KrisFlyer News Singapore Airlines

SIA is reducing new Suites to Hong Kong during February 2020

If you snagged a new A380 Suites or Business Class redemption on the Hong Kong route in February 2020, check your booking. Some flights have been downgraded.

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In a new schedule update Singapore Airlines has swapped out Airbus A380 Version 3 operation on its SQ856/SQ861 Hong Kong services in favour of Boeing 777-300ER aircraft on three out of seven weekly flights during February 2020.

The news means fewer options to secure the latest Suites and Business Class seats at the lowest KrisFlyer miles rates of 40,500 mile and 30,500 miles respectively, with slightly older (but still long-haul, flat-bed) products taking over on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays for a month.

Three weekly Singapore – Seoul flights will also lose their long-haul seats over the same period, as a Boeing 787-10 takes over from the current Boeing 777-300ER on the SQ612/SQ611 rotation three days per week.

The schedule

Here’s the revised Hong Kong flight schedule for the affected period, which runs from 4th February 2020 to 27th February 2020 inclusive.

Singapore – Hong Kong (4th February 2020 to 27th February 2020)
Flight From / To Aircraft Days
SQ890 SIN0735 – HKG1120 773 Daily
SQ860 SIN0825 – HKG1225 359 Daily
SQ856 SIN0955 – HKG1355 388 1···567
77W ·234···
SQ866 SIN1305 – HKG1705 77W Daily
SQ872 SIN1445 – HKG1840 787 1···567
SQ2 SIN1830 – HKG2215 77W Daily
SQ868 SIN1955 – HKG2340 333 Daily
Hong Kong – Singapore (4th February 2020 to 27th February 2020)
Flight From / To Aircraft Days
SQ1 HKG0800 – SIN1200 77W Daily
SQ857 HKG0905 – SIN1305 333 Daily
SQ891 HKG1230 – SIN1630 773 Daily
SQ863 HKG1410 – SIN1810 359 Daily
SQ861 HKG1545 – SIN1945 388 1···567
77W ·234···
SQ865 HKG1850 – SIN2250 77W Daily
SQ871 HKG1955 – SIN2355 787 1···567

As you can see on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays in February 2020 there will be no Suites option to or from Hong Kong, with the latest 2017 products on the Airbus A380 Version 3 replaced by the 2013 First Class and 2013 Business Class seats on the Boeing 777-300ER as SQ856/SQ861.

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The 2013 Business Class seat on the Boeing 777-300ER. (Photo: MainlyMiles)

That’s not a complete disaster in Business Class, the 2013 seat is still an excellent product for a relatively short flight, but if it’s the newest Suites you were expecting then the 2013 First Class seat, while still excellent, doesn’t quite sit in the same league.

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The 2013 First Class seat on the Boeing 777-300ER. (Photo: MainlyMiles)

What’s the reason?

Demand to and from Hong Kong is certainly struggling recently, with Cathay Pacific only today announcing that its inbound traffic to Hong Kong in September 2019 was down 38% compared to September 2018, with outbound traffic down by 9%.

Singapore Airlines has already cut capacity to the city from this month, replacing a Boeing 787-10 flight with an Airbus A330. Some days of the week also now only see six services per day instead of the usual seven.

This temporary A380 change though doesn’t appear to be demand or capacity related, but rather seems designed to give the A380 Version 3 fleet some downtime, probably for maintenance planning. That could be down to 9V-SKT, the latest aircraft to be refitted to the Version 3 layout with new cabin products, picking up further delays.

Using a 4-class Boeing 777-300ER instead of the A380 on these dates protects those booked in First Class (Suites) and Premium Economy, so is an obvious choice for the airline.

Seoul is also impacted

The changes on the Hong Kong route will also affect Seoul flights on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays in February 2020.

The daily SQ612/SQ611 flights on this city pair are usually flown with a Boeing 777-300ER, providing not just the only First Class cabin on the route but also the only long-haul Business Class seat.

Since this aircraft will now be used to fly to Hong Kong on affected dates, the SQ612/SQ611 services will instead be flown using the Boeing 787-10, with no First Class product and the 2018 Regional Business Class seats.

The route will therefore have 2018 Regional Business Class on all four daily flights on the affected days, operated by a mixture of the Airbus A350 Regional and Boeing 787-10 aircraft. You can see our full review of the seat here.

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Seoul will become an all-2018 RJ route for SIA temporarily on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays during February 2020. (Photo: MainlyMiles)

As with the Hong Kong route, normal daily aircraft allocation to and from Seoul is restored from 28th February 2020.

For a full breakdown of the airline’s Hong Kong and Seoul schedules until the end of March 2020, check out our regularly updated Business Class Seats by Route page.

Reviews

We flew the new 2017 Singapore Airlines Airbus A380 Suites on this exact route from Singapore to Hong Kong last year in the double suite 1A/2A, also flying on the new Business Class from Singapore to Sydney.

You can check out both of those reviews below.

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Later in the year we also flew from Hong Kong to Singapore in the 2013 First Class seats on the Boeing 777-300ER (a continuation of our flight from San Francisco). Here’s a link to that review if you haven’t seen it.

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Summary

If you are booked on one of the affected flights in February 2020, make sure you are happy with the new arrangements. Depending on your ticket type you might be able to change flights, switch dates or cancel completely.

In our experience Singapore Airlines will usually provide some form of alternative or compensation if you were originally booked in the latest Suites cabin and now find yourself in an inferior First Class seat.

Obviously if you are booked in First Class on an affected date to or from Seoul the airline will contact you to propose an alternative.

On either route if you’re booking in Business Class there’s unlikely to be any recourse, since the replacement products are still to a similar standard and are also flat-beds.

Don’t forget you can track exactly where Singapore Airlines’ latest A380 Suites and Business Class seats are flying through our dedicated updated tracker page.

(Cover Photo: MainlyMiles)

7 comments

  1. Hi, do u know any changes to SQ aircraft for CTS operating in Dec 2019? CTS – SIN….as of now, still showing SQ using A330 old aircraft for 8 hour flight?

    1. Seasonal Sapporo route (30 Nov – 6 Jan) is still listed as A330. I doubt that will change. Maybe next year it will be a newer aircraft as the A330s will be mostly if not all gone by then.

      1. Thanks Andrew…but SQ A330 really quite old right for Business Class? Already booked, hopefully SQ will change new aircraft for this sector in Dec 2019…

      2. It’s really unlikely to change at this short notice unfortunately. They usually do the aircraft type swaps at least 3 months before.

        Also the A350 Regional and 787-10 are probably both a bit big for the route (too much capacity).

  2. That’s really sad….any suggestion for seat selection on A330 Business Class for two pax? It’s morning flight CTS-SIN.
    Best seat at least to enjoy the best…thanks in advance

    1. We like the window pairs. It’s then quite private for the person sitting in the window seat.

      Lots of legroom at row 11 but just try to sit as far forward as possible because the two toilets are at the back of this cabin so there is more foot traffic and noise further back. Enjoy!

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