Singapore Airlines is adjusting its network, as it ramps up some services and adjusts capacity on others.
Singapore Airlines Airbus A380 landing at London Heathrow Airport – Image Economy Class and Beyond
The Americas and Europe
For those who love the SIA A380, there’s a bit of bad news, with it being pulled from SQ26 and SQ25, the daily Singapore-Frankfurt-New York (JFK) service. This will be replaced with a Boeing 777-300ER.
There are also capacity cuts on SQ36 and SQ35 between Singapore and Los Angeles, which will operate will operate three-times weekly, instead of a daily service, from 26 March 2023. The city pair will have two 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.
Finally, the SQ52 and SQ51 that serve the Singapore-Manchester-Houston route will operate three weekly instead of four times weekly from 28 March 2023.
However, in a boost to Manchester, the airline will launch a new twice-weekly service between Singapore and Manchester, SQ302 and SQ301, operated by the A350-900 long-haul aircraft, from 2 April 2023, giving five frequencies a week between the North of England’s main gateway and the Lion City.
So where is that additional capacity going? Australia appears to be a hot spot for the A380.
Singapore Airlines will send its A380s to Melbourne after almost four years on 16 May 2023, while Sydney will receive a second daily A380 from 17 May 2023.
The A380 will replace the 777-300ER on SQ237 from Singapore to Melbourne, and the return service SQ228.
The airline will also operate the A380 on SQ221 from Singapore to Sydney and the return flight SQ232, instead of the A350-900 medium-haul.
Singapore Airlines will be adding extra capacity to Thailand, with a fifth daily service (SQ706 and SQ705), between Singapore and Bangkok, operated by the A350-900 medium-haul aircraft, from 1 October 2023.
In addition, from 26 March 2023, they will also add a fourth daily service, SQ726 and SQ725, between Singapore and Phuket, operated by the Boeing 737-800.
There’s a lot to cover as the airline bumps up frequencies in the region.
Busan will rejoin the network from 2 June 2023, with SQ616 (Singapore to Busan) and SQ615 (Busan to Singapore) operating four weekly services on the Boeing 737-8.
Seoul will gain a fourth daily service between Singapore and Seoul, (SQ612 and SQ611), from 1 June 2023 with the Boeing 787-10.
Osaka will gain an uplift from 1 May 2023, the flight frequencies of SQ618 (Singapore to Osaka) and SQ619 (Osaka to Singapore) increased from a four-times-weekly to a daily service. This will give Osaka a 14 times a week service.
Hong Kong SAR
With Hong Kong opening back up, Singapore Airlines will be adding capacity to the city.
From 26 March 2023, the Airline will operate SQ892 and SQ893, a daily service between Singapore and Hong Kong SAR, using the A380 aircraft.
SQ896 and SQ897 will also return with a daily service between Singapore and Hong Kong SAR, with the Airbus A350-900 medium-haul aircraft from 1 October 2023, bringing up four flights a day.
Taipei will head to double-daily, with the airline increasing the frequencies of SQ876 (Singapore to Taipei) and SQ877 (Taipei to Singapore) from four times weekly to a daily service from 26 March 2023.
SQ878 and SQ879 between the two cities will also increase from three-times weekly to a daily service from 31 May 2023 to make up the double-daily frequency
Ms JoAnn Tan, Senior Vice President of Marketing Planning, at Singapore Airlines, said:
“Looking ahead to 2023, we see stronger demand for flights to destinations across South East Asia, parts of East Asia, and Australia. As we restore our network to these regions closer to pre-pandemic levels, our customers have even more flight options as they make their holiday plans.”
Slow, but steady
Whilst the loss of the A380 to US traffic may be a blow to some people, Singapore Airlines is doing what it does best – evaluate the market conditions and send aircraft to where they can be the most profitable.
The airline might be taking its time over this, but it seems this strategy is working out for the airline as it grows both its capacity and reach.
With the airline hitting pre-pandemic operations to a lot of its network, it now comes down to filling in the gaps that have been left behind, be it in terms of routes or in this case – capacity and frequency, providing options for passengers who wish to travel to or transit the Lion City.
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The cutbacks to the U.S. seem a bit surprising since there’s been little to no award space in premium cabins available, which would indicate full flights.
Either that, or some contracts have dried up that kept these routes flying.
Or that Singapore Airlines is expecting travel to drop in the region next year for some reason….