Singapore Airlines has made a number of significant changes to their US route network this year, as they take possession of both ‘normal’ Airbus A350-900 aircraft, as well as the ultra long range A350-900ULR, which have opened up a range of new routing options to them.
One of these changes was announcing a new nonstop flight between Singapore and Los Angeles, which replaces the routing via Seoul Incheon (the other routing, via Tokyo Narita, has been retained). The nonstop route is being operated by their A350-900ULR, which features only premium economy and business class.
Ben recently flew this same aircraft type on the world’s longest nonstop flight, from Singapore to Newark.
The nonstop flights between Singapore and Los Angeles commenced last weekend, on November 2.
While the inaugural nonstop from Singapore to Los Angeles landed without incident, the return inaugural flight from Los Angeles to Singapore wasn’t so lucky.
40 minutes into the flight, flight crew detected an error with the engine oil meter readings and decided to return the plane to Los Angeles.
The aircraft, with registration 9V-SGC, then sat on the tarmac at LAX for several hours which engineers inspected the problem, before determining the plane was then serviceable.
The flight finally departed at almost 5am local time, arriving into Singapore around five hours late.
Safety is the top priority for any airline.
It’s pretty crazy to think that there would be an issue with a new plane that is only one month old. It would have been exhausting for passengers to stay awake until almost 5am to then embark on an ultra long haul flight, not to mention the poor crew.
The particular aircraft was not the same plane that operated the inaugural world’s longest flight from Singapore to Newark (that was registration 9V-SGA as far as I can gather). It would have been very embarrassing if that flight had been forced to turn around given the amount of publicity it had received.
Have you ever been on a flight that has been turned around for technical issues?
(Tip of the hat to Live And Let Fly)