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Goodbye Singapore Airlines First Class… for now

Singapore Airlines has operated its final planned passenger flight with a First Class cabin from Changi. For the next few months, service tops out at Business Class.

Seats 1CD (MM)

When SQ326 from Singapore to Frankfurt lifted off at 11:56 this morning, it marked an unusual temporary suspension for the airline. For all of SIA’s planned departures from Changi between now and September 2020, the passenger experience tops out at Business Class, as Boeing 777s become dedicated to cargo-only flights and Airbus A380s remain mothballed.

Additionally, only two of the airline’s five Business Class cabins will remain in service until at least August 2020 – good news for those of you who actively avoid the older 2006 and 2009 seats.

What’s happening?

You’ll be pleased to know Singapore Airlines isn’t ripping out the First Class seats and Suites from its aircraft, but instead from today it has opted to dedicate its passenger flights for June and July 2020 across three aircraft variants, the Airbus A350 (3-class), Airbus A350 Regional and Boeing 787-10.

Economy Premium
Economy
Business First
A350 2017 Y A380 (Singapore Airlines) 2013 W Narrow (Singapore Airlines) 2013 J Business A350 2 (MM) F Cross 2
A350
Regional
2017 Y A380 (Singapore Airlines) PY Cross 11A narrow F Cross 2
787-10 2017 Y A380 (Singapore Airlines) PY Cross 11A narrow F Cross 2

Boeing 777-300s and Boeing 777-300ERs are now scheduled to fly cargo-only services in GDS until at least the end of July 2020, while the Airbus A380s are all in storage and will not be making an appearance on passenger routes for some time.

Similarly, any return for the A330s to passenger service seems unlikely.

The final flights carrying passengers in First Class under the current schedule have now departed from Changi. They were:

  • SQ326 Singapore to Frankfurt at 11.56am on 7th June (operated by 9V-SWY)
  • SQ211 Singapore to Sydney at 9.45am on 7th June (operated by 9V-SWN)

These aircraft will return to Singapore at 2.25pm on 8th June 2020 (9V-SWY from Frankfurt) followed by 5.30pm on 8th June 2020 (9V-SWN from Sydney).

SIA has wiped out First Class until September

We know that there are no planned First Class cabins in the schedule during June and July 2020, however we also noticed that Singapore Airlines has pulled all First Class and Suites inventory through the month of August 2020.

Aug No First

This is regardless of aircraft type programmed (A380s won’t happen as we mention below), and reflects on both the airline’s website and GDS systems like ExpertFlyer.

Aug No First EF

In effect – First Class is not available on any route until 1st September 2020 at the earliest.

Which Singapore Airlines aircraft have First Class?

Only 51 of SIA’s 120+ strong fleet has a First Class or Suites cabin installed. None of them will be flying passenger services until at least August 2020.

A seats 2
First Class on SIA’s Boeing 777-300. (Photo: MainlyMiles)

They comprise five Boeing 777-300s and 27 Boeing 777-300ERs with a First Class cabin, while all 19 Airbus A380s have either the old Suites cabin or the latest 2017 Suites.

1F High
SIA’s newest (non-Suites) First Class product is installed on the airline’s Boeing 777-300ERs. (Photo: MainlyMiles)

Talking of Suites…

Singapore Airlines stopped operating its Suites cabin in late March 2020, when its fleet of 19 Airbus A380s were moved into storage in Singapore.

Four of these aircraft have since been moved to long-term storage in Alice Springs, Australia, with the remaining 15 at Changi.

SQ A380s ASP (Steve Strike)
Four Singapore Airlines A380s are now stored in Alice Springs. (Photo: Steve Strike)

The final passenger flight with ‘old Suites’ was SQ321 from London to Singapore, landing at 6.54pm on 28th March 2020.

2CD_2
‘Old Suites’ bowed out (hopefully temporarily) on 28th March 2020. (Photo: MainlyMiles)

The final passenger flight with ‘new Suites’ was SQ317 from London to Singapore, landing at 6.59am on 31st March 2020.

1A Seat 3
‘New Suites’ last carried passengers on 31st March 2020. (Photo: MainlyMiles)

Despite flight schedules including the Airbus A380 from 1st August 2020, there appear to be no plans to reintroduce the type to service during this period of little or no demand. Indeed Mainly Miles has learned that more A380s are heading for Alice Springs later this month.

Fun (or depressing) fact: Friends of ours who are Singapore Airlines cabin crew have been informed by the airline that the Airbus A380 will not fly passenger services for at least the rest of 2020.

What it means for Business Class

Airbus A350 routes have the 2013 Business Class seats, while Airbus A350 Regionals and Boeing 787-10s have the 2018 Regional Business seats.

That means we’re down to two Business Class cabin types until at least 31st July 2020.

Here’s which aircraft types (and therefore Business Class cabin types) are being flown on SIA’s passenger routes between now and the end of July 2020.

2013 J Business A350 2 (MM) 2013 J
11A narrow 2018 RJ
SIA Business Class Seat Types
(Jun-Jul 2020)
City Aircraft Seats
Adelaide A350 Regional 2018 RJ
Amsterdam A350 2013 J
Auckland A350 2013 J
Bangkok 787-10 2018 RJ
Barcelona A350 2013 J
Brisbane A350 2013 J
Christchurch A350 2013 J
Copenhagen A350 2013 J
Frankfurt A350 2013 J
Hanoi A350 Regional 2018 RJ
Ho Chi Minh 787-10 2018 RJ
Hong Kong 787-10 2018 RJ
Jakarta A350 2013 J
Kuala Lumpur A350 2013 J
London A350 2013 J
Los Angeles A350 2013 J
Manila A350 Regional 2018 RJ
Melbourne A350 2013 J
Osaka 787-10 2018 RJ
Shanghai 787-10 2018 RJ
Seoul A350 Regional 2018 RJ
Sydney A350 2013 J
Tokyo 787-10 2018 RJ
Zurich A350 2013 J

It’s farewell, at least temporarily, to the 2009 Regional Business Class seats and the 2006 Business Class seats.

There are sadly also no new 2017 Business Class seats in service for the time being, with the Airbus A380s grounded.

It will take the return of A380s to see the 2006 Business Class seats make an appearance again (the Boeing 777-200ERs with 2006 J seats have been retired). The 2017 Business Class is well and truly off the cards with four of the seven aircraft fitted with the product now parked up in Alice Springs, with the others potentially to follow.

14K Overhead
Singapore Airlines’ super-wide 2006 Business Class seats won’t be seen again until older Airbus A380s return to service. (Photo: MainlyMiles)

Meanwhile the 2009 Regional Business Class isn’t likely to see the light of day on the remaining Airbus A330s, an aircraft type confirmed to be leaving the fleet over the next 12 months, however they may reappear on Boeing 777-300s (non-ERs) if SIA reintroduces those (owned) aircraft to passenger service.

Singapore Airlines recently outlined its latest service strategy including tray service in Business Class on long-haul flights until regulatory approval can allow a return to the normal course-by-course offering.

Summary

For the foreseeable future, seemingly until at least 1st September 2020, Singapore Airlines is not planning to deploy any of its aircraft with a First Class or Suites cabin on passenger services.

Another positive aside is that those flying Business Class will have the new 2018 Regional product on shorter flights to Adelaide, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh, Hong Kong, Manila, Osaka, Seoul, Shanghai and Tokyo, while all other routes have the popular 2013 long-haul Business Class seats.

Apart from aircraft substitutions, this arrangement is set to continue until at least 31st July 2020, while the airline has wiped out First Class cabins from the bookable schedule until September 2020.

(Cover Photo: Mainly Miles)

13 comments

  1. I’m holding 2 round-trip suites tickets for July, so what would happen? (No notification from SIA on my end)

  2. I hope you’re wrong, Andrew… and I’ve no doubt you’d be hoping that too… I’ve got two round-trips to CDG in new-R in Nov… ☹️

    1. Yes we secured the double suite 1A/2A in 2017 R to Auckland on a rare saver redemption when the route first switched across to the new A380 in late October, so we definitely have our fingers crossed, but in all likelihood it’s going to be a 77W at best I think 😔

      1. I’m sure that you (and your crew friend) weren’t wrong that so far as ‘what’s on the cards right now’, the rest of 2020 is a washout so far as international travel goes.. cos I’ve heard the same from even ‘senior mgt’ friends in the industry.. though, like CB, covid-19 has made the world very ‘fluid’, in that whatever plans one (or businesses or govts) make, made be changed at very time no notice at all.

        As such, the only scenario that I can see both you and I getting our 2017-R flights would be that either a cure or vaccine comes available very soon (one can only hope/pray, right?), and international travel sees a quick and really huge surge in demand.

        At least you and I can at least cross our fingers and toes.. but (and I’m not trying to be mean) I reckon @Jerrey (sorry) shouldn’t hold his/ her breath for July cos even if the cure comes out today, it still wouldn’t change schedules so quickly (sorry, again)

      1. I know there was no FC out of Perth. Trust me. I know lol.

        I was referring to biz class. So SIA are still flying the 787 to Perth, but just cargo? Seems a waste. After all, they are going to Adelaide.

      2. Yes you’re right Bob it’s strange for them not to just ‘activate’ the passenger cabin on those cargo-only services to Perth given how regular they are. I was told that the Scoot Perth service is part of the Singapore Government’s ‘Minimum Connectivity’ programme to key cities and is therefore getting some funding, so maybe that’s why SQ can’t start operating it for passengers (i.e. funding for Scoot service then stops?).

        It’s a theory. Fingers crossed for August!

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