Joint-venture partners Singapore Airlines and New Zealand will be adding a third daily flight on their Singapore-Auckland route late next year, joining each of the airlines’ own daily services on the route.
Unlike the two existing daily flights, which each airline operates on its own, this third service will alternate between the two carriers based on season. During the northern winter months (28 October, 2018-March 30, 2019), for example, the route will be a daily service operated by Singapore Airlines, while in the northern summer months (March 31, 2019-October 26, 2019), Air New Zealand will take over operating it as a five-times-weekly service.
Notably, this means travellers can expect to see quite different aircraft and seat products on the route, depending on the time of year they fly it. Air New Zealand notably will be flying its new-configuration Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner with additional premium seating on the service, the first of which it received only in October. While these feature 27 fully flat business class seats (pictured below) in a 1-1-1 layout, they all face outwards towards the aisle – a feature some travellers find reduces privacy.
Meanwhile, Singapore Airlines will be flying the new service using its B777-300ER (the aircraft also flies its existing daily route between April and October when Singapore Airlines is not flying its Airbus A380 superjumbo on the route). The B777-300ER’s business class cabin (pictured below) is laid out 1-2-1 with its fully flat seats that offer a generous 28 inches of width and a large 18-inch screen. Business Traveller has previously reviewed this seat product on the airline’s Singapore-Hong Kong route.
According to Singapore Airlines, the carriers’ existing flight schedules will also be revised in order to better accommodate connections in Singapore – onward connections to Europe will be three hours or less. The revised schedules for all three of the daily flights are as follows (all times local):
|*SQ/NZ282||Auckland (AKL)||Singapore (SIN)||120||645||Daily|
|*SQ/NZ281||Singapore (SIN)||Auckland (AKL)||845||2335||Daily|
*Operated by Singapore Airlines from October 28, 2018-March 30, 2019, and by Air New Zealand from March 31, 2019-October 26, 2019.
“Our alliance with Air New Zealand has already benefited customers through more capacity, choice, improved connections and more codeshare destinations,” said Tan Kai Ping, Singapore Airlines’ senior vice president of marketing planning. “We are proud of the alliance’s three destinations in New Zealand – Auckland, Christchurch and Wellington. The new flight to Auckland will increase convenience for our customers and demonstrates our commitment to the New Zealand market.”
In related news, Air New Zealand will be making a number of delays and cancellations on numerous routes over the coming weeks starting today, including Auckland-Singapore. According to the airline, Rolls-Royce, which manufactures the engines used on the airline’s B787-9s, has advised that the engines require maintenance earlier than expected, leading to the cancellations.
Schedule changes have currently been planned for Thursday, December 7 to Sunday, December 10. Delays will range from 35 minutes (on the Auckland-Singapore service) up to eight hours 55 minutes (Auckland-Buenos Aires), while the cancellations have been announced for the following routes on the following days:
Thursday, December 7
- NZ175 – Auckland-Perth
Friday, December 8
- NZ178 – Perth-Auckland
- NZ97 – Auckland-Osaka
- NZ98 – Osaka-Auckland
Saturday, December 9
- NZ28 – Auckland-Houston
- NZ29 – Houston-Auckland
A full list of affected flights from December 7 to 10 can be viewed on Air New Zealand’s website.
The maintenance delays and cancellations are particularly unfortunate for Air New Zealand, which was forced to cancel a number of flights back in September due to fuel-supply issues into Auckland.
Have you been affected by these delays and cancellations? Let us know at [email protected]