Singapore Airlines Pulls First & Suites Availability Through October 2021

Filed Under: Singapore

If you’re looking to fly Singapore Airlines’ 777 first class or A380 Suites, unfortunately don’t expect to do so in the next year.

Singapore Airlines zeroes out availability

As noted by Mainly Miles, Singapore Airlines has just pulled all first class & Suites availability through October 31, 2021.

To be clear, we’re not just talking about award availability, but rather we’re talking about inventory altogether, meaning you can’t even book these seats with cash. This is despite the fact that Singapore Airlines shows a lot of A380s and 777s in the schedule next summer.

Prior to this change, Singapore Airlines had blocked all of this availability through April 1, 2021, so this represents a further seven month extension.

Singapore Airlines’ 777 first class

Why would Singapore Airlines do this?

You’re probably thinking “so is Singapore Airlines just going to fly all those 777s and A380s but not sell the top cabin?” No, probably not.

Here’s what’s going on:

  • Singapore Airlines is currently primarily operating A350s and 787s, which don’t feature a first class or Suites cabin
  • While the airline has operated a few 777s with first class cabins, first class simply hasn’t been sold on these flights
  • Things continue to still very much be up in the air for Singapore Airlines’ future schedule, given how much global demand has decreased, let alone the fact that Singapore has some of the strictest entry requirements, putting the national airline in an even more challenging situation

Singapore Airlines’ “new” A380 Suites

I wouldn’t take Singapore Airlines’ latest schedule update to mean that the airline definitely won’t offer first class or Suites through next October. However, I would take it to mean that the airline doesn’t have a very optimistic outlook about how demand will recover next summer, which also isn’t very surprising.

In fairness, Singapore Airlines is probably more conservative than most airlines when it comes to managing expectations, and the airline probably doesn’t want to sell a product it’s not sure it will be able to offer.

With aircraft changes highly likely on many routes, this isn’t a problem in business class, since all planes offer business class. The same isn’t true in first class or Suites, though.

Singapore Suites
Singapore Airlines’ “old” A380 Suites

I wouldn’t expect A380s to return anytime soon

Singapore Airlines exclusively offers Suites on its fleet of A380s, and I wouldn’t be surprised if these planes indeed don’t fly until next October at the earliest:

  • The airline has 19 A380s, and just announced that seven of these will be retired, meaning the airline will only have 12 A380s remaining
  • Since A380s are Singapore Airlines’ highest capacity planes, it seems highly likely that these will remain grounded even as demand begins to recover, with 777s being deployed first
  • Many airlines that have A380s intend to keep them grounded for years, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see the same be the case at Singapore Airlines

Who knows when Singapore’s A380s will return to the skies

Bottom line

Singapore Airlines has blocked first class and Suites availability through October 2021. Given that the airline stopped selling the cabins in March 2020, that means we’re potentially looking at about 19 months without Singapore’s most premium products being offered.

Of course anything can change — presumably Singapore Airlines is erring on the side of caution here and it’s always possible that this availability gets reinstated. However, this tells me that Singapore Airlines isn’t expecting to fly any of its A380s or most of its 777s next summer.

What do you make of Singapore Airlines’ inventory updates?

Comments
  1. Business travels will take years, if ever, come back to pre-COVID numbers. Most companies have made changes to make remote reunions possible and the economics of are indeed better. It’s indeed a difficult time for airlines

  2. Im the most pessimistic person around but I don’t get it. A vaccine may well be available by April. If that’s true, I’d expect summer 2021 to be super busy given that people have been stuck at home for over a year.

    Of course, it’s possible that it doesn’t turn out that way, that things don’t really improve until Q3/4 2021 and into 2022. But if they’ve come this far why not wait just a couple more weeks /months before making such an extreme decision?

  3. SQ negotiated with Dr. Peters to terminate all lease agreements prematurely— which indicates they want to get rid of some/most/all of their A380s.

  4. SQ is a cheap ass airline. PRODUCT OVER PROFIT, WHAT DO YOU ALL DON’ UNDERSTAND?! YOU DON’T WANT TO FLY ON AN A380 JUST SO AIRLINES COULD SAVE MORE MONEY?! ENDRE, I DO NOT UNDERSTAND PEOPLE LIKE YOU.

  5. Even if a vaccine will be available at the end of this year, it will take at least a year or two to vaccinate the majority of the population of any bigger country. The next bigger question is if a vaccine gives you a “free pass” to travel, or if countries wait for enough vaccine immunity to open up – likely the latter to not promote vaccine certificate fraud. I would not expect the strict Asian countries and Oceania to open up before 2022, but US-EU travel might be possible earlier.

  6. Why do we go on living? 😉

    Glad I did the new suite and B77W 1st Last year on RTW19 2.0 🙂 #SuperTrees #CloudMountain <3

    I’ve got a July 2021 Birthday RTW Ticketed on CX JFK-HKG-LHR then BA LHR-IAD. We’ll see, eh?

  7. I booked a first class flight on their fifth freedom flight from LAX to NRT. They are still showing the booking as first on their web site. I hope that’s an exception to the cancellation of all first.

  8. @Sam

    A lot of the F seats are given to business travelers, but business travel is unlikely to return to previous levels any time, if ever. For a substantial number of businesses, the only thing preventing them from going to remote conferencing is the unproven model and the initial time investment to set up. Now that they’ve already set it up, it’s unlikely they’ll go back to the more expensive option of flying.

    Even for the ones that do, I imagine they’ll cut back a lot of unessential travel. And business travelers are the most lucrative segment, so things will be difficult going forward.

  9. No international travel until vaccine and should be compulsory. Be like Australia and eradicate the virus.

  10. I was literally looking at a EWR-SIN-HND flight for next summer, and could not for the life of me figure out why there was no availability.

    Thanks for the clarification (sort of). 🙂

  11. @David
    That’s very true, and honestly if business travel returns even 65-70% I think at this point that would be a coup for the airline industry.
    However zeroeing out first class entirely seems a little extreme. Getting rid of it on many routes might make sense, but still I’d imagine that major cities like LHR, FRA, HKG, NRT, SYD, etc. would have enough F demand for 8-16 seats a day, no?

  12. @Sam

    Yeah I think many of those routes you listed will have F return, but just not any time in the near future with borders all closed up.

  13. Makes sense, they need Aus and China travel to be open to justify running A380s and Oct 21 looks like the earliest possible date if everything goes well with the vaccine.

    In the meantime I doubt the schedule will change much with the A350 running the long hauls and 787/regional A350 running the thicker / cargo heavy regional routes alongside the 737 which will be operating under SQ code in 2021 offering more flexibility

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