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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The final passenger flight with ‘old Suites’ was SQ321 from London to Singapore, landing at 6.54pm on 28th March 2020.
The final passenger flight with ‘new Suites’ was SQ317 from London to Singapore, landing at 6.59am on 31st March 2020.
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
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.
|SIA Business Class Seat Types
|Adelaide||A350 Regional||2018 RJ|
|Hanoi||A350 Regional||2018 RJ|
|Ho Chi Minh||787-10||2018 RJ|
|Hong Kong||787-10||2018 RJ|
|Kuala Lumpur||A350||2013 J|
|Los Angeles||A350||2013 J|
|Manila||A350 Regional||2018 RJ|
|Seoul||A350 Regional||2018 RJ|
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.
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.
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)