Singapore Airlines stores its A380 in Alice Springs
Singapore Airlines stores its A380 in Alice Springs. The impact of coronavirus on travel and aviation has seen airlines reduce their operations to a minimum resulting in grounding of aircraft.
With the uncertainty of when flight operations will return to its full scale has resulted in airlines sending their aircraft for long-term parking. Due to lowering demand Singapore Airlines has decided to store 4xA380 of its fleet.
Long term storage of A380
Singapore Airlines has sent four of its A380 aircraft to Alice Springs in Australia for Storage. With this the airline has stored all of its A380 aircraft.
Singapore Airlines has aircraft registered as 9V-SKT, 9V-SKW, 9V-SKY and 9V-SKZ for storage in Alice Springs. This is as a result of low demand for travel. The airline has already grounded most of its fleet and is operating a minimum schedule.
Singapore Airlines has already retired its first A380 aircraft. Airlines such as Air France, British Airways on a global scale are either retiring or storing their A380 as a result of high maintenance cost and low demand for air travel.
A ferry flight was flown into Alice Springs to fly the crew back to Singapore. The aircraft was a B777-300ER registered as 9V-SWM in Star Alliance colours.
British Airways flies its A380 to French storage base in Chatearoux. 6 of its 12 strong fleet will be sent to France for storage
Singapore Airlines to receive relief funds to keep the airline running for the forceable future
Teruel Airport, located in Spain is one of the largest storage airports in Europe with a capacity of 250 aircraft. It also provides MRO services in addition to storage of aircraft.
Fellow Singapore carriers
Singapore Airlines isn’t the only carrier to have store its aircraft at Alice Springs. Scoot had flown its two A320s registered as 9V-TAN and 9V-TAQ. Singapore Airlines has also stored three of its B777-200ER aircraft.
SilkAir had previously moved its B737-MAX8 aircraft to Alice Springs due to the global grounding of MAX aircraft.
Why Alice Springs ?
Alice Springs is home to Asia Pacific Aircraft Storage facility. It is located in Australia. It is the biggest storage facility in the Asia Pacific region. This caters to airlines such as Qantas, Singapore Airlines, Air New Zealand, Virgin Australia, Scoot etc.
More than 16,000 aircraft are being grounded and stored worldwide. Airports are running out of space and have started parking the aircraft at their runways. Storage facilities come in handy during these times as space is limited at airports and their parking charge is very high compared to storage facilities.
The main advantage of Alice Springs is its location and warm and humid climate. This is capable of storing all kind of aircraft. It also has a dedicated refuelling pad with full environmental safeguards.
The pandemic has had a big blow for the survival of the A380 aircraft. Even before this airlines were starting to retire their A380 citing high maintenance cost and availability of more fuel efficient aircraft.
We do not know the state of these Singapore Airlines A380 for now. The airline is set to store these on a long term basis at Alice Springs. With the demand as low as it is now, we wouldn’t be seeing these jets up in the air for sometime.