Singapore Airlines is continuing to ramp up Boeing 777-300ER operation on passenger flights next month, which has already meant the reintroduction of its First Class cabin on routes like Sydney, Jakarta, Hong Kong and London from early June.
The airline has now also confirmed it is bringing back another route with this aircraft type – the SQ11/12 service from Singapore to Los Angeles via Tokyo Narita.
That will restore a First Class option to both cities for the first time in over a year, when schedules were cut due to the COVID-19 pandemic and Singapore Airlines temporarily shifted to exclusively using its more efficient Airbus A350 and Boeing 787 aircraft for passenger flights.
Los Angeles and Tokyo will become the fifth and sixth routes to have their SIA First Class option restored. Before COVID-19, 22 of the airline’s cities were regularly served by First Class or Suites products.
Here’s how the schedule looks when these flights restart from mid-June.
Singapore Tokyo / Los Angeles
From 16th June 2021
Los Angeles / Tokyo Singapore
From 16th June 2021
* Next day
** Two days later
This five times weekly flight will operate alongside the airline’s existing daily three-class non-stop Airbus A350 service between Singapore and Los Angeles (SQ38/37), which offers Business Class, Premium Economy and Economy cabins, but has no First Class option.
SIA will also continue to operate three times weekly between Singapore and Tokyo Haneda (SQ634/635) on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays, with two-class Airbus A350 Regional aircraft, and daily to and from Tokyo Narita (SQ638/637) with two-class Boeing 787-10s.
Japan – USA option
Singapore Airlines retains its ‘fifth freedom’ traffic rights on the Tokyo – Los Angeles route, opening up a new option for those travelling between Japan and the USA as well as those flying between Singapore and Los Angeles.
Before COVID-19, we wrote about SIA’s ‘fifth freedom’ routes and how the process works, though this will be the first reinstatement of such a service by the airline since schedules were cut.
Here’s the one-way First Class award pricing for travel on this newly reinstated service between Singapore and Los Angeles / Tokyo.
|Singapore ⇄ Tokyo||70,000||120,000|
|Singapore ⇄ Los Angeles||130,000||222,000|
|Tokyo ⇄ Los Angeles||107,000||182,000|
In common with many of the carrier’s other reinstated First Class routes, Singapore Airlines is only offering redemptions at the Advantage rate on SQ11/12 services for the foreseeable future, though hopefully the Saver option will become available again in due course.
For the time being it means you’ll have to part with a painfully large quantity of miles to enjoy the First Class experience on these flights.
Presumably Singapore Airlines is banking on the fact that enough members will have racked up such a significant volume of miles over the last year, some will be prepared to part with this kind of volume to sit in First Class again!
SIA’s 2013 First Class seat may not live up to ‘Suite Standards’, but it remains one of our favourite products and we’ve always really enjoyed our trips in this cabin.
Furthermore, with Airbus A380s probably mothballed for another 12+ months, this is likely to be the most premium cabin SIA will offer for the foreseeable future.
The intimate single-row section has only four seats in a 1-2-1 layout, including a large void behind the middle pair for the cabin crew to pass between the two aisles while remaining out of sight.
In mid-2018 we concluded our round-the-world trip in First Class on SQ1 from San Francisco to Singapore via Hong Kong in this excellent cabin, and had the chance to thoroughly review it including both a long-haul and short-haul experience across the two stages of the journey.
If you haven’t tried the product, while we can’t recommend parting with Advantage award rates, we don’t think you’d be disappointed.
Aside from Suites on the A380, this First Class product is now the only one fitted to Singapore Airlines aircraft, following the retirement of older 2006 First Class seats on the Boeing 777-300 (non-ERs).
It’s also worth bearing in mind that SIA’s Boeing 777-300ERs have slightly roomier versions of the popular 2013 Business Class seats, meaning some passengers prefer the 777 over the A350, even when travelling in the ‘second best’ cabin!
Where else is First Class available?
From June 2021 Singapore Airlines is loading First Class seats for both cash fares and Advantage award rates on the following routes:
- Jakarta (SQ950/953/964/965)
- Sydney (SQ231/222)
- Hong Kong (SQ882/883)
- London (SQ322/317)
- Los Angeles (SQ12/11)
- Tokyo (SQ12/11)
Note that other Boeing 777-300ER services, including those to and from Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok, do not offer a bookable First Class cabin.
Like with the recent addition of First Class on the London route, it’s great to see the USA back on the radar too, with Los Angeles set to gain Boeing 777-300ERs again from mid-June.
The Singapore – Tokyo and Tokyo – Los Angeles routes also pick up the same benefit with this four-class aircraft operating the regular SQ11/12 flight routing.
This will also represent SIA’s first ‘fifth freedom’ flight reinstatement (between two ‘foreign’ countries) since COVID-19 took hold, with those travelling solely between Japan and the USA benefiting from this new option in all cabin classes.
(Cover Photo: Singapore Airlines)