Long time no see: SIA A380 Superjumbo takes off to skies from storage

N509FZ / Wikimedia Commons

A Singapore Airlines Airbus A380 wide-body was spotted taking off from Alice Springs. The sight has ignited the Superjumbo lovers’ hopes to fly the double-decker again, once it is returned to active service.

The Airbus A380 aircraft, registered as 9V-SKW, departed from Alice Springs (ASP), Australia, on July 28, 2021, at around 11.23 a. m (UTC). After more than a three-hour-long flight, it landed at New South Wales (NSW), the Flightradar24.com data shows. The almost 4-year-old wide-body jet was put in storage at Alice Springs in April 2020 due to a pandemic and has never taken off since, Radarbox.com data shows. 

Speaking to the local Australian news outlet on the day of the departure, Singapore Airlines (SIA1) (SINGY) spokesperson confirmed that the jet was ferried for maintenance purposes. 

Although currently SIA’s whole fleet of 19 A380s is grounded, the company still plans to return 12 double-deckers to active service in late October 2021 to meet the potential demand during the post-COVID recovery. Before returning to service, Singapore Airlines (SIA1) (SINGY) will fit the jets with new cabin products.

However, the remaining seven jets will be retired. Singapore Airlines (SIA1) (SINGY) has not flown revenue flights with the A380 since March 2020, when the airline first faced a global downturn in air travel. This led the company to the decision to permanently cut the superjumbo fleet. With no domestic market to fall back on, the air carrier argued that the type no longer met the market demand, strongly affected by the COVID-19 virus. 

The over 500-seater double-deck aircraft is complicated and expensive to build, as its  parts are manufactured in various countries including France, Germany, Spain, and the United Kingdom. As the whole aviation industry is leaning towards more efficient fleets, Airbus has already begun suspending the production of the Superjumbo. Airbus officially cancelled the A380 production in February 2019.

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