SIA, Qantas to store A380s at desert for long-term

- A Monitor Desk Report 09 Jul, 2020 | 869 Views|-+
Dhaka: Singapore Airlines has sent six of its 19 Airbus A380 aircraft to the Asia Pacific Aircraft Storage (ASPA) located at Alice Springs, Australia for long-term storage. Qantas is also looking to transfer all of its A380 fleet to the Mojave Desert in California, where they will be mothballed until at least 2023.

SIA aims to preserve its super-jumbos from Singapore’s high humidity environment, which poses corrosion risk for the aircraft. The climate of Alice Springs provides an ideal location for long-term aircraft storage.

The airline’s two-year-old double-deckers registered 9V-SKZ, 9V-SKY and 9V-SKW in addition to eight-year-old 9V-SKT were sent to ASPA on April 26. Two months after sending the first batch of super-jumbos for mothballing, eight-year-old 9V-SKQ and nine-year-old 9V-SKP were sent to Australian aircraft boneyard on June 26 and 27, respectively.

Singapore previously-stored three of its Boeing 777-200ER aircraft, six Boeing 737 MAX aircraft from its subsidiary SilkAir, four Airbus A320s and two Boeing 787 Dreamliners from its subsidiary Scoot in Alice Springs.

The airline is expected to send its remaining surplus super-jumbos to Alice Springs in the coming months.

Qantas also had grounded all 12 of its A380 aircraft in the wake of the fallout stemming from the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Current locations of the airline’s super-jumbos are still widely distributed. Nine of them are currently stored at the airports in and around Melbourne, Sydney and Los Angeles. One is in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, while two A380s are at Dresden Airport in Germany.

During a press teleconference, Alan Joyce, Group CEO of Qantas stated that the airline would park the A380s for at least three years.

“The A380s have to remain on the ground for at least three years until we see those international volumes brought back,” Joyce said. “The aircraft are being put into the Mojave Desert, where the environment protects the aircraft because we have the intention at the right time to restart them, but that is a considerable amount of time away.”

Qantas operates its super-jumbos mostly on its flights to the US and the UK. The airline will decide on the fate of its A380 fleet depending on the recovery in air travel demand.

As a result of the coronavirus pandemic, the airline cancelled its international flights until at least end of 2020. The company also had to reduce the number of flights within Australia. The carrier expects international flights to meaningfully resume by July 2021.

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