KrisFlyer News Singapore Airlines

London and Hong Kong Confirmed as New A380 Routes from February 2018

As expected, SQ322 to London will feature the new A380 with the latest cabin products three times a week from February 2018, with Hong Kong flights also in the mix.

The first Singapore Airlines Airbus A380 Version 3 aircraft (9V-SKU with the latest configuration including the new suites and business class products) arrived in Changi in early December, and began serving the Singapore-Sydney route on a daily basis from 18th December as SQ221/SQ232. We jumped on one of the flights earlier this month to check out the latest business class offering, and it’s safe to say we were pretty impressed.

We can now confirm the second destination to be served by the next A380 (9V-SKV) with the latest cabin products, and as widely expected – it’s London Heathrow. Shortly afterwards, it’ll also feature on selected Hong Kong flights too.

SQ A380 LHR2 (Josh Hallett)
SIA fly four flights a day between Singapore and London Heathrow. From 2018, one of those flights will be on the A380 with the new cabin products. (Photo: Josh Hallett)

Schedule

Though originally planned to start flying the London route on 2nd February 2018, some delays to the cabin fitting of SKV have pushed back delivery by a couple of weeks, and the newly-configured A380 Version 3 will now operate this flight three days per week from 16th February 2018. Hong Kong flights will kick off two days later on 18th February 2018, four days per week. 

They have to do it like this because, unlike Sydney, a London return flight takes up more than one aircraft, so they have to wait for the third example to be delivered (9V-SKW) to increase the schedule to daily. Hong Kong flights are shorter and can fill the ‘gaps’ while only two aircraft with the new configuration are in the fleet.

London

The flight number pair is SQ322 SIN-LHR returning as SQ305 LHR-SIN, switching to SQ317 LHR-SIN from 7th April 2018.

Note that the older A380 Version 1/2 aircraft will still fly these flight number pairings on the days the new aircraft does not operate. For simplicity the following schedule relates to the A380 Version 3 aircraft only (latest config with new suites and new business class).

From 16th February 2018 (LHR-SIN from 17th February 2018)
Flight From / To Aircraft Days
SQ322 SIN2345 – LHR0555* 388 ··3·5·7
SQ305 LHR0910 – SIN0605* 388 1··4·6·

*next day

From 7th April 2018 (LHR-SIN switches to SQ317, still 3 days per week)
Flight From / To Aircraft Days
SQ322 SIN2345 – LHR0555* 388 ··3·5·7
SQ317 LHR1125 – SIN0730* 388 1··4·6·

*next day

DoubleBed.jpg
The launch of new A380 first class on the Singapore to London route allows a flight all the way from Sydney to London for a couple in a suite like this… if you can afford it. (Photo: MainlyMiles)

Hong Kong

Singapore Airlines fly the A380 on a daily flight to Hong Kong (SQ860/SQ863), in addition to several other services which use smaller aircraft, and this will be operated by the newly configured aircraft four days per week from 18th February.

From 18th February 2018 to 6th April 2018
Flight From / To Aircraft Days
SQ860 SIN0825 – HKG1225 388 ·23·5·7
SQ863 HKG1410 – SIN1810 388 ·23·5·7
From 8th April 2018
Flight From / To Aircraft Days
SQ856 SIN0955 – HKG1355 388 ·23·5·7
SQ861 HKG1540 – SIN1935 388 ·23·5·7

How are award redemptions looking?

In a nutshell, if you want to travel in suites or business class to or from London, not great. As with the Sydney pairing, SIA have bottlenecked redemption availability quite fiercely in the early days of operation.

We’ll keep an eye on it and update you once we are able to take a closer look, especially including the Hong Kong route, which could be a good redemption option for those wanting to experience the new products for fewer miles.

Which destination will be next?

We don’t know for sure at this stage what the final three new aircraft (9V-SKW, 9V-SKX and SKY) will be used for, they are slated for delivery in April, June and July 2018 respectively, and so it’s likely the route announcements for those aircraft will start to be made around March 2018.

A good hint though might be to expect London Heathrow to go daily by around May, and for Singapore to Zurich three days a week from July 2018, increasing to daily from August 2018.

94A
We reviewed the new A380 business class cabin product on a Singapore to Sydney flight earlier this month, and were impressed. (Photo: MainlyMiles)

When will the older aircraft be refitted?

The first Singapore A380 with the older configuration is slated to leave the operating fleet in the second half of 2018 to undergo refit with the new cabin products, with the entire fleet being completed by the end of 2020, suggesting that the 14 aircraft will ‘cycle’ out of service for about 2 months each to be refitted.

That’s a bit longer than the 777-300ER refits have taken (about 6 weeks a piece), which is perhaps understandable given the slightly more complex work which will be needed. We still don’t think the configuration of the older aircraft will be identical to the new ones even after the refit, as this would require extensive (and expensive) galley and toilet relocation, but the hard products will at least match.

You can still expect six suites on the upper deck, but slightly different total capacities in the other cabins.

Thanks to Australian Business Traveller and ExpertFlyer for assisting with the schedules information, which are subject to change as flights are only just being loaded with the new product reflected today.

(Edit: Singapore Airlines have now also released their media statement relating to the new product on these routes)

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