Aviation News

Singapore Airlines to increase Airbus A380 services to Australia; ramp up East and South Asian services

Singapore Airlines has announced that it will increase Airbus A380 services to Australia while also ramping up East and South Asian services. The airline is making these changes based on the “strong projected demand to these destinations”.

All-in on Australia

Presently, Singapore Airlines operates a single daily service Airbus A380 service to Sydney. This will be changing in the upcoming Summer 2023 season when the airline will swap the A350 with the A380, meaning that the airline will operate two of its 4-daily services to Sydney with the Airbus A380. Specifically, starting 17th May 2023, the airline will operate the A380 on SQ221 from Singapore to Sydney and the return flight SQ232, instead of the A350-900.

In addition to this, the airline’s A380 will return to Melbourne after almost four years on 16th May 2023. The A380 will replace the Boeing B777-300ER on SQ237 from Singapore to Melbourne, and the return service SQ228.

East Asia

Starting 26th March 2023, Singapore Airlines will operate SQ892 and SQ893, a daily service between Singapore and Hong Kong SAR, using the A380 aircraft. SIA will also reinstate SQ896 and SQ897, a daily service between Singapore and Hong Kong SAR, with the Airbus A350-900 medium-haul aircraft, from 1st October 2023. This will see the airline operating four daily flights to Hong Kong SAR.

As of 26th March 2023, the airline will step up the flight frequencies of SQ876 (Singapore to Taipei) and SQ877 (Taipei to Singapore) from 4-times-a-week to a daily service. SQ878 and SQ879 between the two cities will also increase from 3-flights-a-week to a daily service from 31st May 2023. This will bring the weekly services to Taipei up to 14-times weekly.

As of 1st May 2023, the carrier will increase the flight frequencies of SQ618 (Singapore to Osaka) and SQ619 (Osaka to Singapore) from 4-flights-a-week to a daily service. This will bring the total number of weekly flights to Osaka to 14.

Singapore Airlines will resume flights to Busan on 2nd June 2023, with 4-weekly services operated by Boeing B737MAX-8 aircraft. Seoul will get a fourth daily service as of 1st June 2023 which be operated by Boeing B787-10 Dreamliner.

South East Asia

From 26th March 2023, SIA will add a fourth daily service, SQ726 and SQ725, between Singapore and Phuket, operated by the Boeing 737-800NG (Next Generation).

Singapore Airlines will add a fifth daily service, SQ706 and SQ705, between Singapore and Bangkok, operated by the A350-900 medium-haul aircraft, from 1st October 2023.

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Europe and the United States

As the A380s will head to Australia during the Summer 2023 season, the daily Singapore-Frankfurt-New York service will lose the A380 which will be replaced by Boeing B777-300ER as of 15th May 2023.

The airline will continue to operate twice-daily nonstops to the New York area – flights SQ24 and SQ23 between Singapore and New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport, as well as SQ22 and SQ21 between Singapore and New York’s Newark Liberty International Airport.

Flights SQ36 and SQ35 between Singapore and Los Angeles will operate thrice-weekly, instead of a daily service, from 26th March 2023. Travellers will continue to have the option of two existing daily flights to Los Angeles via the non-stop service SQ38 and SQ37 between the two cities, or flights SQ12 and SQ11, which serve the Singapore-Tokyo Narita-Los Angeles route.

As of 27th June 2023, the service between Singapore and Seattle, SQ28 and SQ27, will remain as a thrice-weekly service.

From 28th March 2023, flights SQ52 and SQ51 that serve the Singapore-Manchester-Houston route will operate thrice-weekly instead of 4-times-a-week. The carrier will launch a new twice-weekly service between Singapore and Manchester, SQ302 and SQ301, operated by the A350-900 long-haul aircraft, on 2nd April 2023.

Australia gets priority

It seems that Singapore Airlines is projecting more travel demand for Australia rather than the United States as it is deploying its high capacity Airbus A380s on Australian routes while taking them away from New York route for the summer 2023 season.

The decision seems right, given that Singapore Airlines operates one of the largest schedule to Australia compared to any other airline (other than Qantas).

The airline says that it “remains strongly committed to the North American market”. Even with the above network adjustments, the airline will operate a higher seat capacity to the United States of America compared to its pre-pandemic levels.

Asia is opening up

Singapore Airlines’ Hong Kong schedule came as a total surprise, given that Hong Kong has largely been closed off to international travellers since the onset of COVID-19 pandemic. The airline will operate 4-daily flights to the city, indicating that the airline is confident that the travel demand for Hong Kong will increase in the coming months.

Elsewhere, the airline is bullish on East Asian markets. The carrier says that it will reach or exceed pre-pandemic levels in terms of flight frequencies in multiple destinations across East Asia and South East Asia by March 2024. These include Bangkok in Thailand; Busan and Seoul in South Korea; Fukuoka, Nagoya, and Osaka in Japan; Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam; Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia; Siem Reap in Cambodia; and Taipei in Taiwan, China.

Overall, it’s good to see Asia – one of the slowest regions to open up to the world after the pandemic – opening up again. Add to that that one of the largest airline in Asia is optimistic about the growth in the market.

Meanwhile, Singapore Airlines has already reached pre-pandemic levels on flights to India.

Featured image by CNBCTV18

What do you think of Singapore Airlines’ travel demand outlook for summer 2023 season and the airline’s capacity deployment in different regions of the world? Let me know in the comments section below.

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