3 SIA jumbo jets towed from the Changi Airport to Changi Exhibition Centre to be scrapped

The towing operation required road closures along Changi Coast Road and Aviation Park Road.
The towing operation required road closures along Changi Coast Road and Aviation Park Road.PHOTO: SNG WEI JIE

SINGAPORE - Three Singapore Airlines planes were towed on Monday night (Oct 4) from Changi Airport to the Changi Exhibition Centre, where they will be stripped for parts in a process taking two months.

The towing operation, lasting six hours, required road closures along Changi Coast Road and Aviation Park Road.

SIA said on Tuesday that two Airbus A380s, with the aircraft registration numbers 9V-SKH and 9V-SKG, and a Boeing 777-200 aircraft with the registration number 9V-SQJ were moved during the operation.

The airline's engineering arm, SIA Engineering, will dismantle the planes. This marks the first time that SIA will scrap aircraft locally.

Before the Covid-19 pandemic, the airline had a fleet of 19 A380s.

It grounded the fleet around March last year as the Covid-19 outbreak rapidly worsened. Twelve of the planes were parked at Changi Airport and seven sent to long-term storage in Alice Springs.

It then said in November that it would retire a total of 26 planes deemed surplus to requirements, including seven A380s, after a review of its long-term network.

Doubts had grown in the industry over the plane's future in recent years, with some carriers having trouble filling up enough seats on the plane to make it profitable.

An SIA spokesman said on Tuesday that usable parts from the A380s that are being scrapped will be retained as spare parts to maintain its remaining fleet of 12 A380 planes.

Meanwhile, the remaining parts that are suitable will be repurposed for use under The Upcycling Project.

These include parts of the aircraft fuselage, cabin windows, overhead compartments, aircraft seats, life vests, soft furnishings and linens, and galley equipment such as carts and racks.

SIA had announced The Upcycling Project in August.

It said then that under the project, it will provide parts and materials from retired commercial aircraft to various Singapore-based organisations and selected global retail brands.

These parts can be upcycled to create unique retail products and art pieces, which directly support educational institutions, artists and persons with disabilities, SIA said.

It also said then that it will donate aircraft parts and materials to educational institutions to be used as learning materials for their art or design courses.