The partnership upgrade, reported by airlineroute.net, will cover selected Asiana services to the US, pending approval by the US Department of Transportation.
The American market has proven to be a difficult playground for SIA, who was forced to end its non-stop services to both Los Angeles and New York Newark last year, after having found both routes uneconomical (see here).
Having seen its total capacity in the US drop by 16 per cent since the loss of both non-stop services, SIA now offers A380 services to both Los Angeles and Newark, via a one-stop layover in Tokyo and London (the London-Newark leg is operated by Virgin Atlantic).
The extended codeshare agreement between SIA and Asiana (OZ) is expected to cover the following routes:
Seoul Incheon–Los Angeles
If successfully implemented, the Hawaiian state capital of Honolulu will be an entirely new destination for SIA. As the city is well served by a number of Star Alliance carriers such as Asiana, Air New Zealand, and All Nippon Airways, SIA can take advantage of the codeshare agreement to offer its customers an increased network in the US.
Meanwhile, the Seoul Incheon–Los Angeles routes provides a second one-stop entry point between Singapore and the US city. Passengers can board SQ16 that departs Singapore daily at 0925 and lands in Seoul at 1645. Following an acceptable layover period of 3hrs 35 mins, they can transfer onto Asiana Airlines flight OZ204 which takes off at 2020, before landing the same day at 1520 in LA.
The return flight would see OZ203 depart LA at 1220 and landing in Seoul at 0520, the following day. Passengers can then transfer onto SQ607, which takes off from Seoul at 0900, before touching down in Singapore at 1420. The layover time is a similar 3hr 40mins.
SIA’s current lone connection between Singapore and LA is through a one-stop layover at Tokyo-Narita. While the transit time is a more attractive 1hr 45mins, having a second entry point offers customers extra flexibility.
Finally, the main benefit that SIA passengers will enjoy from the Seoul Incheon–Seattle route is the possibility of a one-stop layover service. Currently, passengers travelling between Singapore and Seattle are required to go through a gruelling two-stop layover service. The possibility include either flying via Seoul to San Francisco (SFO) before transferring to Seattle; travelling via Tokyo to LA before moving onward to Seattle; or flying via Hong Kong to SFO and then finally up to Seattle. All flights within the US are operated by Virgin America.
By codesharing with Asiana, SIA customers can instead take SQ16 to Seoul that arrives at 1645, before transferring to OZ272 at 1840 and arrive in Seattle the same day at 1250.
The return leg will consist of flight OZ271 departing Seattle at 1420 and arrive in Seoul the following day at 1750. Following a layover period of 1hr 45 mins, passengers can board SQ15, which departs Seoul at 1935 before touching back down in Singapore at 0050 the next day.
For more information, visit www.singaporeair.com