to commemorate the manufacturer’s milestone.

Singapore Airlines was the launch customer for the Boeing 787-10 variant, the largest member of the Dreamliner family, and the carrier now has a 20-strong fleet of Boeing 787-10 aircraft, thanks to this latest delivery.

While the 254-tonne aircraft are designed to be capable of 14-hour flights, Singapore Airlines configures them in a high-density layout with no crew rest compartments, for regional services of up to around eight hours, capping their maximum weight at 242 tonnes.


This sees them sport a two-class cabin with 36 of the 2018 Regional Business Class seats in a 1-2-1 layout and 301 Economy Class seats in a 3-3-3 layout, meaning the 787-10 offers the airline’s highest passenger capacity after the Airbus A380, at 337 seats in total.

SIA’s 2018 Regional Business Class made its debut on the Boeing 787-10 back in April 2018. (Photo: The Shutterwhale)

We flew on the world’s first commercial Boeing 787-10 flight back in April 2018, and wrote a full review of the solo window seats in Business Class, followed the next day by another review of the ‘couple’ middle pairs in this cabin.

Singapore Airlines flies its Boeing 787-10s alongside the regional variant of its Airbus A350s, which the airline configures with a slightly higher Business Class seat count (40) but a smaller Economy cabin (263).

Here’s how SIA’s 20-strong Boeing 787-10 fleet now looks, as of 29th October 2023.

Singapore Airlines Boeing 787-10 Fleet
Registration Line

(Oct 2023)
9V-SCA 656 5.7 yrs 14 Mar 2018
9V-SCB 622 5.6 yrs
3 Apr 2018
9V-SCC 672 5.6 yrs
4 May 2018
9V-SCD 686 5.5 yrs
8 May 2018
9V-SCE 697 5.4 yrs
2 Jun 2018
9V-SCF 709 5.4 yrs
27 Jun 2018
9V-SCG 565 6.4 yrs
29 Oct 2018
9V-SCH 528 6.6 yrs
25 Dec 2018
9V-SCI 810 4.7 yrs
8 Mar 2019
9V-SCJ 834 4.5 yrs
25 Apr 2019
9V-SCK 838 4.5 yrs 3 Apr 2019
9V-SCL 856 4.4 yrs 23 Jun 2019
9V-SCM 882 4.3 yrs 13 Aug 2019
9V-SCN 896 4.2 yrs 5 Sep 2019
9V-SCO 938 3.9 yrs 30 Nov 2019
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is SCP-Square-Gary-Eaton.jpg9V-SCP 1000 3.6 yrs 28 Oct 2023
9V-SCR 1080 0.2 yrs 1 Sep 2023
9V-SCS 1144 0.6 yrs 1 Apr 2023
9V-SCT 1148 0.5 yrs 24 Jun 2023
9V-SCU 1155 0.1 yrs 5 Sep 2023

As you can see, SIA’s four Boeing 787s already delivered this year (SCR, SCS, SCT and SCU) are newer than 9V-SCP, since the 1,000th Boeing 787 required post-storage maintenance work after being returned from the desert earlier this year.

The oldest pair in the fleet, 9V-SCG and -SCH, were the first two 787-10s ever built, and flew as test aircraft as part of Boeing’s certification campaign from early 2017. They were then refurbished for delivery to SIA in late 2018.

9V-SCG and -SCH were originally Boeing test aircraft, but later joined the Singapore Airlines fleet. (Photo: Singapore Airlines)

The average age of the Singapore Airlines Boeing 787-10 fleet now stands at 4.1 years.

Singapore Airlines currently operates the Boeing 787-10 to and from 15 destinations on its network, from around 2.5 hours (Bangkok) through to almost 7.5 hours (Adelaide and Osaka), based on November 2023 schedules.

While the aircraft’s high passenger capacity wasn’t of much use during the COVID-19 pandemic, the 787-10 had another trick up its sleeve.

The aircraft still proved to be an invaluable member of the fleet during this period, thanks to its significant underfloor cargo capacity, allowing SIA to efficiently deploy it on a variety of routes as a cargo-only aircraft.


This helped to support global supply chains and keep precious revenue flowing in, while passenger demand was close to zero.

Here’s how the 787-10’s cargo capacity looks compared to other members of the fleet.

Singapore Airlines Fleet
Underfloor cargo capacity
(highest to lowest)
Aircraft Type Cargo Capacity
Bulk loading LD3
777-300ER 201.6 cu m 44
787-10 191.4 cu m 40
A380-800 175.2 cu m 38
A350-900 MH
A350-900 LH
172.4 cu m 36
A330-300 158.4 cu m 32
777-200/-200ER 150.9 cu m 32
A350-900 ULR 85.7 cu m 16
737-800 / -8 MAX 44.1 cu m n/a
SIA’s Boeing 787-10s have the second highest cargo capacity in the SIA passenger fleet. (Photo: Singapore Airlines)

Some 787-10s even carried additional cargo in the cabin compartment during this period.

Cargo being loaded in the cabin of a Singapore Airlines Boeing 787-10, during COVID-19. (Photo: Singapore Airlines)

A further 11 Boeing 787-10s are due to be delivered to Singapore Airlines, three of which are due to arrive between now and 31st March 2024, with the final eight slated for delivery in subsequent financial years.

The Boeing 787-10s expected to be joining the fleet between now and 31st March 2024 are:

Registration Line
Latest Status &
Last flew
9V-SCQ 1068 3 test flights completed
San Antonio (stored)
1 Mar 2023
9V-SCV 1166 Pre-flight prep
Charleston (flightline)
9V-SCW 1169 Pre-flight prep
Charleston (flightline)
9V-SCQ is still stored in the Texan desert at the time of writing. (Photo: Xiamen Air 849 Heavy via JetPhotos)

The Boeing 787 has had a rocky road to its current success, another of Boeing’s recent types that has turned out to be more of a ‘Nightmareliner’ for the manufacturer.

The Boeing 787 has had a troubled production history. (Photo: Plane’s Portrait Aviation Media / Malcolm Lu)

In the 787’s early days, battery fires presented a serious safety issue, leading to a grounding of the type for several months while investigations took place, but since then it’s quality control that appears to have been lacking.

The manufacturer’s Charleston production facility, where many Boeing 787-8s and -9s, and all of SIA’s Boeing 787-10s are built, has come under specific scrutiny over quality shortfalls.

In September 2020, the FAA suspended all Boeing 787 deliveries as a result of the shoddy production standards, which (almost unbelievably) had seen some aircraft delivered with worker’s tools still left inside the airframe structure.

In an earlier shocking production blunder, three of ANA’s Boeing 787s were delivered with engine fire extinguishing controls wired in reverse, meaning if a fire had broken out in the left engine, for example, extinguishing agent would have been fired into the right engine instead, with potentially disastrous consequences.

The defect “must have occurred during the manufacturing process”, an ANA spokesperson confirmed.

The 45-minute Al Jazeera documentary Broken Dreams also covers the 787’s quality control issues.

Three ANA Boeing 787s were delivered to the airline with mis-wired engine fire extinguishing controls. (Photo: Toshi Aoki)

Singapore Airlines has not been immune from its own issues with the 787.

In April 2019, the carrier was forced to ground over half its 787-10 fleet for inspections when cracks in an engine turbine blade were discovered, forcing older Boeing 777-200 and Airbus A330s to be drafted in to cover many of the affected flights.

In September 2020, 9V-SCI (SIA’s 9th Boeing 787-10) was identified as one of 8 aircraft worldwide affected by a manufacturing defect in its tail.

The aircraft had to be flown to Victorville, California for a three-week repair by Boeing in October 2020, but a further fix was required. The aircraft made the same long journey for a second stint of repairs between late August and early October 2022.


Following the September 2020 grounding, a raft of Boeing 787 aircraft were allowed to wing their way to some customers in early 2021, but fuselage join issues were subsequently detected, and the final delivery was then to Turkish Airlines on 16th June 2021.

Then for over a year, no new Boeing 787 jets were delivered at all, a far cry from the three-deliveries-weekly schedule Boeing had boasted pre-COVID.

Deliveries of the Boeing 787 finally restarted on 27th August 2022, but there was more trouble afoot.

The FAA suspended deliveries again on 27th February 2023, due to the discovery of a data analysis error relating to the aircraft’s forward pressure bulkhead, but were cleared to restart the following month.

These issues have certainly had an impact on SIA’s fleet plans.

In a May 2021 financial update, Singapore Airlines said five brand new Boeing 787-10s would be arriving in its fleet by 31st March 2022. Not a single one arrived until April 2023, over a year later.

Deliveries have of course finally restarted this year, but let’s hope the 787’s production woes are now finally behind it!




Singapore Airlines has taken delivery of its 20th Boeing 787-10, and this one is even more special because it was the 1,000th Dreamliner ever made.

9V-SCP wears a “1000th 787 Dreamliner” decal near its nose, so look out for it next time you’ve boarding a Boeing 787 flight with the airline, since the aircraft should be entering regular service in the coming days.

While the aircraft was originally slated to join the fleet way back in May 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic forced it into a lengthy storage period, which has led to this out of sequence delivery some three and a half years later than intended.

Still, this represents a milestone for the Boeing 787 programme, despite its many, many shortcomings over the last decade.

(Cover Photo: Gary Eaton @planespottergary)



  1. Hi Andrew, thanks for this wonderful write up! Just a small correction – the 1000th 747 was actually delivered in 1993, not 2003. 🙂

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