Singapore Airlines currently operates flights from Singapore to Los Angeles via both Seoul Incheon and Tokyo Narita.
They are taking delivery of the first of seven ultra long range Airbus A350-900ULR aircraft later this year, which allows them to fly to just about anywhere in the United States, nonstop. They have already announced they will fly nonstop from Singapore to New York from October 11 this year, with the first frames they receive.
This aircraft will have just 161 seats, including 67 business class seats (in a 1-2-1 configuration), and 94 premium economy seats (in a 2-4-2 configuration).
The second destination to be served with this ultra long range aircraft is Los Angeles. United already fly this route nonstop with their 787-9 Dreamliners. While Singapore Airlines has recently taken delivery of their first 787-10 Dreamliners (for which they were the launch customer), this aircraft is fitted with Singapore Airlines’ new regional product, and also isn’t especially long range, so is not suitable for ultra long range travel.
With Singapore Airlines set to launch nonstop flights between the cities and with an undoubtedly superior product, United has recently announced they will cancel the route from October 27 this year.
Australian Business Traveler is today reporting that Singapore Airlines will commence nonstop flights between Singapore and Los Angeles from November 2 (so only a week after United ceases their flights). The flights will operate on Friday, Sunday and then Wednesday of that week (presumably as Singapore Airlines only has one frame to operate them with), before moving to a daily service from November 9. The schedule for the daily service will be as follows, with a flight time of about 17 hours in each direction:
- SQ38 Singapore to Los Angeles departing 8:45PM arriving 7:55PM
- SQ37 Los Angeles to Singapore departing 10:55PM arriving 8:50AM (+2 days)
These are the same flight numbers Singapore Airlines used, when they used to operate the route nonstop with Airbus A340 aircraft many years ago.
From December 7 this year, Singapore Airlines will also add an additional three flights per week with the following schedule using also using the A350-900ULR:
- SQ36 Singapore to Los Angeles departing 8:20AM arriving 7:30AM (Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays)
- SQ35 Los Angeles to Singapore departing 9:15AM arriving 7:05PM (+1 day) (Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays)
Singapore Airlines will retain their existing Singapore to Tokyo to Los Angeles flights with a Boeing 777-300ER operating, however their service via Seoul will be limited to just Singapore to Seoul to Singapore from December 1.
Is San Francisco the 3rd ULR North American destination?
Singapore Airlines has previously said they planned to launch their special ultra long range A350 on a third North American destination (in addition to New York and Los Angeles) and predictions were new destinations of either Chicago, or Toronto, as they are both Star Alliance hubs.
But will it just be an existing destination instead?
Singapore Airlines already operate a ‘standard’ Airbus A350-900 (non-ULR) direct from Singapore to San Francisco which features an economy cabin. They have also announced today that they will operate their special ultra long range A350 on the same route three times a week in addition to their existing daily flight.
The new flight numbers will operate as follows, from November 28 this year:
- SQ34 Singapore to San Francisco departing 3:20PM arriving 1:50PM (Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays)
- SQ33 San Francisco to Singapore departing 8:10PM arriving 5:40AM (+2 days) (Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays)
It’s odd that they only have seven of these special configuration, special range aircraft joining their fleet, yet choose to deploy them on a route they don’t actually need to (because it can be operated by ‘normal’ A350). Is there really that much premium demand?
This decision is also surprising because United is going double daily on their direct flights between these two cities (moving the aircraft off the Los Angeles to Singapore route), which means three times a week there will be four direct flights a day between the two Star Alliance carriers, which is insane.
I’m loving all these new route announcements thanks to new aircraft technology. It’s a great time to be an aviation enthusiast.
I will be a little disappointed if the third A350-900ULR destination is ‘just’ San Francisco, given they already fly there nonstop with their ‘standard’ A350, which doesn’t make the new SQ34/35 route announcement very special. I was hoping Singapore Airlines would grow their route network with this aircraft, rather than just growing their frequencies.
Are you excited about Singapore Airlines’ nonstop flights between Singapore and Los Angeles? Do you think they will still launch a new North American destination?