SIA to deploy A380 to New Delhi and Mumbai

8 Apr 2014 by Clement Huang

Singapore Airlines will deploy the Airbus A380 to the Indian cities of Mumbai and New Delhi from late May. It will be the first carrier to do so, following the lifting of a ban by the Indian government against the superjumbo earlier this year.

New Delhi Indira Gandhi International Airport was the first airport in India to be “A380 ready” following the opening of Terminal 3 in 2010, while Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport unveiled the new integrated Terminal 2 earlier this year (see here), which can also support the superjumbo.

Currently, SIA operates three daily flights to each city using the Boeing 777 family. Mumbai is serviced by two Boeing 777-200s and a Boeing 777-300ER, with the former model featuring a two-class configuration offering 38 seats in business and 228 in economy, and the latter three classes with eight seats in first, 42 in business and 228 in economy. New Delhi, on the other hand, is serviced by two Boeing 777-200s with the same configuration, and a B777-300 that offers eight seats in first, 50 in business and 226 seats.

Effective from May 30, the two B777-200 flights on each of the aforementioned routes will be replaced by one A380 flight, with the Boeing 777-300ER and B777-300 remaining.

That means represent a slight reduction of total seating capacity on both routes.

Dropping two B777-200 services represents the reduction of 532 seats per day (76 in business and 456 in economy) while each A380 that is being deployed comes with 471 seats – 12 suites in first class, 60 seats in business, and 399 in economy – resulting in a net loss of 61 seats per day for each of the cities. For the airline, however, as the superjumbo does offer a first class product, if the top premium seats are filled the revenue generated can offset the reduction of 16 seats in business, and 57 in economy in terms of yields.

“The A380’s larger capacity means that we are able to carry a similar number of passengers with fewer flights on these routes. This is operationally more efficient for the airline and the airport,” said a SIA spokesperson.

The A380 is designed to be fuel efficient, but the size of it also means it is more difficult to achieve a good passenger load. Replacing two B777-200s with a superjumbo makes sense for the airline, although it takes away flight schedule flexibility from customers.

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Clement Huang

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