Singapore Airlines seemingly wants its non stop services between Singapore and the USA back. So much so – it has gone to Airbus for a variant of the Airbus A350-900 – dubbed the A350-900ULR (Ultra Long Range).
From the pool of orders Singapore Airline has with Airbus for the A350-900, seven of them will be the ULR variant.
According to Leeman News, these will have 170 seats installed on the plane to be operated in a premium configuration.
Plans exist to operate them in 2018 between Singapore and Los Angeles and Singapore and New York.
Even Singapore Airlines have got the PR out already:
Singapore Airlines holds orders for 67 A350s in total.
I’m going to admit – this is a tough call to make it work. Last time Singapore did this – again – they used special mission aircraft (Airbus A340-500s), which had the fuel tanks and legs for this segment.
Part of the reason why this flight is premium is that for a lot of the flight – the plane is a flying fuel tanker. When fuel prices hit the roof a few years ago, the route just wasn’t economical to run.
It seems that Singapore Airlines thinks the tide has turned, and it can run the route again.
Whist these segments are long (and 19 hours is long by any stretch of the imagination), it will take some creative work to ensure those planes both make the loads and yields to make this route work again.
And I’m unsure if these actually exist.
The A350-900ULR will add a new dimension to the fuel costs, and hopefully deliver the savings Singapore Airlines require.
If its enough will be the big question.
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