From the start of the winter schedules on October 24, Singapore Airlines (SIA) will be operating a thrice daily A380 service on its busy route to London Heathrow.
SIA’s fourth daily London service will continue to be operated by a B777-300ER.
SIA found the extra A380 capacity for London by downgrading its Singapore-Tokyo-Los Angeles service. Currently SIA uses an A380 for this route but in October the latter will be replaced by B777-300ER equipment.
So as regards Singapore-London the A380 flights from October 24 are: SQ306, SQ308 and SQ322. For London-Singapore the A380 services will be: SQ305, SQ317 and SQ321.
The single daily flight rostered for the B777-300ER will be SQ318 from Singapore to London and SQ319 for London to Singapore.
The move to increase capacity this winter represents a bold step for SIA.
The London route remains far and away SIA’s most successful and lucrative European service.
And while the European winter season is the peak travel time for passengers heading to Asia and Australasia it must also be noted that the competition has never been fiercer.
It’s not only the Gulf carriers providing the extra capacity. There have also been capacity increases from the newly emerging airlines of mainland China along with British Airways and Garuda.
For it must be noted that, like KLM of Holland and Emirates of Dubai, SIA is a major sixth-freedom carrier and therefore many passengers booking SIA are travelling beyond, not to or from, Singapore.
SIA will be hoping that the superior experience offered by the A380 will enable it to fill the extra seats during the winter.
Note: Although SIA currently operates thrice daily A380 London flights London, during the winter (2015/16) it cut A380 frequency to twice daily. (The remaining two services are rostered for B777-300ER equipment).