KrisFlyer News Singapore Airlines

Another First Class option to Europe gone as SIA’s Copenhagen route shifts to the A350

Copenhagen becomes the seventh European city in recent years to lose Singapore Airlines First Class, with only four routes retaining the flagship cabin from November 2019

A350R Landing (Adelaide Airport).jpg

In a schedule update yesterday, Singapore Airlines confirmed aircraft type change on its five times weekly Copenhagen route, with the Airbus A350 replacing the existing Boeing 777-300ER from late October 2019.

This change will make Copenhagen the seventh Singapore Airlines European route to lose First Class service over recent years, with the 3-class A350 now dominating flights to and from the region.

The schedule

The 4-class Boeing 777-300ER continues to operate the Singapore to Copenhagen route between now and 26th October 2019, with the final Copenhagen to Singapore flight on 27th October 2019.

Until 26th October 2019 (27th October 2019 CPH-SIN)
Flight From / To Aircraft Days
SQ352 SIN2350 – CPH0525* 77W 1·3456·
SQ351 CPH1230 – SIN0730* 77W ·2·4567

* Next day

An additional weekly rotation, departing Singapore on Tuesdays and Copenhagen on Wednesdays, takes the route to six times per week on a temporary basis this summer. GDS shows this as a seasonal increase for nine weeks from 18th June 2019 to 14th August 2019 (ex-Singapore), coinciding with the peak European school holiday period.

The A350 takes over on the regular five times weekly schedule with first departure from Singapore on 28th October 2019. A slight timing adjustment applies to the northern winter schedule.

From 28th October 2019 (29th October 2019 CPH-SIN)
Flight From / To Aircraft Days
SQ352 SIN2355 – CPH0600* 359 1·3456·
SQ351 CPH1230 – SIN0730* 359 ·2·4567

* Next day

A 253-seat 3-class A350 in standard configuration will be used to operate the service.

The Copenhagen route was served with the Boeing 777-300ER offering a First Class cabin from early August 2017 (when it switched from the 777-200ER) through to this change, for a total period of just over two years.

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Business Class passengers on the Copenhagen route will still get the 2013 seats. (Photo: MainlyMiles)

No daily service?

This equipment change didn’t come as a surprise, Singapore Airlines has not been selling the First Class cabin from November 2019 onwards on its Copenhagen route for months now, reducing capacity to zero in the reservations system since late 2018.

Last year the airline announced that it would begin offering the A350 to Copenhagen on a daily basis from November 2019, as part of its joint venture with Star Alliance carrier SAS on the route.

The GDS schedule and Singapore Airlines website however both reflect continued five times per week service even after the aircraft switch, so either additional flights will be loaded later or that part of the plan has been quietly dropped.

With operation remaining at five times per week, capacity on the route will reduce by 4% in total from 1,320 seats per week in each direction to 1,265 per week, split across the cabin types as follows on a per-flight basis:

  • First: 4 to 0 (-100%)
  • Business: 48 to 42 (-13%)
  • Premium Economy: 28 to 24 (-14%)
  • Economy: 184 to 187 (+2%)
  • Total: 264 to 253 (-4%)

As you can see Economy gains slightly, by three seats, but all other classes suffer reductions including of course the complete withdrawal of First Class.

Which routes can you still fly First Class or Suites to Europe?

With the advent of the efficient 3-class Airbus A350s, Singapore Airlines First and Suites Class cabins are becoming increasingly rare on flights to and from Europe. Once the Copenhagen route switches to the A350 from the start of the 2019 northern winter season, the following flights will be the only ones retaining these high-end cabins to and from the region:

Frankfurt

  • SQ25 / SQ26 (2006 Suites on A380)
  • SQ325 / SQ326 (2013 F on B77W)

London

  • SQ305 / SQ306 (2013 F on B77W)
  • SQ308 / SQ321 (2006 Suites on A380)
  • SQ317 / SQ322 (2017 Suites on A380)
  • SQ318 / SQ319 (2013 F on B77W)

Paris

  • SQ333 / SQ334 (2013 F on B77W)
  • SQ335 / SQ336 (2006 Suites on A380)

Zurich

  • SQ345 / SQ346 (2017 Suites on A380)

It’s a far cry from a few years ago, when 777-300ERs were still in regular use on a much wider selection of European flights.

SQ A359 Refuelling (Singapore Airlines)
The efficient A350 needs much less of this to fly from Singapore to Europe than the 777-300ER, driving SIA to make it the dominant type used on these routes. (Photo: Singapore Airlines)

Vanishing act

The following cities have seen SIA’s First Class cabins withdrawn over the last few years with the shift from Boeing 777-300ERs to Airbus A350s on the majority of European flights:

  • Amsterdam
  • Barcelona
  • Manchester
  • Milan
  • Moscow
  • Munich

In most cases it was the 2013 First Class seat deployed on these routes, though in some examples the change happened some time before that cabin had critical mass on the 777-300ER and therefore the older 2006 First Class often featured.

Note that the 777-300ER fleet now exclusively features the 2013 First Class seats, since 24th December 2018.

Though many people don’t rate it, and we were initially dubious, we loved our experience in the 2013 First Class seat and in fact we’ve booked it again for a trip to London later in the year.

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It may not have the ‘wow factor’ of Suites but it’s an incredibly intimate single row cabin, and paired with the stellar Singapore Airlines First Class service you really can’t go wrong.

You can still secure this seat on the Copenhagen route between now and the end of October, with at least one saver award seat available in First Class on a number of dates we checked this morning.

(Cover Photo: Adelaide Airport)

11 comments

    1. They probably won’t completely withdraw the 77W from Europe – it provides a First Class cabin on important routes like London, Paris and Frankfurt while at the same time not committing the capacity of an A380 on every flight.

      Aside from Europe, SIA generally uses the type on South West Pacific (Aus/NZ) and North Asia routes, as well as a couple of USA flights.

      1. Hi Andrew. Come 28 October, do you have any idea which route will be using this existing B77W? Or is it returning to the lessor for good?

      2. No 77Ws are being retired so the aircraft will be deployed elsewhere, possibly to support A380s going into maintenance for their refit work.

    1. Don’t forget Zurich (a.k.a. “the Merchant Banker Express”)! But yes you’re right, same reason only MEL and SYD in Australia get F cabins.

  1. So First Class is getting more rare for next 2 years until the new 777-9 gets delivered..wonder how’s the First Class product on those..hope it’s something like the Suites on the A380..

    1. Singapore Airlines has promised a brand new Suites design for the 777-9s (note: the CEO said ‘Suites’ not ‘First’), however it’s hard to see how they can make it like the upper deck of the new A380s. It will be interesting to see what they come up with, maybe a 1-1-1 layout like Emirates has on the 777?

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