Singapore Airlines had a bumper end to 2021 with an expansion of the Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) programme to a total of 24 countries, 21 of which the carrier is now serving with regular passenger flights, allowing an expansion of the operating passenger fleet to over 100 aircraft for the first time since the pandemic hit.
36 aircraft are still in storage, either at Changi or in Alice Springs, though only 15 of these are due to return to service, with the others for sale or disposal.
Highlights for the end of the year were undoubtedly the re-entry into service for the new and refitted Airbus A380s, plus the debut of the Boeing 737-8 MAX with new cabin products.
To round off the year, the airline will take delivery of its 57th Airbus A350 on 29th December 2021.
Here are the Singapore Airlines passenger fleet totals at 29th December 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 125 planes at 29th December 2021, 110 of which were recently active.
Click here to see the official CAAS list of registered aircraft in Singapore at 2nd December 2021.
SIA Passenger Fleet at 29th December 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 registered Boeing 777-200s, Boeing 777-200ERs and Boeing 777-300s will not be returning to the fleet, in addition to five older Airbus A380s, three Boeing 777-300ERs and four Boeing 737-800s.
These are therefore excluded from the ‘In Service’ column.
This reflects a future fleet of 125 aircraft, plus future near-term deliveries of Airbus A350s, Boeing 737-8 MAXs and Boeing 787-10s.
Here’s a graphical look at the active vs. stored fleet.
|Type||■ Active / □ Inactive|
Farewell Airbus A330s
The final Airbus A330 to leave the Singapore Airlines fleet and return to its lessor was 9V-SSI, which was flown to storage in Spain on 16th October 2021.
Singapore Airlines flew a total of 34 Airbus A330s between February 2009 and April 2020, with a peak fleet of 29 of the aircraft active during 2015.
These aircraft were only leased on five-year terms, initially as a stop-gap due to production delays for SIA’s Boeing 787s and Airbus A350s, though additional leases were later signed for the A330s, while some lease terms were extended.
Those still in service around the world after being returned by SIA include aircraft now flown by Brussels Airlines, Air Canada, Oman Air and TAP Air Portugal.
Welcome back A380s
The introduction of more VTLs has given Singapore Airlines the confidence to start reintroducing some of its Airbus A380s to passenger service, for the first time since March 2020.
Further expansion for the A380s in 2022 includes:
- Mumbai from 10th January 2022
- Delhi from 14th February 2022
- Frankfurt from 27th March 2022
- New York from 27th March 2022
Meanwhile two older A380s, 9V-SKG and 9V-SKH, have been scrapped at Changi for spare parts.
That leaves 17 Airbus A380s in the registered SIA fleet, five of which have been retired and will not re-enter service, as shown in the following table.
Singapore Airlines A380 Fleet
(27th December 2021)
We understand all six Version 1 aircraft (9V-SKF to -SKK) and one Version 2 aircraft (9V-SKP) will be leaving the fleet (-SKG and -SKH having already being dismantled).
Ten A380s now have the new 2017 cabin products installed, five from new and another five completed refits.
9V-SKQ’s refit should be finished next, leaving only 9V-SKL to be done. 9V-SKZ also needs to be flown back from Alice Springs, but does not require any cabin modifications.
The first Boeing 777-300ER is retired
Back in May 2021 Singapore Airlines confirmed that four of its Boeing 777-300ERs would be retired from the fleet following a write-down process, with the carrier confirming to Mainly Miles that 9V-SWA, 9V-SWD, 9V-SWE and 9V-SWF are the affected aircraft.
The first of those, and oldest in the fleet, has now departed for its new life in the USA.
Here’s 9V-SWA on a test flight in late September 2021, devoid of its Singapore Airlines titles.