Singapore Airlines Nonstop Flights To Los Angeles Begin November 2

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.

Bottom line

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?

Comments

  1. The direct SIN – LAX route is one that many fliers have been awaiting for years. That said, flying United with its faux Polaris business class seat was never a serious option for many, including colleagues and I. UA = a sub-par seat on a sub-par airline. It’s always a win for consumers when real choices are available on long haul routes. There is a premium to be paid for flying SQ, for sure. But well worth it, regardless of your cabin. Don’t know what load factors UA managed on this route, but I have no doubt SQ would have decimated it further.

  2. @ Daniel – I’d estimate they will need two frames each for daily LAX and NYC flights, and a 3 weekly service to each of LAX and SFO will be another frame each. That’s six frames of the seven frames already accounted for.

  3. Oh, it’s available now! Just put 4 business class on hold and am transferring miles mow. This is perfect.

  4. Off topic, but did y’all catch the newsflash about Virgin Atlantic? Supposedly, they’ll be removing beef and other items from their menus…

  5. Will be great to see with this A350-900 ULR nonstop flights between SIN and Latinamerica (MEX, BOG or GRU)

  6. This is definitely a move to drive UA out of SIN. With competitive pricing and reciprocating miles earning in *A I just can’t see any sane individual who would pick UA over SQ

  7. @James – if 6 of 7 ULR frames are accounted for these routes, then that’s pretty much going to be it for ULR deployment.

    When SQ had the A340-500’s, they had 5 frames, 2 for each route to LAX and EWR and 1 spare one in case one of the planes went tech.

    So that pretty much means no new non-stop stations being opened up in N.A….for now

  8. And I cannot see SIN-SFO having 4 non-stops on some days and that surviving for very long. WAY TOO MUCH CAPACITY.

    When I took the current SQ non-stop a few months back, the crew told me that the route can’t survive if it’s O&D and needs the feed into Singapore for it (mainly from the Indian subcontinent as the passenger profile mix was about 75% from there on my flight).

    Also keep in mind that SQ operates SFO-HKG-SIN, so theoretically there’s going to be 5 flights a day between SFO and SIN (4 non-stop and 1 one-stop).

  9. I wish they were better partners. It’s stupid that there will be 4x SFO-SIN flights. Would much rather see SIN-ORD/YYZ/IAD.

  10. Over capacity seems to be the right way of seeing it. 4 nonstops between SIN & SFO? Is Singapore trying to squeeze UA out of the market? Are they just rotating it between SFO & LAX before launching ORD/IAD? (Goodness me I hope it’s either of them and not YYZ).

  11. so instead of putting a 380 back in LA they removed ICN and did two a350s nonstop without an economy cabin?

    basically they decimated economy capacity to singapore from LA

  12. What’s the likelihood of SIN-IAD? IAD is a big *A hub, and IAD has had new Asia service recently added (CX on the HKG route; AI on the DEL route) so it seems like the demand is there.

  13. 5x on some days SFO-SIN just as @JR Said.

    SQ has said it’s keeping their their SIN-HKG-FSO. I think that SQ is taking their time to announce and launch a new US destination. Given that UA offers a rather subpar product, SQ does surely believe that they have the premium traffic on the route while United carries the low yielding pax. Those 2 airlines have never been BFFs anyway.

  14. If you were previously booked on SIN-ICN-LAX from another destination, recheck your rebooking as SQ is seriously screwing up auto rebook. Example: rebooking on the non stop out of SIN a full day before we are leaving SYD for SIN. I don’t know what’s worse, listening to their hold music or trying to tackle the error at the airport the day of flight. 🙂

  15. This is an exciting news indeed. The historical longest non-stop route is coming back.

    In my personal opinion, I’m carefully assuming SIN-IAH may become SQ’S third ultra long-haul non-stop flight, ending Manchester connection.

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