Singapore Airlines Expected To Launch New Route To Seattle

Singapore Airlines recently substantially altered their US route network, thanks to them starting to take delivery of their Airbus A350-900ULR aircraft.

Singapore Airlines’ new ultra longhaul flights

The airline was finally able to resume nonstop flights from Singapore to both Los Angeles and New York. So far the airline has announced:

Singapore Airlines has a total of seven A350-900ULRs on order, and a while back it looked like they’d use these to operate three North American routes. We knew Newark and Los Angeles would be the first two destinations, while my guess was that the third destination would be Chicago, Seattle, or Toronto.

That’s not what they ended up doing, though. Instead Singapore Airlines ended up using the A350-900ULRs to “double down” on existing routes, in some cases adding two daily frequencies, as follows:

Now Singapore Airlines is apparently nearing an announcement of another new US route.

Singapore Airlines to Seattle?

The Straits Times is reporting that Singapore Airlines “looks set to launch” flights to Seattle in 2019. The newspaper doesn’t name a source, though they usually get stuff right when it comes to Singapore Airlines, so at this point I’d mark this as “highly likely, but not confirmed.”

Singapore Airlines hasn’t confirmed or denied the rumor, but rather has said “we review our network constantly and are always looking out for feasible new destinations.”

If this route does in fact launch, my guess is that they’ll use a “regular” A350-900 for the route. This route is significantly shorter than their other nonstop flights to the US, at only about 8,000 miles. So it seems much more logical that they’d fly an A350-900 featuring business, premium economy, and economy, rather than their A350-900ULRs with just business class and premium economy. It’ll be much easier to fill seats that way.

Seattle seems like a logical choice for the next route, given that it’s a market that has grown a ton the past few years, and also that Singapore Airlines has a partnership with Alaska Airlines, so the route would get them one stop connectivity to all kinds of new markets.

Singapore Airlines also doesn’t have an especially close relationship with United, outside of their mutual participation in Star Alliance, which is another reason I could see them moving more closely to Alaska.

At the same time, while demand out of Seattle has no doubt grown a lot, one has to wonder how much more capacity the airport can handle. In 2019 both Cathay Pacific and Japan Airlines will be launching service to the airport, and now they’re likely throwing Singapore Airlines into the mix as well.

What do you make of Singapore Airlines’ rumored new route between Singapore and Seattle?

Comments

  1. If this is true, I would imagine Delta dropping NRT-SIN and launching SEA-SIN as well.. Then maybe they’ll drop Manila too.

  2. They have a ‘relationship’ with Alaska Air. We should quit giving Alaska credit for ‘partnerships’ when one can’t actually use Alaska miles on the ‘partner’ airline.

  3. As a long time expat living in Bali, originally from the PNW, it’s exciting to see Seattle getting closer, more convenient, and a lot more comfortable given their Alaska Miles partnership and UR eligibility. Adding CX to the mix is equally enticing though SQ trumps them with convenience. Will be interesting to see how the price respectively as through flight ex-DPS.

  4. This is interesting. As someone from PDX it’s crazy to see the growth up state from all the international airlines to Seattle. I’m not sure if demand can keep up but at the same time Seattle remains one of the fastest growing markets in the country in regard to new people moving there. If this is true I’m very excited about next year as their are so many new routes to Asia from SEA and quite a few miles options to try them out.

  5. Would be interesting to see if Delta will react by launching the same route. They can have their A350 in SIN fed by GA & VN flights as well, I imagine. Not sure if I should favour SQ’s limited legroom business but better soft product or DL’s suites with mediocre soft product, but I welcome the competition. Flying to Bali/Thailand should definitely be easier for my spouse and I

  6. This will be great for those in Western Canada trying to get to South-East Asia and vice versa. In addition to Vancouver and Calgary, Alaska connects to Victoria, Edmonton and Kelowna from Seattle so people in those markets will have another option than Vancouver for connecting to South East Asia.

  7. @Alex
    Delta is more inconsistent with flight attendants and soft product than SQ, but I’m welcoming the food improvements from Delta on Asia flights.

    My only concern with SEA-SIN is that if DL can’t make HKG work, there’s no way that they can make SIN work. Also, DL flies to HKG with an A330-200. SIN requires an A350 or 77L. Unless they bring back their pre-NW merger partnership with SQ (which is most likely not going to happen since SQ already partners with 3 US airlines) or cooperate with Garuda (which has a reasonably sized operation at SIN as a foreign airline) a LOT more. At the same time, it seems like that DL currently cares about their KE partnership more than anything else in the Asia market.

    I’m also surprised that SQ is starting SEA before YVR…

  8. This is great news for South and Western Australians. Now we will have two airlines to choose from for 1 stop service to Seattle. (Cathay and SQ).

  9. SQ will destroy all other airlines. Their product is superior to everyone else. Their crews are the best. Period

  10. This would be awesome. Have to think with this new capacity we would see some great award opportunities out of Seattle. I would rather take a longer flight into Sin and a short flight within SE Asia than the Japan/Korea alternative with a late night 6+ hour flight… assuming premium class of course.

  11. Philippine Airlines also ruled out Chicago and Houston plans for Seattle instead. It may support some speculation in the air of a brewing codeshare partnership they are eyeing with Delta. They seem pretty ahead of their plans and may launch by 2019. Chances are if all these happen, we might see Delta drop Manila altogether.

  12. In terms of your concerns about capacity, SeaTac airport is scheduled to open new international arrival facility with increased # of international gates in 2020. Overall, it’s good news for me since I fly out of SEA but 3 new direct flights to Asia does seem a lot.

  13. Does anyone know about lounge plans at SEA? There has been a lot of international growth at SEA for the past two years, the International Arrivals Facility is under construction and SQ, JL and CX are all coming (probably) – hopefully all the additional J passengers are not going to be eating crackers at The Club at SEA in 2020 waiting to fly to Asia. I would think that there are plans in the works for alliance lounges or some lounge additions in the South Satellite / IAF construction?

  14. Nice, but too bad SEA is a disaster of an airport when it comes to operations given all of the growth they have seen. I abandoned int’l connections through SEA years ago, and have recently done the same for domestic flights after each and every single one of my last 10-12 flights through that airport have experienced significant ‘ATC’ delays.

  15. @SQ First: Perhaps if you like to be served by robotic dolls terrorized by abusive male service directors. There is nothing warm or sincere about SQ service. In any class.

    SQ first and biz seats are terrible for sleeping — both are far too hard and biz seats have no leg room. The new suites are very poorly designed.

    Flying SQ in first between SIN and DXB earlier this month. FA did not manage to smile once during a 7-hour flight. WiFi didn’t work at all. Noodles were cold in the middle. Dessert was a paper cup with one strawberry and a piece of mango in plastic wrap. So much for soft product.

  16. @Another Steve
    For lounges, It’ll be great if CX could open their own lounge, with JL and BA having access to it. Space is a problem though.
    I would love NH to codeshare with DL (they already sell each other’s tickets on specific routes) and have their pax access the SkyClubs at SEA.

    So yeah, it’s weird that (almost) all international airlines give access to an awful and overcrowded Club at SEA. At least the Skyteam airlines can direct their pax to Delta’s satellite Skyclub instead the Club at SEA. But I’m not sure if there’s space for new lounges until the new international terminal opens.

  17. @Kelly: completely agree with you. We just need to consider SEA as a business airport: get there on-time, board our flight quickly and get to the destination. No fancy lounge, no fancy first class entrance, no special ground services. I can’t decide between 2 stops with lounge and 1 stop without lounge.

  18. @Jack. You are wrong. SQ crews are highly trained in individual class and service. They have the highest optical rating of any airline. They suites are the best product out there period. They have ample room and offer a product far superior to any other competing airline. If your WiFi never worked SQ would have refunded you cost of fare if you reported it. SQ crew would have reported it and captain would have reported it as they should have. Same for food. If not up to standard it should have been reported to purser and captain and demanded refund of fare. SQ would have obliged as they always do

  19. SEA is overrated for leisure and lack good feeder for SQ. They don’t need to go fight over coach. I think they will deploy the ULR for corporate flyers.

  20. My 2 cents:

    1. I guess SQ’s target market is actually SEA–India, given the high number of high tech firms in Seattle. What do you think?

    2. I concur that SQ has great service, but can be inconsistent. Their business class seats are great for photo ops, but not comfortable to sit in. I have tried multiple generations of their flat beds, and have not found one that I like.

    I believe neither SQ nor CX can take J class customers for granted anymore. Their good old days are long gone.

  21. If you go to the Singapore partner page on Alaska’s website, it says redeeming miles for travel on Singapore is “coming soon,” whatever that means. And yeah, they clearly need something more than The Club at SEA. BA has their own lounge in S terminal, but I think that’s it besides The Club and Delta. Maybe the main terminal expansion will offer more space, and people just wait to go to S terminal till time to board?

  22. Very happy. Fly to the Philippines often. Usually go out of LAX or SFO. SEA is not overrated. It’s a decent airport and I prefer it over LAX

  23. @Lucky
    Ben, please prevent the person posting as SQFirst from further posting. I did not make those comments myself and I’m surprised this site doesn’t have better measures to prevent identity fraud.

  24. The the above poster..you don’t own the right to the name SQFirst! So go cry in your SQ Wine glass and maybe ask the highly trained SQ crew for a SQ tissue to cry in

  25. Apparently, the low-IQ liar trying to impersonate me missed the memo that the SQ A350s don’t have First or Suites

  26. Apparently the low-SQ liar missed the memo that I never mentioned a specific flight segment. Everyone who has flown on SQ know the suites are in the 380. If you ever get the chance to fly it I suggest to enjoy the Dom and book the cook. 2 words. Lobster thermidor.

    you are assuming I meant The SEA flight buddy…and you know what happens when you assume? It makes and ASS out of U & ME! But mostly you!
    Quit with the imposter stuff

  27. SEA is expanding the S gates, adding 11 more gates and a direct walkway to the main terminal. #thatdeltamoney

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