Singapore Airlines is set to give Perth a major boost with the addition of a fifth daily flight. Slated to take wing from Monday 1 June 2020, the service will be timed to tie into the airline's early morning wave of flights to Europe, South Africa and Japan.
The new SQ230 will leave Perth at 6.40pm to reach Singapore at 12.10am the next morning; the SQ229 return leg is wheels-up from Singapore at 12.20pm for a 5.20pm landing at Perth.
As with two of its Perth-Singapore sibling flights, SQ229/SQ230 will run on an Airbus A350 – although it's fitted with the same 'regional' business class as the other Perth A350s and the Boeing 787-10 Dreamliners, rather than the international business class of SQ's longer-range flights.
Not that there's much to fault about a regional business class seat which offers a bookshelf and cabinet next to your seat, a large flat-screen TV in front of you that's packed with movies and TV shows, and a seat that converts into a long, fully-flat bed when a power nap is called for.
Here's how the Perth-Singapore schedule will look from June 2020 (subject to regulatory approval, of course). Singapore Airlines says the midnight arrival "will improve connection times to several key destinations" including London, Manchester, Zurich, Rome, Istanbul, Johannesburg, Cape Town, Fukuoka, Osaka, Nagoya and Hiroshima.
Likewise, Perth-bound travellers coming into Singapore on SQ and SilkAir flights from Mumbai, Kuala Lumpur, Manila and Jakarta won't have to cool their heels for long.
Not that there's anything wrong with a stopover at Singapore's Changi Airport, which is widely regarded as one of the world's best airports.
Business class passengers would certainly not object to clocking up a little more time in Singapore Airlines' SilverKris lounge, which is being revamped into a larger and more upmarket lounge worthy of its flagship status with new 'productivity pods' and rest areas, an expanded dining hall with live cooking stations, a tended bar and a seperate cafe.
The new-look business class lounge is expected to open around the middle of this year, after which the $50 million make-over will sweep through the adjoining first class lounge and, in 2021, the exclusive haven known as The Private Room.
Earlier this month Singapore Airlines announced plans for a joint venture with ANA – which flies daily between Perth and Tokyo – to sharpen their shared focus on the Asia-Pacific market.
The partnership, which is subject to approval by the relevant authorities in each country, would encompass flights between Japan and Singapore, Australia, Malaysia, Indonesia and India.
It would extend beyond the airlines' current code-sharing agreement via their shared Star Alliance membership to let them coordinate pricing and schedules on those routes "for more seamless access to flights (and) a broad range of joint fare products, tie-ups between frequent flyer programs and aligned corporate programs to strengthen their proposition to corporate clients."
Goh Choon Phong, CEO of Singapore Airlines, promised the alliance meant "customers would be able to enjoy increased flight frequencies and travel convenience, and access the strong connectivity at both the Singapore and Tokyo air hubs."