Singapore Airlines Will Fly The A350 To Houston Starting In 2017

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Singapore Airlines has modified their U.S. route network quite a bit this year, and most recently announced changes to their flight between Houston and Singapore. For years the flight operated via Moscow, which made sense at the time, since it linked two oil cities.

However, as activity in the oil industry has declined, so have Singapore Airlines’ premium cabin yields on the route. Ford and I flew from Moscow to Houston in Singapore Airlines first class over the summer, and we were the only passengers in first class. Based on monitoring seatmaps, it seems such low loads were the norm rather than the exception.

Singapore-First-Class-777 - 67

So Singapore Airlines has modified this particular route, and now operates their Houston to Singapore flight via Manchester instead of Moscow. That seems like a pretty smart move, as Houston is a United hub, and Manchester is a pretty big destination that United doesn’t fly to nonstop out of Houston, so they can codeshare with Singapore on it.

Early last month I posted about something odd readers were noticing on this flight. Even though the flight continued to show as being operated by a 777-300ER, Singapore Airlines stopped selling first class for travel starting in 2017. All of Singapore Airlines’ 777-300ERs feature a first class cabin, so my speculation was that they were planning on changing the type of aircraft on the route, likely to an A350.

Well, it looks like that is indeed the case. Per @airlineroute, as of January 17, 2017, Singapore Airlines’ 5x weekly Singapore to Houston flight will be operated by an Airbus A350-900 rather than a 777-300ER. As a reminder, the flight operates with the following schedule:

SQ52 Singapore to Manchester departing 2:15AM arriving 8:40AM
SQ52 Manchester to Houston departing 10:10AM arriving 2:30PM
SQ51 Houston to Manchester departing 6:50PM arriving 9:40AM (+1 day)
SQ51 Manchester to Singapore departing 11:10AM arriving 7:55AM (+1 day)

To compare plane configurations, the 777-300ER being used on the route features:

  • 8 first class seats
  • 42 business class seats
  • 228 economy seats

Meanwhile the A350-900 that will soon be used on the route features:

  • 42 business class seats
  • 24 premium economy seats
  • 187 economy seats

So we’re seeing first class cut, premium economy added, and a reduction in the number of economy seats.

On top of that, the A350 features Singapore’s newest business class product, and also features wifi.

This is Singapore’s second A350 route to the U.S., after their nonstop flight from San Francisco to Singapore, which launched a couple of months ago. If you do want to redeem miles on the flight out of Houston, business class award space is readily available, and award rates are very good. This is a very comfortable way to get between the U.S. and Europe.

singapore-a350

Keep in mind that Singapore KrisFlyer is transfer partners with all four major transferrable points currencies, so there are lots of ways to earn these points. For example, points earned with the Citi Prestige® CardPremier Rewards Gold Card from American ExpressAmex EveryDay® Preferred Credit CardThe Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPENStarwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American ExpressChase Sapphire Preferred® CardInk Business Preferred℠ Credit Card, etc., can be transferred to KrisFlyer.

Anyone plan on taking Singapore’s new A350 flight between Houston and Manchester/Singapore?


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Comments

  1. Bummer. SQ F is a lot better than SQ J.

    From reading the reviews of SQ J on A350, it appears to be a very weird and uncomfortable seat design. One of the reviewers flat out said that if you can’t get a bulkhead row, don’t book it.

  2. @Ivan Y – I second that conclusion.

    The seat design is basically a reverse herringbone masquerading as a forward facing seat (you have to adjust at an angle to sleep and rest your feet on the ottoman if you’re not in the bulkhead). I’ve sat in the bulkhead and the experience was dramatically better from what i’ve previously experienced with the older iteration of this seat.

    If you’re not in the bulkhead, it isn’t a fantastic seat in my opinion. It’s wide -and SQ loves bragging about how wide their business class seats are/were- but from a practicality standpoint I find a lot of flaws with the seat.

    Premium Economy would do the trick just fine I think.

    @Lucky – I don’t think you’ve reviewed the “new” business class seat on SQ since they launched it a few years ago. Might want to add it to the list for next year? We’d love to get your take on it

  3. Yes, we already were booked in economy on the 777. SQ sent emails last night advising that our existing SEAT SELECTIONS had changed because of the aircraft change. (what airline does that?) My wife and I are going to try the middle seat trick! (Keeping our fingers crossed) We’re looking forward to flying the A350!

  4. @Bill – SQ is very proactive about sending out alerts for anything and everything. I was sent a message the other day that a flight we’ve booked next year has been retimed and moved up a whole 5 minutes!

    Good luck on the middle seat trick. I find the further back in the plane you are the higher the chance of success for it to work!

  5. Been knowing this was coming since August. SQ kept showing F availability both revenue and Krisflyer not available first starting in April of 2017. Then end of February, then end of January, and now the final announcement. Was looking forward to MAN-IAH in F on the 777-300ER but will settle for a bulkhead J seat in row 11. Got 3 booked in June Oh well. So goes the points game

  6. I worked for [redacted oil company] and essentially commuted to Moscow from Houston until the sanctions were imposed and oil developments were stopped. Now Putin has installed Rex Tillerson (ExxonMobil’s CEO) as US Sec of State and sanctions will be lifted, and the flight will be restored.

  7. @Marc, as far as I know, Aeroplan does not have access to SQ business class seats on their A388, B773 or A359, except in rare instances/routes. Economy is usually available though, and I’ve seen SQ flights to/from IAH in economy quite openly available.

  8. @ CR — Thanks, we’re in the mini-cabin. I realize, however, that the pros (Travis) advocate for the middle row in the back! It’s nice of SQ to keep us advised of changes, and even email us confirmations of seat changes!

  9. the asian airlines will frantically announce boarding has been delayed for 5 min and apologize profusely like their family honor has been stumped upon.

  10. I’m headed out to Moscow, hopefully, at the end of January, if not the beginning of Feb. I had originally planned to head out there this past Oct, so I was hoping to get onto one of those last flights from Houston to Moscow. I guess it wouldn’t be bad to try the business class to Manchester and grab another airline out to Moscow. Would anyone have any suggestions on a good airline from Manchester to Moscow? I’m planning on doing a positioning flight from SLC to Houston, and going from there if I can schedule it well enough. Otherwise, it’ll likely be Boston.

  11. Ivan Y
    Just flew the A350 from SIN to SFO last week. The seat is ok but inferior to either new or old biz on the 777. SG seems to be slipping a bit. I could sleep fine on the odd angled seats but I’m only 5’7, I think it would suck if you are over 6 foot. What bothered me more is when partially reclined, you need to twist you spine to but you feet on the ottoman. If I fly back from Singapore again I’ll take the 777 with a stop in HK. The new A350 seats and SG incompetence on a date change has made EVA my preferred carrier from SFO to SE Asia in biz.

  12. “Now Putin has installed Rex Tillerson (ExxonMobil’s CEO) as US Sec of State” LOL

    Remember when Romney said in the debate that Russia was our foremost adversary and the liberals mocked him for that? Remember when Obama told the supposed Russian President to tell Putin that as soon as the election was over he could do whatever Putin asked? Remember when Hillary said it was time to hit the reset button with our friend Putin?

    Now that the Dems don’t want to admit they lost the election by running an out of touch criminal candidate, and are looking for a Fake News story to use as an excuse, suddenly Putin is running our country. It would be hilarious if it wasn’t so pathetic.

  13. Ditto Hanson. Would like to read travel blogs without idiots making it about politics. Don’t like the guy? Fine. Many do. People didn’t bash Obama constantly and gave him the benefit of the doubt. I’m going to do the same here and assume he has access to a lot of facts YOU AND I DON’T.

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