KrisFlyer News Singapore Airlines

More Sydney and London flights for the first Singapore Airlines refitted A380s

Singapore Airlines' first batch of refitted A380s will be used to add additional flights to London and Sydney from September 2019

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It’s true to say the ‘hype’ has somewhat died down regarding Singapore Airlines’ latest Suites and Business Class cabin products on its newest Airbus A380 aircraft. All five of the latest (and in all likelihood final) batch of SIA A380s to be delivered are now in service flying daily flights between Singapore and Sydney, London, Hong Kong, Zurich and Shanghai.

What happens next though, while perhaps lower on the media radar, is no less important for frequent Singapore Airlines flyers. The older 14 A380s in the fleet will be progressively refitted with these new seat products with the work originally due to start in late 2018 and running through the end of 2020.

Take the refit schedule with a pinch of salt of course – Singapore Airlines isn’t the only airline that tends to be overly optimistic with these plans. The 777-300ER refit for example took over 2 years longer to complete than first announced, finally finishing up at the very end of last year.

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The Singapore Airlines 2017 Business Class. (Photo: MainlyMiles)

There are also some well-documented design issues with the new Suites cabin in particular, and we understand some improvements will be incorporated to the refitted aircraft to address these. That has probably already pushed back the refit program slightly.

Flights for the refits

Information sighted by MainlyMiles shows that the next two flights to switch to the A380 Version 3 with the latest seat products will be Sydney (SQ231/SQ222, daily) and London Heathrow (SQ308/SQ321, daily), once the refitted aircraft begin to emerge from the hangar in the third quarter of this year.

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Both daily A380 flights from Singapore to Sydney are planned to feature the new Suites and Business Class seats from September 2019

These flights are tentatively scheduled to operate with the new seats from 1st September 2019, but the exact dates are likely to be different based on the timing for each refitted aircraft coming back into service.

With the existing A380 Version 3 flights still planned to continue on the same schedule as today, an additional three refitted aircraft would be required to operate these extra flights on a daily basis.

That means it’s likely that some of the new products may be flying only on specific days of the week initially, as three aircraft aren’t likely to emerge from the hangar on the same day.

Provisional schedule

Sydney

From 1st September 2019 (provisional)
Flight From / To Aircraft Days
SQ231 SIN0045 – SYD1150 388 Daily
SQ222 SYD1610 – SIN2120 388 Daily

Note: These flights are in addition to the current Sydney flights operating with the new A380 cabin products (SQ221/SQ232).

London Heathrow

From 1st September 2019 to 26th October 2019 (provisional)
Flight From / To Aircraft Days
SQ308 SIN0910 – LHR1520 388 Daily
SQ321 LHR2205 – SIN1810* 388 Daily

* Next day

From 27th October 2019 (provisional)

Note: A380 LHR-SIN flight switches to SQ319 from this date. Thanks to reader Eddy for spotting it.

Flight From / To Aircraft Days
SQ308 SIN0910 – LHR1520 388 Daily
SQ319 LHR2030 – SIN1730* 388 Daily

* Next day

Note: These flights are in addition to the current London flights operating with the new A380 cabin products (SQ317/SQ322).

More details

Like last year when we revealed that Zurich and Shanghai would be the fourth and fifth destinations for the new A380s, the seat map still reflects the current configuration on all these flights through to the end of the live flight schedule.

This will only be updated when Singapore Airlines officially announces the plans with exact start dates, which tends to occur just one or two months beforehand so they can be certain about the timescale. In that case we’re likely to still be waiting a while before knowing the exact dates for these refitted planes to start flying those services.

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One of the two toilets in the new A380 Suites. (Photo: MainlyMiles)

One thing we also know is that Singapore Airlines has been capping the available First Class / Suites seat inventory for the above flights to a maximum of six from the above dates, and on flights with one passenger booked it’s five, with two passengers booked it’s four etc…

In fact they started doing this for the London flights (SQ308/321) in November last year, and for the Sydney flights (SQ231/222) a couple of weeks ago. This supports the plan for these flights to switch to the new configurations from around September 2019.

We’ve updated our 2017 Suites and Business Tracker page with the latest details, you’ll find the full schedule for the new A380 cabin products there and it’s regularly updated to help you choose the right flight on the right route next time you travel.

Our reviews

If you haven’t read them before, be sure to check out our comprehensive reviews of the latest Singapore Airlines Suites and 2017 Business Class product.

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Award flights

There is some Suites saver availability on these flights, especially on the Sydney route. Remember redemption rates are going up tonight. It will set you back 5,000 more miles each way for a Suites saver to or from Sydney and 10,000 more to or from London from midnight onwards, so now could be a very good time to get some plans locked in.

Summary

A couple of new destinations would have been nice for these new products, but this strategy to double down on London and Sydney isn’t actually a bad idea for Singapore Airlines.

It allows them to showcase the latest cabin products with twice as many connection options on the ‘kangaroo route’ all the way from London to Australia and vice-versa, where it faces strong competition from the Middle East carriers.

You can already fly the Qatar Qsuite or Etihad’s First Apartments all the way in both directions on the ‘kangaroo route’, for example.

There are only a few hours left to lock in your KrisFlyer redemptions at current rates, as the devaluation kicks in at midnight tonight.

While we can’t guarantee at this stage that the flights above will feature the new A380 products from a specific date, or on every day of the week at first, a booking from September onwards (you can currently book through to 13th January 2020) will give you a very high chance of it.

Saver awards to London already seem to be mostly waitlisted, but there are immediately confirmable options to and from Sydney.

If you’re redeeming this afternoon and this evening for the pre-devaluation rates – good luck! Let us know in the comments section if you were successful.

(Cover Photo: MainlyMiles)

12 comments

  1. Hi Andrew, I have a question. For the London to Singapore flight, right now it show SQ 319 flight using A380.. are they switching it to SQ 321? Just curious, cause currently SQ 321 is using B 777-300er. Thanks

    1. Hi Eddy,

      I’m not sure what you mean. The LHR-SIN flights are flown as follows:
      – SQ305 (77W)
      – SQ317 (388)
      – SQ319 (77W)
      – SQ321 (388)

      SQ319 is never an A380 and SQ321 is never a 777-300ER.

      SQ305 does operate as an A380 during July and August this year, as we noted in this article.

      SQ317 is the current A380 flying with the new cabin products, from September SQ321 is due to also have the new products.

      Hope this helps.

    1. Hi Eddy,

      You’re right, I hadn’t looked as far as the winter schedule. From 27th October 2019 onwards the LHR-SIN SQ319 and SQ321 swap equipment, with SQ319 operated by the A380 and SQ321 by the B77W.

      SQ319 flights are therefore destined for the new products from this date.

      SIN-LHR equipment types are unchanged.

      Thanks for spotting it, I’ll update the article.

  2. Appears that SQ222 SYD-SIN will be on the new A380 from 10 June 2019. I got an email today saying my 2 x F Saver Award seats In June 2019 had a seat reallocation. New A380 map appearing on Manage Booking so grabbed 1F & 2F. I would imagine the return SIN-SYD flight will also be upgraded. Great news for Australian SQ flyers.

    1. Yes it’s great news and good to see the refits starting, but unfortunately the Sydney route only keeps the plane on that second daily service until 1st August according to the current schedule, so it’s running for just under 2 months.

      Enjoy the double suite!

  3. Hi All!

    I am honestly so frustrated, Singapore airlines have no knowledge on their own planes. I am a PA and I work for an executive who will only travel on the newly fitted aircrafts. I have called singapore airlines, I kid you not, 15 times, they all provide me with different answers.

    He is travelling on the following routes from SYD – LHR.
    SQ222 SQ322 SQ317 and SQ288 (which I know is the newly fitted 777300ER.

    Who can I speak to that won’t mess me around!?

  4. I’m trying to figure out what the status of SQ319 will be on Dec 22. I was able to put a hold on a Saver Suite for this date but the seat map still shows the older A380 layout. From your response to Eddy above, it seems as if you’re suggesting that SQ319 could be swapped into the new A380 layout by the end of Oct 2019. Am I reading this correctly?

    1. Hi Dave,

      It could be swapped by then but at this stage it’s still planned as an A380 Version 2 with the older Suites. Unfortunately we won’t know for sure until around 2 months before as that’s when SQ load the refitted aircraft types into the system and the seat map is updated.

      This is because they don’t have firm dates on when the refits will roll out this far in advance, and obviously they don’t want to disappoint people.

      Rest assured we’ll definitely be keeping an eye on it and as soon as we know when the second London flight gets the new Suites, you’ll know!

      1. I’m going to roll the dice and hope for the swap in time for this flight. It’s so rare for me to be able to find a suitable time where Suite Saver space comes up so might as well take the risk.

        Thanks!

  5. Well, aircraft retrofitting is usually accompanied by maintenance checks and air testing. It’s a long and tedious process but is the only method to ensure that an aircraft is safe to fly. I mean, as much as we can anticipate the A380s to be refitted, we need to be realistic as well. I think by the time all the A380s are refurbished, the estimated time of completion might be in either 2021 or 2022. With safety being the top priority at SQ, it is only right that they rather that they take more time to test aircraft or delay flights in case of fuel issues than fly it immediately and potentially risk even more serious consequences.

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