10/15/2007: Airbus Delivers First A380 to Singapore Airlines

Airbus delivered the first A380 (9V-SKA) to its launch customer, Singapore Airlines, today in 2007.



October 15, 2023

DALLAS — Today in Aviation, Airbus delivered the first Airbus A380 (9V-SKA) to its launch customer, Singapore Airlines (SQ), in 2007. The airline's then-CEO, Chew Choon Seng, described the new aircraft as "the new queen of the skies."

However, Mr. Seng had previously slated the European manufacturer for severe delays in the aircraft's delivery. The arrival of the first superjumbo was 19 months behind schedule. SQ had ordered 25 of the type, then known as the A3XX, on September 29, 2000, at a cost of US$8.6bn.

Singapore Airlines first became an Airbus customer in May 1979 with an order for the A300B4, the original widebody twinjet aircraft.

Photo: The Airchive

In Service

9V-SKA entered service on October 25, flying between Singapore (SIN) and Sydney (SYD). Flight SQ380 departed with a full load of passengers who had purchased tickets at a charity auction. Winners paid between US$560 for an economy seat and US$1,380 for a first-class suite.

The carrier donated all the money generated to three charities at a ceremony held in Sydney the following day.

Photo: The Airchive

Less than ten years after 9V-SKA was delivered, the airline withdrew the aircraft from the fleet on August 25, 2017. Despite being dubbed "the plane for today and tomorrow," the aircraft struggles to live up to expectations. Its massive size made it difficult to fill and, therefore, difficult to make money.

19 Airbus A380s remained in the fleet before the COVID-19 pandemic, but the airline said it would retire a further seven from service in due course. SQ would announce that the type would re-enter service on November 18, 2021, flying to London Heathrow Airport (LHR).

Today, SQ's active passenger fleet exceeds 130 aircraft, thanks to recent Airbus A350 and Boeing 787 deliveries, with the airline having 10 active Airbus A380s.

You can check out all the photos from the A380 inaugural by visiting our partner hub dedicated to air transport history, The Airchive.

Featured image: Singapore Airlines has operated 24 Airbus A380s. Photo: Airbus