Even a global pandemic can't keep a good plane down, with Singapore Airlines announcing overnight the return of its first Airbus A380.
The superjumbo – fitted with SQ's latest first class suites and business class seats – will soar once more from November 18 2021 between Singapore and London.
This will be a daily flight (SQ322/SQ317) to support Singapore's recently-announced 'vaccinated travel lane' to London, and more A380 flights are tipped to follow across 2022 as we move into the post-Covid era of travel.
Ahead of November 18, the A380 will appear on selected yet-to-be-revealed routes around Asia as part of having pilots and crew trained back up on the double-decker jet.
"Once Australia's border restrictions are lifted, I am sure Australians will relish the opportunity to experience all the comforts of our A380 as they wing their way from Singapore to London," remarks Louis Arul, Singapore Airlines Regional Vice President South West Pacific.
Singapore Airlines grounded all 19 of its A380s from March 2020, with many of then making their way to a dedicated aircraft storage facility in the Northern Territory.
The airline later revealed it would retire the seven oldest A380s, trimming its fleet to just 12 – although all of those will sport the latest suites and seats, with the carrier continuing its extensive upgrade program.
During the pandemic, Singapore Airlines still found some novel uses for A380s residing in Changi, such as transforming them into a restaurant where fans of the airline could enjoy lunch or dinner at prices from SGD$50 in economy class to SGD$600 in first class.
(The initiative proved so popular that scalpers began re-selling spaces through some web sites at between two and three three times the original price.)
The Singaporean flag carrier becomes the latest airline to unshackle its long-grounded superjumbos, following Qatar Airways, British Airways and from mid-2022, Qantas.
Qatar Airways will resume flying its well-appointed A380s to London and Paris from December 15, while British Airways has pinned Dubai, Los Angeles and Miami onto its superjumbo network map across November-December.
BA will also run a series of short-range familiarisation A380 flights to Frankfurt and Madrid from early November.
As previously reported, Qantas has announced an early return for five A380s in 2022, starting with Sydney-Los Angeles from July 1 and then adding Sydney-Singapore-London in November.
Five more of the red-tailed A380s are due to return to service by early 2024, "with timing dependent on how quickly the market recovers."