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Singapore Airlines to relaunch fifth-freedom flights between Los Angeles and Taipei

Singapore Airlines is relaunching one of its fifth-freedom flights that it suspended 13 years ago, connecting Los Angeles, California and Taipei, Taiwan.


Starting 25th August 2021, Singapore Airlines will once-again operate flights between Taoyuan International Airport and Los Angeles International Airport. The route, between Los Angeles and Taipei, has been devoid of SIA service for the past 13 years, when it used to fly the Boeing B777-200ER 4-times-a-week.

The schedule is as follows:

  • Singapore-Taipei
  • Departure time: 11:45
  • Arrival time: 16:40
  • Flight time: SQ36
  • Flight number: 4 hours and 55 minutes
  • Frequency: Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays
  • Taipei-Los Angeles
  • Departure time: 17:50
  • Arrival time: 15:20 (the same day)
  • Flight time: 12 hours and 30 minutes
  • Flight number: SQ36
  • Frequency: Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays
  • Los Angeles-Taipei
  • Departure time: 00:40
  • Arrival time: 06:10
  • Flight time: 14 hours and 30 minutes
  • Flight number: SQ35
  • Frequency: Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays
  • Taipei-Singapore
  • Departure time: 09:10
  • Arrival time: 13:40
  • Flight time: SQ35
  • Flight number: 4 hours and 30 minutes
  • Frequency: Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays

The airline will use one of its Airbus A350 on this route. Also, the carrier has traffic rights in both directions between Taiwan and the US. Singapore Airlines will compete with Taiwanese carrier Eva Air and China Airlines.

Interestingly, although all the freedoms for this route have been granted for passenger transfers, current travel restrictions mean it is not possible to fly between Singapore and Los Angeles on this service. Taiwan presently does not allow transit passengers, so the flights are only bookable either between Singapore and Taipei or between Taipei and Los Angeles.

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Another fifth-freedom route from Singapore Airlines

Singapore Airlines is well-known for its innovative range of fifth-freedom routes. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, it had a total of 6 fifth-freedom routes. including both short and long-haul options. Back then, its two main shorter fifth freedom routes ran between Melbourne and Wellington, giving Qantas and Air New Zealand some competition on their home turf, and Moscow to Stockholm.

The rest of the other fifth-freedom routes are long-haul. The iconic SQ1 / SQ2 flight numbers were given to its transpacific route running Singapore-Hong Kong-San Francisco. Another route was Singapore-Manchester-Houston (although the Manchester-Houston flights remain suspended due to travel restrictions, Singapore-Manchester flights have resumed after the pandemic).

Another route was Singapore-Frankfurt-New York and final one was Singapore-Tokyo-Los Angeles. Although many of these fifth freedom routes have not yet restarted, that hasn’t stopped SIA from seeking out new opportunities. Since mid-July, the airline has been flying between Copenhagen and Rome as a fifth freedom service. Additionally, it’s low-cost subsidiary Scoot has launched a fifth-freedom service between Athens and Berlin.

Although travel restrictions will hamper the passenger demand for the Taipei-Los Angeles service for some time, the cargo carried on this route will make up for the loss of passenger revenue.

Meanwhile, the airline recently launched a voluntary carbon offset programme and has also launched the world’s first inflight e-shopping experience.

Featured image by CNBCTV18

What do you think of Singapore Airlines relaunching flights between Taipei and Los Angeles after 13 years? Let me know in the comments section below.

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