KrisFlyer News Singapore Airlines Star Alliance

Singapore Airlines upgrades Christchurch route to A350 next year

SIA's only non-stop New Zealand route outside Auckland is Christchurch - and it's getting an equipment upgrade in January 2019.

Christchurch City (P. Stalder)

In the latest schedule update Singapore Airlines has replaced a Boeing 777-200ER operating daily non-stop flights from Singapore to Christchurch, New Zealand with an Airbus A350 starting from 7th January 2019.

The service will supplement the daily Singapore Airlines Airbus A380 and Boeing 777-300ER flights operating non-stop to and from Auckland in the northern winter season, plus a Boeing 777-200 operating to and from Wellington via Melbourne and a seasonal non-stop 777-200ER flight also to Christchurch on selected days.

Business Class

The welcome news here is no doubt the advent of the 2013 J business class seat on this route, replacing the ageing 2006 J product fitted on the 777-200ER. We wrote a full review of the newer product from a trip on the A350 about 3 months ago and you can read it here.

12DF.jpg
Upgrade time for business class on the Christchurch route from 2019. (Photo: MainlyMiles)

The Schedule

The A350 will start operating on this route from 7th January 2019, first returning from Christchurch to Singapore the following day.

Until 6th January 2019

(CHC-SIN until 7th January 2019)

Flight From / To Aircraft Days
SQ297 SIN1950 – CHC1040* 772 Daily
SQ295 SIN2200 – CHC1250* 772 1·3··6·
SQ298 CHC1200 – SIN1740 772 Daily
SQ296 CHC1420 – SIN2000 772 ·2·4··7

* Next day

From 7th January 2019

(CHC-SIN from 8th January 2019)

Flight From / To Aircraft Days
SQ297 SIN1950 – CHC1040* 359 Daily
SQ295 SIN2200 – CHC1250* 772 1·3··6·
SQ298 CHC1200 – SIN1740 359 Daily
SQ296 CHC1420 – SIN2000 772 ·2·4··7

* Next day

Note that the three-times weekly SQ295/296 is a seasonal service operating in addition to the daily flight only between 28th November 2018 and 9th February 2019 (ex-SIN), which continues to utilise Boeing 777-200ER aircraft.

Premium Economy Class

This cabin will be a new addition for SIA’s Christchurch flights once the A350 starts on the route, as premium economy does not feature on the 777-200ER.

pdt-a350pey-3_s.jpg
Premium Economy class will be a new cabin type on the Christchurch route from January 2019. (Photo: Singapore Airlines)

Since the Christchurch flights meet a large connection bank of services to and from Europe at Changi that means you can now book or redeem in the premium economy cabin all the way through on these flights where previously you had to either take economy on the New Zealand sector or trek to or from Auckland to get a seat in this cabin.

KrisFlyer Redemptions

Rates to fly to and from Christchurch on Singapore Airlines of course remain unchanged once the A350 is introduced, with the exception of the premium economy rate which is now applicable on this route as shown below.

KFtrans

KrisFlyer Redemption Singapore – Christchurch
Saver Advantage
Economy 28,000 55,000
Premium Economy 45,000 n/a
Business 58,000 90,000

The business class configuration on the A350 not only offers the much newer 2013 J seat but features 42 seats compared with 26 on the 777-200ER, a capacity increase in that cabin of over 60%. We took a look at business class redemptions in the month following the new aircraft operating on the route and found a good amount of availability in both directions.

SIA Singapore – Christchurch – Singapore Business Class Award Availability

Date SQ297
SIN-CHC
SQ298
CHC-SIN
7 Jan 4 NA
8 Jan 4 4
9 Jan NA 1
10 Jan NA 4
11 Jan NA NA
12 Jan NA NA
13 Jan 4 4
14 Jan 4 WL
15 Jan 4 4
16 Jan 4 4
17 Jan 4 4
18 Jan NA NA
19 Jan NA NA
20 Jan 4 4
21 Jan 2 3
22 Jan 4 4
23 Jan 4 4
24 Jan 4 4
25 Jan NA NA
26 Jan NA NA
27 Jan 4 2
28 Jan 4 4
29 Jan 4 4
30 Jan 4 4
31 Jan 1 4
1 Feb NA NA
2 Feb NA NA
3 Feb 2 4
4 Feb 4 4
5 Feb 4 4
6 Feb 4 4

WL: Waitlist, NA: Not Available. Availability correct at 14th May 2018, and is subject to change.

SQ A350.jpg
There are 4 business class redemption seats on several dates in the first month of A350 operation on the Singapore – Christchurch route

Summary

More 777-200ER aircraft are set to leave the fleet, indeed their daily utilisation rate appears to be declining lately and so we expect many more announcements of routes switching to newer types.

For regulars on the Christchurch route or those looking to holiday in New Zealand next year this upgrade to the A350 will come as welcome news.

Credit to Routesonline for the information about the equipment swap.

(Cover Photo: P.Stalder)

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