here’s been plenty of negative news lately when it comes to the future shape and size of Singapore Airlines after COVID-19, including a recent fleet review that concluded 26 of the group’s aircraft were surplus to requirements and would not be rejoining the fleet.
That included seven of the carrier’s older Airbus A380s, reducing the fleet from 19 to 12 aircraft as the carrier rebuilds its operation over the coming years.
In some rare positive news, the airline has confirmed to Mainly Miles that all 12 of its future Airbus A380 fleet will boast the new 2017 cabin products, with the fourth refit currently underway and three more in the pipeline.
That means the airline will ultimately boast a consistent product offering on its superjumbos, though it may mean we have seen the last of the older Suites and Business Class products, which now look unlikely to re-enter service.
It will also mean SIA coming good on its original promise to refit all its A380s with the new seats, a programme originally proposed for completion on 14 older aircraft by the end of 2020.
There had been a report that nine aircraft were already sporting the new seats, however Singapore Airlines confirmed to Mainly Miles that the current total remains at eight.
“As of 13 November 2020, SIA has eight A380s that have been installed with the new cabin products.”SIA Spokesperson
These are the eight we already knew about, comprising five aircraft newly delivered in 2017/18 and three refitted aircraft – 9V-SKT, -SKS and -SKN.
Indeed we toured (and dined on) 9V-SKN, the most recently refitted jet, during the Restaurant A380 @Changi event in late October 2020, with a brand new and practically flawless cabin.
Here’s a list of the current A380 fleet.
ASP – Alice Springs Airport
SIN – Singapore Changi Airport
Singapore Airlines confirmed to us that 9V-SKM, a 10-year-old aircraft, is currently undergoing its cabin refit with the 2017 products at Changi.
“The ninth aircraft (9V-SKM) [will be] completing its cabin retrofit soon.”SIA Spokesperson
9V-SKM last flew on 22nd March 2020. We don’t know when its retrofit work started, however it’s probably reasonable to assume it was after 9V-SKN’s refit was completed in late June 2020.
Refits seem to take around eight months, so it could be into 2021 before we see SKM take its post-maintenance test flight in the new configuration, not that it will be returning to service any time soon given the current market outlook.
As we highlighted earlier this week, Singapore Airlines has removed Suites and First Class cabin availability for revenue and award booking until 31st October 2021, making it unlikely we will see the A380s return to service over the next year or so.