Singapore Airlines mulls Airbus A350 flights to Australia

By Chris Chamberlin, October 16 2015

Following the launch of Singapore Airlines’ Airbus A350 flights to Amsterdam, Kuala Lumpur and Jakarta in early 2016, the airline could send its A350s to Sydney, Melbourne and Perth – just don't expect them to be locked into a regular schedule.

Speaking with Australian Business Traveller at a media briefing in Toulouse, Singapore Airlines’ Senior Vice President for Product & Services Mr Tan Pee Teck shared that “certainly North Asia and South West Pacific (are) potentially both on the cards, it’s a very versatile aircraft.”

Tan confirmed the airline's plan to see the advanced A350s replace its ageing Boeing 777-200 and Boeing 777-300 jets, although not the Boeing 777-300ERs.

As it currently stands, two of SQ’s daily flights to each of Sydney and Melbourne are served by the to-be-retired Boeing 777-200 or Boeing 777-300 birds, while Perth also sees a daily Boeing 777-200 Singapore Airlines flight.

However, SQ is unlikely to have dedicated A350s serving these markets, instead preferring to fly them on longer routes and using a smaller number of comparatively shorter flights to help fill gaps in the A350s’ roster.

The A350-900 “has the range to do Europe quite easily non-stop (from Singapore),” Tan notes, “so we do see it replacing some of the long-haul routes and introducing new ones in the years ahead… but it certainly would be wasted to use that (solely) as a ‘regional’ aircraft.”

Also read: Singapore Airlines: non-stop USA flights with long-range A350

SQ: upgrades to Brisbane, Adelaide flights?

For Brisbane and Adelaide residents, Tan concedes that the angled-flat seats on the airline’s Airbus A330s “probably don’t compete as well with a lie-flat product” such as the Qantas Business Suite, but that “it’s done fairly well... (and the aircraft has) a pretty decent density of seats.”

Singapore Airlines' Airbus A330s: angled-flat beds at the pointy end...

“Of course it’s our plan to upgrade our products,” he continues. “The A330s are largely on lease with us so they will be replaced in due course.”

But with any new business class seat comes the issue of capacity, as more favourable business class layouts with fully-flat beds and direct aisle access typically take up more floor space on board – reducing the number of seats available to business class passengers during peak times.

“For a lot of business travellers, what’s important is being able to get onto the plane… and even with an inclined flat seat customers manage to get themselves comfortable in the seat,” Tan adds.

“We just have to make sure that the product in the cabin doesn’t age prematurely and keeps looking fresh… and continue with the signature SQ service that kind of keeps the customers coming back”.

Also read: Singapore Airlines: non-stop USA flights with long-range A350

Chris Chamberlin travelled to Toulouse as a guest of Singapore Airlines and Airbus.

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ChrisCh
ChrisCh

Chris Chamberlin

Chris Chamberlin is the Associate Editor of Executive Traveller and lives by the motto that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, a great latte, a theatre ticket and a glass of wine!

djcz

djcz

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

28 Feb 2014

Total posts 144

As a BNE resident , this is something I want really badly to happen.

Doubleplatinum Banned

Doubleplatinum Banned

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer Platinum

07 Feb 2013

Total posts 558

+1 I'm over those angled lie flat seats

sagidec

sagidec

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

19 Nov 2011

Total posts 246

Great idea. Delta Airlines are mulling over buying less than 10 year old B772 for their fleet at significant lower price. Might as well!

abudhabi1

abudhabi1

Thai Airways International - Royal Orchid Plus

15 Jan 2013

Total posts 279

I am an ADL resident and feel these upgrades are well overdue.It appears with the exception of the A330 and the Big Top 747-300's back when we shared services with Melbourne in that case We in South Australia have been getting since the beginning of services into Adelaide the left overs nobody wants old 747-200's,A310's,777-200's and the A340-300 for a while.We ae lucky by the time SIA got to SA IN 1984 the much maligned DC10's of theirs were long gone.

Chris_PER

Chris_PER

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

19 Feb 2014

Total posts 451

Hi Chris, correct if I am wrong, but I'm pretty sure there are two 777 and two A333s to Perth a day.

devilish

devilish

06 Jan 2015

Total posts 71

Generally speaking, yes.

eminere

eminere

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

25 Sep 2013

Total posts 1127

"continue with the signature SQ service that kind of keeps the customers coming back”

Kind of? Kind of?? This SVP isn't selling it very well, is he.

Michael Kao

Michael Kao

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

06 Nov 2014

Total posts 336

For BNE resident, fly EK or EY to Europe. For ADL resident, fly QR to Europe. As long as people are filling up SQ's angled lie flat, they won't see the need for upgrades. 

riley

riley

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

19 Mar 2014

Total posts 574

That is very true.

Vote with your feet or you'll always have the fleet rejects.

ChrisCh

ChrisCh

24 Apr 2012

Total posts 2925

Michael, for what it's worth both of my SQ A330 flights between Brisbane and Singapore this past week were completely full in business class – so much so that I was initially waitlisted on the first flight, but the waitlist cleared when a single seat became available around a week before departure.

CityRail

CityRail

Singapore Airlines - KrisFlyer

17 Nov 2014

Total posts 92

So in the end there's no F demand on SQ 211/212, the early morning departure from SYD? Currently they are serving F on this pair with B777-300 aircrafts. But I would welcome the introduction of Premium Economy on these pairs.

Ricardo

Ricardo

SQ

23 Oct 2015

Total posts 15

Sadly I just know that these flights will be gone. Never been on SQ212 but almost always use SQ211 on the way back in F. You can (almost always) get cheap FF seats in F on that flight.

on the 20+ times we have used it, we are the only two in F probably 80% of the time.

i just know there gunna replace it with J  and less hull and there goes my daylight return.

Shoudy Chen

Shoudy Chen

Qantas

13 Jun 2015

Total posts 143

Hooray for Aussie travellers!

StudiodeKadent

StudiodeKadent

20 May 2015

Total posts 584

SQ's A330s seat 285 people. A350-900s target 314 passengers in a three class layout (according to Airbus). So in real life, with SQ's less-dense product, we could easily expect the A350-900 to have a similar capacity to SQ's A330, with the added bonus of Premium Economy service as well as SQ's superior Business Class product... both of which correlate nicely with their partner Virgin Australia's "Business Lite" Premium Economy and "Business-First" Business class.

The A350-900 is cheaper to run than the A330, so honestly, I don't see why SQ shouldn't replace the A330 with the A350 on BNE and ADL. It would strengthen their competitive position against Qantas in the SIN market (and if they offered PE on the route they'd be filling a currently-unfilled market niche), assist SQ in winning back Kangaroo Route customers from Qantas/Emirates, fit in nicely with their partner Virgin Australia (and provide an alternative Kangaroo Route to going via Abu Dhabi)... It seems to me like its a no-brainer.  

StudiodeKadent

StudiodeKadent

20 May 2015

Total posts 584

Oh, and just to add something...

SQ may decide to replace Australia's A330 services with 787-10 services (SQ have an order for 30 of them, with an EIS of 2018-2019). They also have a higher capacity relative to the A350-900 (about 15 extra pax), and allegedly have better economics on shorter routes relative to the A350... so its possible SQ are going to wait until the 787-10s show up before upgauging the Australian routes.

That said, I'd think most Economy flyers would prefer the A350 for Australian operations.  

Ho Really

Ho Really

Singapore Airlines - KrisFlyer

13 Dec 2014

Total posts 81

I guess you meant via Dubai if referring to QANTAS/Emirates Kangaroo Route.

SQ may have to introduce an A350-900 into ADL sooner than later if they want to counter QR's entry in May 2016 and cut losing customers going onto Europe. They will also be one step ahead of EK who currently fly a B777-300ER. Just a thought.

jubbing

jubbing

American Airlines - AAdvantage

13 Jul 2015

Total posts 205

There's currently an A380 which flies to Sydney - is that temporary? If they upgrade Australia to A350's and A380's I would be so happy.

Andy H

Andy H

Thai Airways International - Royal Orchid Plus

16 May 2011

Total posts 116

SYD gets x1 daily A380 pernamently, whilst MEL gets the A380 during peak periods of the year. Those are the only 2 SQ A380 destinations in Australia.

Gunners

Gunners

Singapore Airlines - KrisFlyer

13 May 2011

Total posts 27

SQ 256 needs to do something about their aging A330s. 

 I was one of the unfortunate passengers on SQ 256 last Thursday.  The flight was scheduled to depart at 9.10 am.  The flight was boarded on time.  Due to mechanical issues we were held on the plane for 3 hours.  We were then told to disembark and given $30 vouchers to spend at Brisbane Airport..  Eventually the problem was fixed and  SQ 256 left BNE at 4pm.

 

 

CityRail

CityRail

Singapore Airlines - KrisFlyer

17 Nov 2014

Total posts 92

A330s are not that old, the oldest one could just be about 6 - 7 years. I think B777-200ER and B777-300 should be given a higher priority to replace, at least they are even not using a proper IFE system than other SIA planes.


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