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Is Singapore Airlines withdrawing First Class from the Manila route?

You can no longer book First Class seats on Singapore Airlines' Manila flights from 1st October

Middle Pair

Update 22nd July 2019: Singapore Airlines is now loading full First Class award availability on SQ912 SIN-MNL from 1st October 2019. SQ919 MNL-SIN is still zeroed out. This could indicate the 777-300 with First Class cabin will continue to serve the route after all.

Many Singapore Airlines schedule experts and frequent flyers will know that the five Boeing 777-300s in the fleet, with an average age of 15.7 years, do provide one ‘constant’ in the operation. That’s the 2006 First Class cabin with eight seats, predominantly featuring on the Manila and Jakarta routes.

While the shorter Jakarta flights still strongly feature this aircraft type, services to and from Manila has been gradually shifting to newer jets with the Boeing 787 and Airbus A350 Regional taking over three of the four daily flights from October this year.

A Seats.jpg
It looks like 2006 First Class is not long for the Manila route. (Photo: MainlyMiles)

Furthermore, the airline has stopped selling First Class seats on the sole remaining 777-300 service flying the route from 1st October 2019, paving the way for a full shift to 2-class operation with regional products.

The schedule

Currently there are two daily options on the Manila route with First Class on the 777-300, the SQ910/917 and the SQ916/921.

That’s only good until the end of this month, with the SQ916/921 changing to a 2-class A330 from 1st August 2019.

1st August 2019 to 30th September 2019
Flight From / To Aircraft Seats
SQ910 SIN0930 – MNL1305 773 2006 F / 2009 RJ
SQ912 SIN1200 – MNL1535 772 ER 2006 J
SQ916 SIN1350 – MNL1725 333 2009 RJ
SQ918 SIN1925 – MNL2300 787 2018 RJ
SQ915 MNL0740 – SIN1120 787 2018 RJ
SQ917 MNL1415 – SIN1755 773 2006 F / 2009 RJ
SQ919 MNL1640 – SIN2020 772 ER 2006 J
SQ921 MNL1925 – SIN2315 333 2009 RJ

Once 1st October comes around there are a few changes, with the SQ910/917 shifting to an A350 Regional that day along with the SQ916/921 moving across to a 787.

The SQ912/919 changes from a 777-200ER to a 777-300, becoming the sole daily flight pairing with a First Class cabin installed.

From 1st October 2019
Flight From / To Aircraft Seats
SQ910 SIN0930 – MNL1305 359 R 2018 RJ
SQ912 SIN1200 – MNL1535 773 2006 F / 2009 RJ
SQ916 SIN1350 – MNL1725 787 2009 RJ
SQ918 SIN1925 – MNL2300 787 2018 RJ
SQ915 MNL0740 – SIN1120 787 2018 RJ
SQ917 MNL1415 – SIN1755 359 R 2018 RJ
SQ919 MNL1640 – SIN2020 773 2006 F / 2009 RJ
SQ921 MNL1925 – SIN2315 787 2018 RJ

First Class is unavailable

Despite SQ912/919 as highlighted above offering a First Class cabin, Singapore Airlines has ‘zeroed out’ all availability until the end of the published schedule. Redemptions are similarly unavailable.

MNL no F.jpg
Manila First Class availability (F, A) is removed throughout the published schedule on SQ912/919. (Image: Expertflyer)

There can be a couple of reasons for this, and the situation may be temporary, but we generally see this when an aircraft type change is planned but not yet loaded in GDS.

For example it wasn’t possible to book First Class on SIA’s Copenhagen route from November 2019 onwards for many months prior to the airline formally changing the equipment type to an A350 from that date. Everyone knew it was coming, it just took time for them to update the system.

acft-b773-4.jpg
Boeing 777-300s are being withdrawn from the Manila route in favour of newer aircraft, and it looks like it’s permanent from October 2019. (Photo: Singapore Airlines)

It therefore looks highly likely that the Manila route will lose its First Class option from October 2019, and that’s certainly the direction the airline seems to be planning for the route with three out of four daily services on the 2-class A350 Regional or 787 from that month.

SQ912/919 will likely change to one of those two aircraft types in due course.

Remember to keep up to date on which aircraft and seats are flying where with our First Class Seats by Route and Business Class seats by Route pages. You’ll also see the increased presence of the latest Regional Business Class seats on routes like Manila at our 2018 RJ Tracker Page.

Summary

First Class has been a longstanding product on Manila flights, but it looks as though that will come to an end in a couple of months.

The rapid rollout of the 2018 Regional Business Class seats, which will soon outnumber the 2009 version in the fleet with upcoming A350 Regional and 787 deliveries, was bound to eventually mean no more First Class to Manila.

While the five 777-300s in the fleet with these older seats aren’t due to leave the fleet this financial year, they inevitably will eventually – perhaps as early as 2020.

It remains to be seen whether Jakarta can hold on to a First Class product in the years to come, but we expect it too will follow the Manila route. Enjoy the 2006 First Class while it lasts!

(Cover Photo: MainlyMiles)

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