Singapore Airlines is switching up its Trans-Tasman routes serving Wellington, with the airline due to launch flights from Melbourne to the New Zealand capital while dropping its Canberra-Wellington flights.
The new service via is set to take off on May 3, 2018 operating four days a week under the flight number SQ247 on the Singapore-Melbourne-Wellington leg and as SQ248 on the Wellington-Melbourne-Singapore flight.
The airline’s two-class, 266-seat Boeing 777-200 will fly the route, offering 38 seats in business class and 228 seats in economy. Business class is, unfortunately, laid out 2-2-2 rather than the more popular 1-2-1 of Singapore Airlines’ newer aircraft and features one of its oldest seat products. Business Traveller reviewed this seat on the airline’s Singapore-Hong Kong route.
The schedule for the service is as follows (all times local).
|SQ247||Singapore (SIN)||Melbourne (MEL)||1945||0510+1||Mon, Thu, Fri, Sat|
|Melbourne (MEL)||Wellington (WLG)||0700||1220||Tue, Fri, Sat, Sun|
|SQ248||Wellington (WLG)||Melbourne (MEL)||1345||1530||Tue, Fri, Sat, Sun|
|Melbourne (MEL)||Singapore (SIN)||1650||2245||Tue, Fri, Sat, Sun|
This new route comes at the cost of the airline’s Canberra-Wellington flight, which Singapore Airlines launched in September 2016. At the time, it was the first airline to provide an international long-haul connection for both the Australian and the New Zealand capital.
“We have seen growth in the international travel into and from both Canberra and Wellington since the launch of our new services in 2016,” said Tan Kai Ping, Singapore Airlines’ senior vice president of marketing planning.
“These new routings will allow us to serve Canberra and Wellington better, and provide Canberra with a step-up in frequency.”
This increase in frequency between Singapore and Canberra will come just ahead of the new Melbourne-Wellington route launch, on May 1. Singapore Airlines will be upping its services to Canberra with a new daily flight that flies via Sydney on the Singapore to Canberra leg, but goes direct from Canberra back to Singapore.
The new daily service will operate as SQ288 on the Singapore-Sydney-Canberra routing and as SQ288 on the return Canberra-Singapore flight, replacing the airline’s existing daily SQ251/SQ252 service between Singapore and Sydney.
This also means that travellers flying from Singapore to Canberra will no longer be able to do so without a stopover. Singapore Airlines currently flies from Singapore to Sydney four times a day, and non-stop between Singapore and Canberra four times a week.
Unfortunately for travellers wanting to try out Singapore Airlines’ newest Airbus A380 first class suites and business class seat products, the timing of the Sydney-Canberra leg doesn’t tie up well with Singapore Airlines’ SQ221 flight, which on December 18 became the airline’s first route to feature its newest Airbus A380 first class suites and business class seat products. Flight SQ221 arrives in Sydney at about 0730, but the onward SQ288 Sydney-Canberra flight doesn’t take off until 2120.
|SQ288||Singapore (SIN)||Sydney (SYD)||1030||2010||Daily|
|Sydney (SYD)||Canberra (CBR)||2120||2220|
|SQ288||Canberra (CBR)||Singapore (SIN)||2315||0515+1||Daily|
Business Traveller reviewed the airline’s new A380 business class product on the aircraft’s inaugural flight from Singapore to Sydney.
Instead, travellers will fly the airline’s four-class 264-seat Boeing 777-300ER on the new Singapore-Sydney-Canberra-Singapore service. These notably feature four classes, including four seats in first class.
The B777-300ER also has 48 seats in business class, 28 in premium economy and 184 in economy. The business class seats on the B777-300ER are laid out 1-2-1, offering direct aisle access, and seats recline to a fully flat position.