Analysis KrisFlyer News Singapore Airlines

Business award seats open up on Singapore Airlines’ A350ULR routes

The very latest KrisFlyer award space on SIA's A350ULR flights means the whole family can travel together on selected dates.

A350ULR (Singapore Airlines)

As we reported in May and July Singapore Airlines will re-start ultra long-haul routes to New York’s Newark Airport from October this year followed shortly afterwards with flights to Los Angeles, this time replacing a fuel-thirsty A340-500 with the more efficient twin-jet A350-900ULR. Some additional non-stop services to San Francisco will also receive the A350ULR from late November.

As we mentioned in our article announcing the non-stop Los Angeles connection, we did want to revisit the saver award availability in Business Class on the A350ULR flights with a dedicated analysis. Some other blogs have reported improvements in the last few days, so it seemed like a good time to complete our analysis.

Note that we concentrated on New York (Newark) and Los Angeles, since San Francisco will continue to be served non-stop with the non-ULR A350, with just three additional A350ULR flights from 28th November.

Row 12 overview.jpg
Singapore Airlines will equip their A350-900ULR aircraft with the 2013 Business Class seat. On some days there’s now availability for the whole family to travel non-stop to or from the USA. (Photo: MainlyMiles)

We only focussed on Business Class Saver awards as we think these will be of most interest to our readers. The miles redemption rates for Premium Economy on these flights are really not competitive at around 75% of the miles needed for a Business Class redemption.

New PE 1
SIA has made some enhancements to the Zodiac Premium Economy seat for the A350ULR, but that still doesn’t entice us to try it for such a long journey. (Photo: The Points Guy)

We think you’d also have to be at least slightly mad to consider sitting in a Premium Economy seat for upwards of 18 hours.

New York flights

New York (Newark) flights begin on 11th October 2018, with the first flight operating back from Newark to Singapore the following day. We looked at saver Business Class award availability for the first 3+ months of operation on this route, through to the end of January 2019.

KFtrans

KrisFlyer Redemption Singapore – Newark
Saver Advantage
Premium Economy 70,000 n/a
Business 92,000 135,000

The following tables summarise what we found for Business Class saver award space. Availability is correct at 29th July 2018, and is subject to change.

New York Cabs

Singapore to Newark (SQ22)

Note: WL = Waitlist

October 2018 (SQ22 SIN-EWR)
M T W T F S S
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
WL WL WL WL
29 30 31
WL 4

Note: Route commences 11th October. First saver award opportunity is on 22nd October.

November 2018 (SQ22 SIN-EWR)
M T W T F S S
1 2 3 4
WL
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
WL 1 WL WL
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
WL WL WL WL
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
WL WL WL WL
26 27 28 29 30
1 WL WL WL
December 2018 (SQ22 SIN-EWR)
M T W T F S S
1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
WL 3 3 WL
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
WL 4 2 WL
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
WL WL WL WL
24 25 26 27 28 29 30
WL 1 WL WL
31
WL
January 2019 (SQ22 SIN-EWR)
M T W T F S S
1 2 3 4 5 6
WL WL WL
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
WL 1 3 WL
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
2 4 2 1
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
2 4 4 1
28 29 30 31
WL 4 4 WL

Two things to notice here – availability in January 2019 picks up significantly and there are no Business saver award seats available at the weekends on this route – even for waitlist.

Newark to Singapore (SQ21)

Note: WL = Waitlist

October 2018 (SQ21 EWR-SIN)
M T W T F S S
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
WL
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
1 3 2
29 30 31
WL 1 1

Note: Route commences 12th October. First saver award opportunity is on 16th October.

November 2018 (SQ21 EWR-SIN)
M T W T F S S
1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
2 WL WL
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
WL 2 2
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
5 WL 4
26 27 28 29 30
WL WL WL
December 2018 (SQ21 EWR-SIN)
M T W T F S S
1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
WL 1 WL
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
2 1 WL
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
WL WL
24 25 26 27 28 29 30
4 WL WL
31
4
January 2019 (SQ21 EWR-SIN)
M T W T F S S
1 2 3 4 5 6
WL WL
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
1 1 3
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
4 4 4
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
4 4 2
28 29 30 31
4 2 4

As with the Singapore to Newark route, the return trip to Singapore (SQ21) has no weekend availability and a significant pickup in saver award seats happens from early January 2019.

For this route Singapore Airlines clearly see the weekends as the peak demand days for the service in both directions. This includes Thursday flights from Newark to Singapore – not too surprising as you’ll land into the Lion City at 5pm on a Friday evening from that flight, wrapping up your working week nicely to allow you 2 days off.

Los Angeles flights

Non-stop A350ULR flights to and from Los Angeles kick off on 2nd November 2018. Again we concentrated on saver Business Class award availability for the first 3+ months of operation, through to the end of February 2019.

A second daily flight on this route is added from 7th December 2018 (see our article for full details of the schedules), and we have added the saver availability for the two flights together on days both are operating.

KFtrans

KrisFlyer Redemption Singapore – Los Angeles
Saver Advantage
Premium Economy 65,000 n/a
Business 88,000 120,000

The current Business Class saver award availability is shown in the following tables. Availability is correct at 29th July 2018, and is subject to change.

Los Angeles Downtown.jpg

Singapore to Los Angeles (SQ36/38)

Note: WL = Waitlist

November 2018 (SQ38 SIN-LAX)
M T W T F S S
1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
WL 1 2
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
4 2 3 3 WL WL
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
WL 4 1 WL WL WL
26 27 28 29 30
1 1 2 1 WL
December 2018 (SQ36/38 SIN-LAX)
M T W T F S S
1 2
WL WL
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
1 1 WL WL WL WL
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
WL WL WL WL WL
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
2 WL 1 WL
24 25 26 27 28 29 30
WL 1 WL WL 1 WL
31
WL
January 2019 (SQ36/38 SIN-LAX)
M T W T F S S
1 2 3 4 5 6
WL WL 1 1
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
WL WL 1 2 2
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
WL 2 2 4 3 2 4
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
2 4 6 WL 2 2 2
28 29 30 31
4 4 6 3
February 2019 (SQ36/38 SIN-LAX)
M T W T F S S
1 2 3
WL WL 1
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
1 WL WL
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
1 2 2 WL 2 2 4
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
3 2 4 2 4 6 WL
25 26 27 28
2 2 2 4

Here a lot more weekend availability is apparent than for the Newark route, but the same pattern follows on the availability side with significantly more award seats being loaded after January 2019.

Los Angeles to Singapore (SQ35/37)

Note: WL = Waitlist

November 2018 (SQ37 LAX-SIN)
M T W T F S S
1 2 3 4
WL
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
2 WL 2 WL
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
4 WL WL 1 WL WL WL
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
WL WL WL 3 WL WL 2
26 27 28 29 30
WL WL 2 3 WL
December 2018 (SQ35/37 LAX-SIN)
M T W T F S S
1 2
WL WL
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
WL WL 4 2 2 WL 2
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
2 WL 1 WL WL WL
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
WL WL WL WL WL WL
24 25 26 27 28 29 30
WL WL WL WL WL WL
31
WL
January 2019 (SQ35/37 LAX-SIN)
M T W T F S S
1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
WL WL WL WL WL
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
WL WL 2 2 2 WL
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
1 WL 8 4 2 WL 2
28 29 30 31
1 WL 6 3
February 2019 (SQ35/37 LAX-SIN)
M T W T F S S
1 2 3
3 WL 4
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
4 4 8 WL WL WL 2
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
2 WL 6 2 2 WL 3
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
3 4 8 WL 2 1 4
25 26 27 28
1 4 3 2

December is a little bare on the award availability front non-stop between Los Angeles and Singapore and it takes a while into January 2019 before things become widely available, but with 2 flights operating on certain days there are no shortage of saver Business Class seats from mid-January onwards.

We counted 8 redemption seats (across 2 flights) on certain dates.

SQ A350 SFO (Sinagapore Airlines).jpg
Singapore Airlines already operates a fleet of 21 ‘baseline’ A350-900s. The first ULR variant will enter service to New York (Newark) on 11th October 2018, later also flying to Los Angeles and San Francisco. (Photo: Singapore Airlines)

Summary

Business Class saver award seats were always going to open up sooner or later on these new non-stop ultra long-haul flights, indeed for the Los Angeles route they were largely loaded from the outset.

In SIA’s eyes New York (Newark) is likely to suffer from significant weekend demand as business travellers locate to their ‘right place’ in time for a week of work or a weekend back home, and that’s unlikely to change significantly in the long term.

Los Angeles, which potentially carries a higher proportion of leisure passengers, suffers less from this impact though the concentration of more significant award space is still concentrated broadly mid-week.

Are you planning to redeem an award flight on the new A350ULR routes? Let us know in the comments section below.

(Cover Image: Singapore Airlines)

2 comments

  1. SQ has been religiously confirming waitlisted seats. I’ve gotten more than a handful so far, for flights at the end of March and in mid May. All business saver, to and from EWR. They definitely do this in batches as I’ve been getting anywhere from 1 to 3 notifications at a go.

    Like

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