KrisFlyer News Singapore Airlines

Update: New A380 Products on SIA’s Shanghai and Zurich Routes

Daily London and Hong Kong connections on the new Singapore A380 with the latest cabin products will now kick off in May, with Zurich and Shanghai to follow in July and August respectively

SQ A380 (Aero Icarus)

Our regular readers will recall that back in January we wrote about plans for the final three ‘new’ Airbus A380 aircraft being delivered to Singapore Airlines this year, after we obtained a copy of the proposed schedule for these planes.

Well a quick update from our source today confirms the plans haven’t changed much but the dates have once again slipped as 9V-SKW, the third of five aircraft being delivered directly from Airbus in the new configuration, is still awaiting delivery.

Based on the original plan that aircraft was supposed to allow an increase to daily operation on the London Heathrow route this evening – clearly that is not now going to happen.

SKW was ferried from Hamburg (where the cabin interiors are fitted) to Toulouse last week and should be ready for delivery later this month, making it about 3 weeks late.

94A
The new A380 business class seat ‘2017 J’ is a great reason to be on the lookout for where these new planes are heading next. (Photo: MainlyMiles)

London now goes daily on 1st May

That delay pushes back daily operation on the SQ322 Singapore – London route to 1st May 2018 (and returning as SQ317 London to Singapore daily from 2nd May).

Currently (and for the remainder of April) the SQ322 service operates with the new A380 products on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays from Singapore, while the same aircraft returns as SQ317 from London on Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays.

(Edit: Current operating days on SIN-LHR-SIN for April have been amended. Originally the operating days were shown for the old A380 configuration, not the new one as intended. Apologies for the confusion.)

Current (only the new A380 services are shown)
Flight From / To Aircraft Days
SQ322 SIN2330 – LHR0555* 388 ··3·5·7
SQ317 LHR1125 – SIN0730* 388 1··4·6·

* next day

From 1st May 2018 (only the new A380 services are shown)

(LHR-SIN from 2nd May 2018)

Flight From / To Aircraft Days
SQ322 SIN2330 – LHR0555* 388 Daily
SQ317 LHR1125 – SIN0730* 388 Daily

* next day

SQ A380 LHR (Mark Harkin)
The SQ322 to London, returning as SQ317, will feature an A380 with the new cabin products every day of the week from 1st May 2018. (Photo: Mark Harkin)

Hong Kong will now go daily

In a slight change to the previous plan, the third aircraft will now also be used to ‘plug the gap’ in the Hong Kong schedule for flights SQ856 and SQ861, increasing from the current four times per week frequency on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays to daily services from 3rd May 2018.

Current (only the new A380 services are shown)
Flight From / To Aircraft Days
SQ856 SIN0955 – HKG1355 388 ·23·5·7
SQ861 HKG1540 – SIN1935 388 ·23·5·7
From 3rd May 2018 (only the new A380 services are shown)
Flight From / To Aircraft Days
SQ856 SIN0955 – HKG1355 388 Daily
SQ861 HKG1540 – SIN1935 388 Daily
SQ A380 New Suites (TPG)
The latest A380 features the new ‘Suites’ product – and Singapore to Hong Kong represents the cheapest redemption if you want to try it out. 37,500 KrisFlyer miles for a one-way saver award. (Photo: The Points Guy)

Zurich is still planned from 2nd July

No change on the Zurich front with the newly configured A380 due to start flying this route three days per week from 2nd July 2018 – on Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays. From 1st August 2018, the flight will operate daily.

From 2nd July 2018 to 31st July 2018 (only the new A380 services are shown)
Flight From / To Aircraft Days
SQ346 SIN0125 – ZRH0815 388 1··4·6·
SQ345 ZRH1145 – SIN0555* 388 1··4·6·

* next day

From 1st August 2018
Flight From / To Aircraft Days
SQ346 SIN0125 – ZRH0815 388 Daily
SQ345 ZRH1145 – SIN0555* 388 Daily

* next day

One change we have noticed however with Zurich is that the new schedule now shows the route continuing into the northern winter season with the new A380 configuration. Previously the proposed timetable called for a return to the older A380 configuration after 28th October, leading us to conclude that perhaps another Australia flight could be on the cards. That no longer appears to be the case.

Shanghai bears the brunt

With some slippage in aircraft delivery dates and a changed commitment to serve Hong Kong daily with the new A380, it’s the proposed Shanghai route which loses out.

Originally slated to start four times weekly from June becoming daily from August – the SQ830 and SQ833 flight pairing will now see the newly configured A380 just three days per week from 3rd August 2018 (on Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays), increasing to daily from 1st September 2018.

From 3rd August 2018 to 30th August 2018 (only the new A380 services are shown)
Flight From / To Aircraft Days
SQ830 SIN0945 – PVG1505 388 ·2··5·7
SQ833 PVG1650 – SIN2020 388 ·2··5·7
From 1st September 2018 (only the new A380 services are shown)
Flight From / To Aircraft Days
SQ830 SIN0945 – PVG1505 388 Daily
SQ833 PVG1650 – SIN2020 388 Daily

Sydney remains the stalwart route

No change is proposed for the rest of 2018 on the SQ221 / SQ232 Singapore – Sydney flight pairing which has been flown by an A380 in the new configuration consistently since the inaugural passenger flight in this new configuration on 18th December 2017.

Current (only the new A380 services are shown)
Flight From / To Aircraft Days
SQ221 SIN2020 – SYD0555* 388 Daily
SQ232 SYD1100 – SIN1730 388 Daily

* next day

A ‘why be so excited?’ recap

Most of you will be aware that these new A380s – Version 3 as we call them – come with the latest suites and business class products installed. These are both brand new seat designs and represent the latest evolution of the Singapore Airlines product.

In suites there is space for just six passengers in total, relocated to the forward upper deck section of the aircraft. Two of the suite pairs have a retractable divider allowing a ‘double bed’ arrangement for a couple travelling together. You can read our summary of the new suites product here. We’ll be on board soon to try it out for ourselves.

Resized suites 5
The double suite arrangement on the new A380. (Photo: Singapore Airlines)

In business, which occupies the remainder of the upper deck, another new design has been introduced for these aircraft with a slightly narrower seat than SIA have used recently, still in an all-aisle-access 1-2-1 configuration but with improved storage and privacy, and the opportunity for a ‘double bed’ setup at three of the rows.

Bed2
The “double” bed arrangement in the business class cabin at row 96 on the ‘new’ A380. (Photo: MainlyMiles)

We travelled in the new business class seat from Singapore to Sydney in January 2018 and were impressed by the experience – in our view it’s now the best Singapore Airlines business class seat whether you’re travelling solo or as a couple. See our comprehensive review here.

When will the routes and dates be official?

For the daily London and daily Hong Kong flights they already are – Singapore Airlines recently loaded the new aircraft type with the revised seat map on these routes from the above dates – presumably without the need for any media release since the routes themselves were already announced in January.

Zurich.jpg
Zurich should be the next ‘new A380’ route announcement

We anticipate the Zurich flights will be confirmed in early June and you can expect a similar announcement regarding Shanghai in early July, unless they opt to combine the two into a single press release, which would be logical.

Please remember

As we mentioned in our January article, routes and dates for flights not formally announced by Singapore Airlines are provisional and therefore subject to change. The proposed dates have already slipped twice (that’s why SIA don’t formally announce until they are sure).

We can say however that we are now 99% certain on the routes – but take the dates with a dash of salt!

What next?

When it comes to the new A380 products we expect the status quo will be retained once all five of these aircraft have been delivered. In the medium term at least that means from 1st September – daily Sydney, London, Hong Kong, Zurich and Shanghai.

It’s actually a clever combination of five cities which can be consistently served by five aircraft only owing to their differing flight durations and timings. Remember that equipment swaps will become increasingly likely as the fleet expands.

The existing Singapore Airlines A380 fleet of 14 aircraft in the older configuration will start to go through a refit program at the end of this year, with all aircraft scheduled to be in the new configuration by 2020.

SQ A380 2006J (Edwin Leong).jpg
A380s in the older configuration will start to be refitted with the latest seat products later this year. (Photo: Edwin Leong)

We expect other A380 routes will start to see the new products from 2019, or possibly by late 2018 depending on the exact refurbishment program. Rest assured that we’ll be keeping an eye on exactly which routes will have the new cabin products – right up to the last plane.

(Cover Photo: Aero Icarus)

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6 comments

  1. Hi Andrew, is there anyway to confirm that the SQ322 leg is indeed of the new cabin design? I’m planning to fly on apr19 to London, want to be sure that I get the cabin

    Like

    1. Hi Chris. The Zurich flight continues with the new configuration indefinitely from 2nd August, there are no more plans to revert to the older seats on this route.

      Like

  2. Hi,
    I understand from 2/8/18 , ex sin to Zur will be the new configuration for suites. We are books on 6/8/18 but when trying to select seats, it still shows the old configuration. Any advise? Many thanks
    Linda

    Like

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