KrisFlyer News Scoot Singapore Airlines

SIA replaces Scoot flights to Bengaluru with the new A350 Regional

The Singapore Airlines A350 Regional will debut on India flights from May 2019

Bangalore

You may recall our article last month regarding SilkAir shifting a number of routes across to Scoot over the next couple of years in advance of its integration into Singapore Airlines.

Well part of the news was also that Scoot itself would lose a handful of routes to the parent airline, and the first of these is Bengaluru in May 2019. On this route SIA has chosen its newest aircraft and product, the A350 Regional, to replace a Scoot A320.

The schedule

All three Singapore Airlines group carriers, SIA, SilkAir and Scoot, are currently flying a schedule of 19 weekly flights on the Singapore – Bengaluru (formerly known as Bangalore) route.

Current schedule (until 16th May 2019)

Flight From / To Aircraft Days
SilkAirMI424 SIN0700 – BLR0845 7M8 1··4567
Singapore_AirlinesSQ502 SIN2005 – BLR2150 772 Daily
ScootTR572 SIN2220 – BLR0020* 320 Daily
ScootTR573 BLR0120 – SIN0825 320 Daily
SilkAirMI423 BLR0945 – SIN1650 7M8 1··4567
Singapore_AirlinesSQ503 BLR2305 – SIN0610* 772 Daily

* Next day

New schedule (from 17th May 2019)

From 17th May 2019 (18th May 2019 from BLR), Singapore Airlines will deploy three Airbus A350 Regional aircraft per week to replace a daily Scoot A320 on the Bengaluru route, with almost identical timings. The new flight is displayed in yellow highlight below.

Flight From / To Aircraft Days
SilkAirMI424 SIN0700 – BLR0845 7M8 1··4567
Singapore_AirlinesSQ502 SIN2005 – BLR2150 772 Daily
Singapore_AirlinesSQ504 SIN2220 – BLR0005* 359 ····567
Singapore_AirlinesSQ505 BLR0120 – SIN0825 359 1····67
SilkAirMI423 BLR0945 – SIN1650 7M8 1··4567
Singapore_AirlinesSQ503 BLR2305 – SIN0610* 772 Daily

* Next day

It’s good and bad news for capacity

Replacing daily 180-seat A320s with three times weekly 303-seat A350 Regional flights represents an overall capacity cut on the route of 9% for the SIA group.

SIA Group Capacity to/from Bengaluru
Class Until 16 May ’19 From 17 May ’19 Change
Business 326 446 + 36.8%
Economy 3,576 3,105 – 13.2%
Total 3,902 3,551 – 9.0%

Of course Business Class gets a big boost with 120 extra seats per week, a 37% increase, as Scoot doesn’t currently offer a Business Class option on the route. Importantly, these extra 120 seats per week are the latest flat-bed 2018 Regional Business Class seats in a 1-2-1 configuration.

Love Seats.jpg
Quite an up-gauge from the Scoot A320. (Photo: MainlyMiles)

The Singapore – Bengaluru route is also served twice-daily by Jet Airways on the Boeing 737-800 offering 12 Business Class and 156 Economy Class seats on each flight.

SIA 2018 Regional Business Class

This new product is a far cry from the older 2-2-2 Regional Business Class ‘sloped bed’ seats, with enhanced privacy, direct aisle access for all passengers and fully-flat beds.

We reviewed it last year on a flight from Singapore to Bangkok.

$Promote.jpg

Click here to read our full review of the Singapore Airlines 2018 Regional Business Class

We also flew the same product from Bangkok to Singapore to write a special focus on the ‘couple’ middle pairs, a nice option for those travelling with a colleague, friend or partner.

Redemption rates

Bengaluru falls into the India zone – Zone 6 on the Singapore Airlines / SilkAir award chart. These are the KrisFlyer miles rates you’ll pay for a redemption ticket on this route.

KFtrans

KrisFlyer Redemption Singapore – Bengaluru
Saver Advantage
Economy 18,500 37,000
Business 35,000 65,000

Our regular readers will know it’s the ‘Business Saver’ category we most often endorse, and here it’s not the best deal in the world at 35,000 miles one-way for a 4 hour 30 minute flight.

Roundtrip fares from Singapore to Bengaluru on these flights are running at S$2,215 in Business Class from mid-May, giving you about 3.2 cents per mile value with a KrisFlyer Business Saver redemption.

However assuming you’d be willing to fly Jet Airways Business Class on the same route, return fares are just S$1,062, slashing the value of your miles in half. The difference in product of course is stark, and the same goes for the other Singapore Airlines / SilkAir options on the route.

Seat 11A
This seat is the same number of miles or amount of cash as the older 2009 seats with SIA or recliners on SilkAir between Singapore and Bengaluru, so aim for the A350. (Photo: MainlyMiles)

Whether you go for cash or miles, pick the SQ504/505 flights where you can to get the flat-bed 1-2-1 Business Class seats; the other SIA flight has the 2009 Regional Business product and both SilkAir and Jet Airways feature ‘recliners’ on their 737s flying to and from Bengaluru.

Award availability

We checked availability on these new A350 Regional flights with the new Business Class seats through the end of June 2019 in both directions, and as you can see there’s ample space currently on offer.

Singapore to Bengaluru

May 2019 (SQ504 SIN-BLR)
M T W T F S S
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
6+ 6+ 2
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
6+ 6+ 2
27 28 29 30 31
6+
June 2019 (SQ504 SIN-BLR)
M T W T F S S
1 2
6+ 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
6+ 6+ 2
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
6+ 6+ 2
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
6+ 6+ 2
24 25 26 27 28 29 30
6+ 6+ 2

Bengaluru to Singapore

No exception to good availability on the return sector for the three days per week this aircraft will operate from Bengaluru to Singapore, departing in the early hours of Monday, Saturday and Sunday.

May 2019 (SQ505 BLR-SIN)
M T W T F S S
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
4 6+
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
6+ 4 6+
27 28 29 30 31
6+
June 2019 (SQ505 BLR-SIN)
M T W T F S S
1 2
4 6+
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
6+ 4 6+
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
6+ 4 6+
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
6+ 4 6+
24 25 26 27 28 29 30
6+ 4 6+

Where else is the 2018 RJ seat flying?

We know from Singapore Airlines’ financial statements that beyond the second A350 Regional aircraft being delivered at the end of 2018, flying to Brisbane and Kuala Lumpur, a third such example will join the fleet in the January to March 2019 quarter.

That means other flights and routes will likely be switched to the 2018 Business Class seat before we even know what else the aircraft used for Bengaluru in May will be doing (three flights per week is not exactly a taxing schedule). It’s likely to be the fourth A350 Regional supporting these flights, perhaps even the fifth, so there’s plenty more 2018 RJ route news to come.

Further Boeing 787-10s with these seats are also set for delivery in the next financial year (April 2019 – March 2020).

Here’s what the ‘2018 RJ fleet’ is doing by May 2019, not counting the additional routes yet to be announced. Yellow is for the 787-10 (narrower aisles, fancy windows), blue is for the A350 Regional (wider aisles, standard windows).

2018 RJ Route Map.jpg
2018 Regional Business Class routes (at May 2019)

This ‘new’ seat, which has been flying commercially since April this year, is fast becoming a regular find on Singapore Airlines flights across the region.

We have a regularly updated full route list and flight schedule for the new 2018 Regional Business Class seat at our tracker page, so you know exactly which flight numbers to pick if you’re looking to fly this new product.

Our analysis shows that once Bengaluru flights with the A350 Regional start in May next year (and by then there will also be some other flights with this cabin), 15% of Singapore Airlines’ weekly Business Class capacity on routes of up to 8 hours will be provided by the 2018 RJ seat. That’s 4,000 out of 27,000 weekly seats departing Singapore in the short- to medium-haul category.

The balance is made up with 36% still featuring the older 2009 RJ product and the remainder by long-haul seats (12% 2006 J, 31% 2013 J and 6% 2017 J).

Where’s next?

Singapore Airlines is also fully absorbing Scoot operations between Singapore and two other Indian cities – Kochi in October 2019 (currently 5x weekly 787-8) and Chennai in May 2020 (currently 4x weekly A320).

Business Class 2
SIA’s latest Regional Business Class seat could fast become the norm on more India routes in 2019. (Photo: Singapore Airlines)

Of course SIA may choose to simply reduce capacity to these cities, however it’s more likely it will go down a similar path to the Bengaluru route, with new regionally configured aircraft like the 787-10 and A350 Regional being deployed.

As always, we’ll let you know when it happens.

Hat tip to Routesonline.

(Cover Photo: Vivek Chugh)

2 comments

  1. Seriously? A route currently served by Scoot? What about BKK or HAN (which used to have 2006Js but now downgraded to the old RJs)… or even the painful late night HKG flights still served by the A330s?

    1. The aircraft used for these flights will still have plenty of daytime capacity to serve another route on those 3 days, and an entire 4 days per week free for a range of other services too, so don’t worry I think there will be good use made of this particular A350R across the network.

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