News Singapore Airlines

SIA replaces Scoot on Chennai flights from May 2020, upgrades to 787-10s

Singapore Airlines is taking over Scoot flights between its Changi hub and Chennai in India from May next year, upgrading the route from A330s to new 787s in the process

SQ 787 SCA Delivery (Paul Schmid)

Singapore Airlines is shaking up its Chennai operations from May 2020, completely replacing Scoot services to and from the south-east Indian city with twice-daily Boeing 787-10 operation. These aircraft include 36 of the latest 2018 Regional Business Class seats, representing a big premium capacity boost for the route.

The schedule

Here’s how the SIA Group schedule to and from Chennai currently looks, with a daily Singapore Airlines Airbus A330, daily Scoot Boeing 787-8 and three times weekly SilkAir Airbus A320 operating.

Some months, SilkAir also currently operates a fourth weekly (Thursday) service to and from Chennai.

Current schedule (until 19th May 2020)
Flight From / To Aircraft Days
SilkAir.png MI436 SIN0740 – MAA0920 320 ····567
Singapore_Airlines.png SQ528 SIN2025 – MAA2200 333 Daily
Scoot.png TR578 SIN2250 – MAA0020* 788 Daily
Scoot.png TR579 MAA0120 – SIN0815 788 Daily
SilkAir.png MI435 MAA1030 – SIN1720 320 ····567
Singapore_Airlines.png SQ529 MAA2315 – SIN0610* 333 Daily

* Next day

From 20th May 2020 the daily Scoot service (TR578/579) will cease, with Singapore Airlines switching its SQ528/529 to Boeing 787-10 operation and adding a second six times weekly Boeing 787-10 to replace the Scoot flight – SQ526/527.

Champagne.jpg
Cheers to Chennai! Boeing 787-10s with the latest Regional Business Class seats are coming to the route in late May 2020. (Photo: MainlyMiles)

The new flight has almost identical timings to the Scoot service it is replacing, so these two wide body flights will operate only a couple of hours apart, with late night departure to Chennai and overnight service on the way back to Singapore.

The only exception is Tuesdays, where the new SQ526/527 service will not operate.

New schedule (from 20th May 2020)
Flight From / To Aircraft Days
SilkAir.png MI436 SIN0740 – MAA0920 320 ···4567
Singapore_Airlines.png SQ528 SIN2025 – MAA2200 787 Daily
Singapore_Airlines.png SQ526 SIN2250 – MAA0020* 787 1·34567
Singapore_Airlines.png SQ527** MAA0130 – SIN0820 787 1·34567
SilkAir.png MI435 MAA1030 – SIN1720 320 ···4567
Singapore_Airlines.png SQ529 MAA2315 – SIN0610* 787 Daily

* Next day
** From 21st May 2020

This will result in a weekly capacity boost for the group between Singapore and Chennai of around 4%.

More notably though, there will be a 31% increase in Business Class seats offered, from 393 in each direction per week today (even if you count ‘ScootPlus’ as Business Class) to 516 per week from late May 2020, 468 of which will be the new 2018 Regional Business Class flat-bed seat.

SilkAir’s daytime A320 flights will be the only ones with recliner seats installed in Business Class once the aircraft changes take effect.

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Fares

As you would expect, economy cash fares on this route are on the way up with Scoot on the way out.

Typical basic round-trip fares with the group’s budget subsidiary, with no checked bag or meals, start at just under S$300 in April 2020, compared with S$450 on Singapore Airlines, though the latter do obviously include checked baggage and meals.

Scoot 787.jpg
Scoot’s Boeing 787s won’t be flying to Chennai from 20th May 2020, taking many low fares with them

Another loss from the route will be the ‘ScootPlus’ cabin, a sort of Premium Economy equivalent typically priced at around S$640 return on the Chennai route.

Those wanting a slightly better experience than Economy Class will now have to settle for the SIA offering (SIA’s 787s don’t have a Premium Economy cabin), or stump up a much less attractive S$2,300 or so for a Business Class ticket.

This is definitely where a KrisFlyer saver redemption comes in as a more cost effective option.

KrisFlyer awards

Here are the one-way KrisFlyer redemption rates you’ll pay by cabin on the Singapore – Chennai route:

KF Logo trans

KrisFlyer Redemption Singapore ⇄ Chennai
Saver Advantage
Economy 18,500 37,000
Business 39,000 98,000

It’s worth noting that this is one of those routes where if a saver Economy redemption is not available but an advantage one is, you should definitely check the Business Class availability before considering paying advantage rates. It’s only 2,000 miles more if Business savers are available in that case!

If you already hold or intend to book a firm ticket in an eligible Economy booking class, here’s how many miles it will then cost you to upgrade to Business Class, assuming saver upgrade award availability.

Upgrade using KrisFlyer miles
Singapore ⇄ Chennai
Upgrading to