After gaining independence in August 1965, one of Singapore’s primary goals was to establish itself as an international trading hub and tourism destination, relying heavily on its then-growing aviation industry. The country also founded its own air force shortly after, and soon, a wide array of Singapore-registered aircraft was sprouting through the decades.
As of January this year, Singapore has exactly 206 registered aircraft across six different operators, indicating how well-grown the country’s aviation sector is. While it’s unlikely any aircraft have been within the industry since the 1960s, several aircraft have been around for more than three decades. Let’s pinpoint some of the oldest active aircraft in Singapore.
The oldest military aircraft
Although turboprops are admittedly a rarer sight if passengers are spotting from Changi International Airport, it’s one of the more common sights within the various bases of the Singapore Air Force. And within these bases house nine of the oldest Singapore-registered aircraft, a handful of Fokker F50 turboprops.
Photo: Jordan Tan | Simple Flying
The oldest of the nine is registered 710 and was delivered to the military unit in December 1993, making the turboprop just over three decades old. On the other end of the straw, the youngest of the nine is registered 718 and was delivered in July 1995, making it a few months shy of turning 28 years old.
On average, the age of the entire turboprop fleet is approximately 29 years old, and all nine aircraft are still actively flying. As military aircraft, they are primarily used to provide maritime patrol, maritime air surveillance, and medical transport.
The oldest private jets
While Changi Airport typically gets all the commercial aviation attention, Singapore’s Seletar Airport focuses more heavily on private aviation. Passengers at the secondary airport could potentially spot a Boeing 737-700 Boeing Business Jet (BBJ), registered VP-BEL. Aged almost 25 years old, the private jet is currently operated by R.F Chandler, a Singapore-based business and private charter company.
There could also be a chance to spot another Boeing 737-700 BBJ, registered T7-777 and operated by a different charter company, Asian Corporate Aviation Management. Although this private jet is almost hitting two decades and is considered much younger than the aircraft previously mentioned, it still ranks second among the oldest private jets in Singapore.
Also operated by this charter company is an Embraer Legacy 600, which happens to be the third-oldest Singapore-registered private jet. Registered T7-JCI, the Legacy 600 is approximately 14 years old and has previously flown for Cerretani Aviation in the US, Gama Aviation in the United Arab Emirates, and Nomad Aviation in Switzerland.
The oldest widebodies
As the flag carrier and one of the oldest carriers in Singapore, it is no surprise that Singapore Airlines houses the grand majority of the country’s oldest widebody aircraft. Dominating the top of the list are six of the seven Boeing 747-400Fs operating for its airfreight subsidiary, Singapore Airlines Cargo. The oldest of the six, registered 9V-SFI, is currently 22 years old, and the youngest is registered 9V-SFQ, aged nearly 17 years old.
Next on the list of oldest active widebodies are nine of the airline’s 26 Boeing 777-300ERs, with the oldest of the nine carrying the registration 9V-SWB and at almost 17 years of age. Most of the nine Boeing 777-300ERs are aged between 14 to 15 years of age, such as 9V-SWH and 9V-SWI, and 9V-SWT being the youngest. Although these passenger aircraft are not as close to hitting two decades, the following oldest widebodies are even further off at just 12 years of age.
Photo: Soos Jozsef | Shutterstock
Registered 9V-SKM, and 9V-SKN, these two are the oldest Airbus A380-800s registered in Singapore. The following two are 9V-SKR and 9V-SKQ; these superjumbos are only slightly over 11 years old. It’s worth noting that Singapore Airlines keeps a relatively young fleet with an average age of 7.1 years, so having aircraft hitting that many decades will be rare.
The oldest narrowbodies
Since Singapore Airlines’ regional subsidiary, SilkAir, has been absorbed into the flag carrier, its narrowbodies didn’t rank that high in terms of their age. However, the oldest narrowbodies in Singapore belong to Jetstar Asia Airways, with its Airbus A320-200s. Registered 9V-JSJ, 9V-JSK, and 9V-JSL, the Airbus narrowbodies trio are between 12 and 11 years old.
With a fleet of only seven Airbus A320-200s and an average fleet age of 11.2 years, Jetstar’s remaining four narrowbodies are only around 10 years old. Overtaking them and trailing behind the oldest Jetstar aircraft with a difference of several months is another trio of Airbus A320-200s operated by Scoot.
Photo: Phuong D. Nguyen | Shutterstock
Registered 9V-TAZ, 9V-TRC, and 9V-TRD, these aircraft are less than halfway into their 11th year of operation since rolling off the production lines. Compared to Jetstar, Scoot houses 24 Airbus A320-200s with an average fleet age of 10.6, of which only 16 are currently active. But similar to Jetstar, the remaining 13 Airbus A320-200s are approximately 10 years old.
Have you flown on any of Singapore’s oldest aircraft before? Let us know in the comments below.