Singapore Airlines A380 Service To India

In late January India lifted their A380 ban. The ban was ridiculous, as it was an attempt to protect local carriers from foreign competition. The reality was that local carriers weren’t competitive to begin with, and that’s the case regardless of whether the competition flies an A380 there or not. I mean, Jet Airways flies two 737s between Mumbai and Singapore daily. They can’t compete with Singapore Airlines, regardless of whether they’re operating a 777-300ER or A380 on the route.

Beyond that, it’s in India’s best interest to have as many airline seats (and as much competition) into their country as possible. It makes airfare more affordable, which is ultimately good for locals and visitors alike.

Emirates, Lufthansa, and Singapore were the ones considering A380 service to India, and Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad and Bangalore are the four Indian airports equipped to handle the A380.

I certainly assumed Emirates would be the first to announce A380 service to India, though in fact Singapore Airlines beat them to it, and will be the first to commence A380 service on May 30, 2014.

As of May 30, 2014, Singapore Airlines will be launching once daily A380 service between Singapore and both Delhi and Mumbai. The A380 schedule will be as follows:

Singapore to Delhi:

SQ406 SIN-DEL 5:25PM-8:05PM
SQ403 DEL-SIN 10:05PM-6:10AM (+1 day)

Singapore to Mumbai:

SQ424 SIN-BOM 7:15PM-9:55PM
SQ423 BOM-SIN 12:25AM-8:20AM

In the process of flying A380s to India, they’ll be reducing service on each route from three times daily to twice daily. So in the short term this actually represents a capacity reduction, as they’re consolidating a 777-200 (266 seats) and 777-300ER (278 seats) into a single A380 (471 seats). Nonetheless it’s a huge upgrade in terms of cabin comfort, and long term I’m sure this will lead to capacity increases.

Assuming you can find saver level award space, this means you can now redeem KrisFlyer miles for A380 Suites Class all the way from the US to India.


Singapore Airlines A380 Suites Class

The cost between the west coast of the US and India, for example, is 106,250 miles plus $505.26 (and that factors in the 15% online booking discount).

Singapore-KrisFlyer-Award-India-1
Singapore-KrisFlyer-Award-India-2

Anyway, I love India, so it’s very exciting that they’re finally getting some “proper” high capacity aircraft flying there!

Comments

  1. Dax says

    Here comes the first of what is likely to be several capacity reductions so a few folks who have greater means than 99% of local citizens can have a nicer seat. Hurrah?

  2. says

    @ murtuza — I see space in economy and business class, but don’t see any space through Lifemiles in first class.

  3. Sean M. says

    The India-Singapore and India-UAE bilaterals have caps on the total number of SEATS per week that can be operated (NOT the number of frequencies as in many other markets). Therefore, as you point out, in order to operate an A380 you have to trim capacity on other flights to squeeze under the limits.

  4. Rick says

    **happy tears**
    Second best read of the day after US Airways Share miles.

    Btw, I have read much about your N Asia routings via AA/US. How about some interesting routings (non-BA metal) for India?

  5. CT says

    @Lucky: “Beyond that, it’s in India’s best interest to have as many airline seats (and as much competition) into their country as possible. It makes airfare more affordable, which is ultimately good for locals and visitors alike.”
    Really…how many locals can afford to fly anyway??? It’s nice that the government was attempting to protect their national airline (however unsuccessful it might be). Obviously Dr. Mohan Singh and Shri Ajit Singh neglected to ask for your input on “India’s best interests”.
    God forbid anyone with miles to burn step on anything less than an aircraft with suites!

  6. says

    @ Rick — Well with OneWorld I’d say it’s tough to beat Qatar Airways via Doha or Cathay Pacific via Hong Kong for travel to India.

  7. Hitesh says

    Lucky,

    For redemption of AA miles to India, would you pick Qatar or Etihad in Business class? Have a booking to be made and was contemplating the two.

    Also, if it’s US Airways miles that I’m using, I’m limited to Qatar, right? Since Etihad is an AA partner and not in oneworld?

  8. says

    @ Hitesh — I’ve flown both airlines in first class but neither in business class. That being said, based on the hard product I’d probably choose Etihad over Qatar. That being said, if redeeming US Airways miles you’re limited to Qatar, as you mention.

  9. says

    @ Lantean — If 30 hours of Singapore Suites with unlimited Krug is silly, then I don’t want to be any other way!

  10. Dax says

    @ Dax — I don’t follow. Long term why would this lead to capacity reductions?

    @ Lucky – If you’re a traveler looking for lower fares and increased competition you’re probably not going to get it from turning two 747′s or two 777′s into a single A380. And outside of a few special situations like LHR and DXB the A380 rarely replaces 747′s or 777′s at a 1:1 ratio. So how is this going to help the average Indian? Or even the average points redeemer?

  11. Lantean says

    right, well, that’s all true but i guess it’s a matter of perspective… you fly because you want to be on a plane.. we fly to get somewhere to enjoy the little vacation time we get.

  12. Rick says

    Hitesh – I have done DEL-AUH-IAD on EY. If you get an older config on J cabin, it’s gonna suck (no privacy on middle seats).

    Lucky – Agreed on CX. Anyway I can do DEL-DOH/HKG-ORD-HON having a stopover @ORD? Just trying to avoid BA metal at all costs so routing through Middle East or South Asia.

  13. Stuart Falk says

    Great news as I had booked a first class award on SQ 406 in October. Now if only India would implement its visa on arrival program for US passports before I leave I’d be really happy, but doubt that will happen. (My mistake for only getting a 6 month visa in 2012).

  14. Ken Y. says

    Booked that flight in F on 3/30 for Sept. Woohoo now it’ll be SQ F on a380. Any idea if visa will be needed for a three hour connection? Route is SIN-DEL-BKK.

  15. Ivan Y says

    This is nice for travelers to/from India but do we know where SQ is getting A380s for these routers? Are these new planes or are they changing some current routes?

  16. Joel says

    Aye, when the news first broke out on airlineroute.net yesterday, LifeMiles was still showing F space on SQ 406/424 (confirmed with ANA). But now they’ve been completely blanked out.

  17. z says

    @Ken Y. – did a similar sin-del-bkk in january, I assume you are connecting from SQ F to TG C? One SQ representative escorted me from the gate, through transit security, and to the lounge. Didn’t have to go thru immigration or get any visas. The wait was pretty painful though, hardly any food in the lounge so I suggest you get your fill on the plane!

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