Singapore Airways Retires Big Chunk Of Its ‘Superjumbo’ Fleet
It was a year that the airlines shuddered.
For Singapore Airlines, the devastation of the global travel tournament was revealed on Friday when the airline announced a year-over-year revenue decline for the group from $ 6,691 million (-80.4%) to $ 1,634 million in the first half of the fiscal year.
This has been attributed to passenger traffic falling by 98.9% due to tight global border controls and travel restrictions.
The airline also lacks the domestic cushion from Qantas, American Airlines, etc.
While this was partially offset by higher cargo flight revenue (up $ 274 million, or + 28.3%) as countries tried to restore global supply chains, overall this made little detractor.
The SIA Group posted an operating loss of $ 1,863 million for the first half, a reversal of $ 2,276 million from an operating profit of $ 413 million a year earlier.
“For the first half of the year ended September 30, 2020, the group reported a net loss of $ 3,467 million, a decrease of $ 3,673 million from the previous year,” announced Singapore Airlines.
This is due to the above-mentioned deterioration in operating performance and to three non-cash items.
The first of the three (for the other two see the full version here) that may be of most interest to airline enthusiasts is a depreciation of $ 1,333 million on the carrying amounts of older generation aircraft, with 26 aircraft as excess of the Fleet requirements apply to a review of the longer term network.
“These include seven A380s, four 777-200 / 200ERs, four 777-300s, nine A320s and two A319s.”
The seven A380s make up almost 40% of Singapore Airlines’ 19-strong A380 fleet.
Those that have been withdrawn “will likely come from the older” original “superjumbo fleet that introduced the airline’s private premium suites,” Executive Traveler reports.
Singapore Airlines hinted at the cull in July, although nothing official came of it. Now the decision has been made, frequent flyer bloggers have gone online to share their thoughts.
One Mile At A Time blogger Ben Schlappig wrote: “The airline has just delivered five A380s with brand new cabins in recent years.”
With this in mind, he predicts: “There will definitely still be routes on which A380s will be in demand, like Singapore to London, Sydney, etc., and these are markets in which Singapore Airlines wants a product advantage.”
Schlappig assumes that Singapore Airlines’ A380 flight to New York will be on the rise. The remaining A380s will be used in key non-stop markets such as London, Sydney, Paris and Melbourne.
Singapore Airlines isn’t the only one picking cumbersome aircraft that are only profitable with a booming customer base.
One Mile At A Time reports: “Before the pandemic, 14 airlines flew on the Airbus A380.”
There are far fewer in the sky now; According to One Mile At A Time, Air France has retired its 10 A380s, Lufthansa has retired its 14 A380s (with the option to reactivate them). Qatar Airways CEO said the airline’s 10 A380s would fail at least a couple of times. In more years, Etihad’s CEO said the “jury is still vacant” for the airline’s 10 pA380s that will ever fly again Qantas said the 12 A380s will not fly for at least a few years.
This also happens in a context where innovations take place in the smaller aircraft space. The record for the longest commercial flight a single-aisle aircraft has ever been used for was broken in October.