BA to deploy A380 on Singapore route

British Airways will deploy an A380 on its London Heathrow to Singapore route from October 28.

The service will initially operate three-times weekly, with outbound flights departing on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, and each return leg taking-off the following day.

From February 9, BA will upgrade the service to daily, adding 4,000 seats a month to the route.

Flight BA11 will depart LHR at 1920 and arrive in Singapore the following day at 1555, while return service BA12 will leave Singapore at 2310 and land at Heathrow at 0450 the next morning.

Other flights on the route — including BA15/BA16, which continues beyond Singapore to Sydney — will continue as before.

It would appear that BA is taking advantage of greater passenger demand between London and Singapore now that Qantas no longer plies the route on the way to London. Qantas now operates the kangaroo route over Dubai.

BA may also wish to cash-in on those Sydney-bound passengers who prefer to break their journey in Singapore rather than in Dubai or Abu Dhabi.

Writing in his Plane Talking blog, Australian journalist Ben Sandilands said: “The move [by BA] is clearly intended to leverage the preference of some travellers on the kangaroo route to fly via Asia than the Middle East.”

The big question must be whether or not BA will eventually extend A380 service beyond Singapore to Sydney.

It’s logical, but in terms of aircraft utilisation and yield it’s inefficient because tagging on Sydney would mean BA’s A380 would be away from base for an extra day. It would therefore earn only a little more revenue (the cost of London-Singapore return isn’t significantly less than London-Sydney return).

But BA will face stiff competition in terms of service and price from SIA. Singapore’s national carrier flies up to four-times daily from London Heathrow with many services also A380-operated.

Alex McWhirter

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  • And any news or rumour of Jakarta being tagged to the SIN route? Or has the entry of Garuda scared BA away from that market of 250 million and an economic growth rate of 6%?

  • Firstly: “Qantas now operates the kangaroo route over Dubai.” Surely it should be via Dubai and not over?

    Second, it’s great to see BA extending the use of the A380, however I still feel that BA missed an excellent opportunity with the launch of the A380 and B787 to update its very dated biz class offering to direct aisle access.

    When BA launched this layout in 1999 it was revolutionary. It was one of the first, if not THE first airline to offer lay flat seats in biz class. However in the subsequent 15 years, the competition have leapfrogged BA by raising the bar, and offering direct aisle access. Starting with arch nemesis Virgin Atlantic and its herringbone Upper Class layout, the list of airlines that now offering direct aisle access keeps growing. Cathay Pacific’s much praised reverse herringbone layout has since been taken up by American Airlines, Air France (launching later this year) and Qatar Airways (who used its B787 launch as the opportunity to bring this to market). Other airlines that now offer direct aisle access in business class includes: Air Canada, Air New Zealand, Etihad, Delta, Emirates (a380 only), Singapore Airlines (not a fair comparison, since the amount of space SIA offer biz passengers is borderline ridiculous) and those are only the ones I can think of off the top of my head.

    BA still have brilliant cabin crew, however relying on this, or it’s corporate clients who are tied in through loyalty programmes, seems short sighted.

    It’s sad to see a company like BA, so innovative in the past, which now seems to be resting on its laurels. The competition is leaving them in their dust. How much longer can BA ignore the new gold standard in biz class of direct aisle access, the market now expects from a top tier airline?

  • I with Speedbird. BA’a biz class is outdated. Other carriers biz class and other carriers that do not have first, Ba’s first is almost equivalent to BA’s first!

    Come on BA! Time for change!

  • @Speedybird:

    Air Canada has also adopted the reverse herringbone for its new 787s, which will be flying to LHR (and hence directly competing with BA) starting in April.

    As you say, most of the major US airlines (United being the exception) now offer direct aisle access on their widebody fleets. I tend to think of US airlines as being the minimum acceptable standard for hard and soft product, so if you’re lagging behind them you’re in trouble!

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