KrisFlyer News Singapore Airlines

Singapore Airlines restarting Frankfurt-New York and Hong Kong-San Francisco flights

Singapore Airlines is reinstating 'fifth freedom' flights from Frankfurt to New York and from Hong Kong to San Francisco in November, using four-class Boeing 777-300ERs.

Singapore Airlines is reinstating two more of its USA “fifth freedom” routes in November 2021, with the carrier confirming that it will deploy its four-class Boeing 777-300ERs not only between Frankfurt and New York, but also from Hong Kong to San Francisco.

In common with all “fifth freedom” services, these are continuations of the airline’s flights from Singapore, under a common flight number.

SIA last flew between Hong Kong and San Francisco in February 2020, and between Frankfurt and New York in March 2020, just as the COVID-19 pandemic was taking hold.

From 1 November 2021, Singapore Airlines will restore flight service between Frankfurt and New York. In addition, SIA will resume its service between Hong Kong and San Francisco from 2 November 2021.

Singapore Airlines

Flights from Singapore to San Francisco via Hong Kong were the first services Singapore Airlines ever operated to the USA in April 1973, so it’s good to see this historic route back again.


 

 

Frankfurt – New York

The biggest news with this announcement is also the least unexpected.

SIA has demonstrated its ability to pounce on pockets of demand far from its home base during the COVID-19 pandemic, and take advantage of vital revenue earning opportunities wherever the opportunity lies.

Examples include intra-Europe flights between Copenhagen and Rome, plus a resurrected Taipei – Los Angeles routing.

How does that affect Frankfurt – New York? Well just last week it was announced that the USA would reopen its borders to fully vaccinated travellers from 33 countries in November, including European nations.

The news was not widely anticipated, with some commentators even predicting the Biden administration could hold out until 2022 before relaxing these border restrictions.

One thing’s for sure though – SIA had its cards lined up just in case, so ‘a button was pressed’ when this news came through. Just a week later we have confirmation that daily Frankfurt – New York flights will be reinstated less than five weeks from now.

The new flights will mean Singapore Airlines is serving New York twice per day. (Photo: Shutterstock)

Here’s how the schedule looks, with daily service on the SQ25/26 service representing a serious commitment to the route, effectively occupying three aircraft almost consistently.

Singapore – Frankfurt – New York
Schedule
(from 1st November 2021)

SQ26
777-300ER
Days
M T W T F S S
SIN
23:55
FRA
06:20*
FRA
08:20
JFK
12:15
SQ25
777-300ER
Days
M T W T F S S
JFK
21:15
FRA
09:50*
FRA
11:40
SIN
06:50*

* Next day

Unfortunately the former Airbus A380 operation on this service has not been reinstated. SIA’s superjumbos reman mothballed at Changi or in Alice Springs, though 12 should return to the skies with the latest cabin products at a later date.

A Singapore Airlines Airbus A380 stored in Alice Springs. (Photo: Supplied)

This will be the first time Singapore Airlines has flown the Boeing 777-300ER to New York’s JFK Airport in over eight years (the type was only briefly used for SQ25/26 flights from December 2012 to March 2013).

These services will operate in addition to daily Singapore – New York JFK – Singapore SQ24/23 flights, using two-class Airbus A350 ULRs.

That makes New York only the second city on the Singapore Airlines network to return to pre-COVID passenger flight frequencies (Amsterdam was the first).

Fun fact: In 2019, the last full year of operation, 222,723 passengers flew between Frankfurt and New York on Singapore Airlines, a 74% load factor.
(click to enlarge)

There are also three times weekly Singapore – Frankfurt – Singapore SQ326/325 flights (which operate as VTL services on the FRA-SIN leg).

Until 31st October 2021, SQ25/26 flights between Singapore and Frankfurt will continue to be operated by three-class Airbus A350s.

The schedule is valid until 31st December 2021 at this stage, the latest end period to which SIA has confirmed its schedules.

Frankfurt / New York redemptions

With Boeing 777-300ERs deployed from the get go, all four cabin classes should be available for redemption on this reinstated fifth freedom route in the days and weeks ahead (though nothing has been loaded at the time of writing).

Here are the applicable one-way award rates using KrisFlyer miles, depending on your routing.

KrisFlyer Redemption
Singapore ⇆ Frankfurt
Class Saver Advantage
Economy 38,000 70,000
Premium Economy 64,500 n/a
Business 92,000 120,000
First 125,000 220,000
KrisFlyer Redemption
Singapore ⇆ New York
Class Saver Advantage
Economy 40,000 75,000
Premium Economy 73,000 n/a
Business 99,000 140,000
First 132,000 237,000
KrisFlyer Redemption
Frankfurt ⇆ New York
Class Saver Advantage
Economy 22,500 40,000
Premium Economy 47,000 n/a
Business 72,000 85,000
First 86,000 140,000

In particular the Economy Class Saver award rate between Frankfurt and New York is quite competitive for a 9-hour flight, if you can manage a long daytime sector ‘down the back’.

A similar rate in Asia-Pacific will only get you from Singapore to Perth!


 

 

Hong Kong – San Francisco

The other route reinstatement from November 2021 is SIA’s extension of a Singapore – Hong Kong flight to San Francisco.

Unfortunately the former ‘flagship’ SQ1/2 flight numbers are currently in use for cargo-only services between Singapore and Hong Kong, so SIA has decided to use SQ7/8 to denote this service (last used in November 2018 for Los Angeles flights via Seoul).

Singapore – Hong Kong – San Francisco
Schedule
(from 2nd November 2021)

SQ8
777-300ER
Days
M T W T F S S
SIN
08:25
HKG
12:25
     
HKG
13:40
SFO
09:40
       
SQ7
777-300ER
Days
M T W T F S S
SFO
13:00
HKG
19:10*
       
HKG
20:40
SIN
00:40*
       

* Next day

Unlike the Frankfurt – New York reboot, this flight is operating only three days a week for now. You may also notice, this is a ‘flip’ from the usual SQ1/2 timings applicable on this routing prior to COVID-19.

(click to enlarge)

Without quarantine-free demand to tap into, these services are likely to be geared towards cargo revenue, with low passenger volumes acting as a bonus.

These flights will operate in addition to 11 weekly Singapore – Hong Kong services, and seven non-stop Singapore – San Francisco flights each week.

In terms of services to the US West Coast, the flights complement:

  • 7x weekly SIN-SFO (A350 ULR)
  • 7x weekly SIN-LAX (A350 LH)
  • 3x weekly SIN-NRT-LAX (B77W)

This SQ7/8 service will therefore be the only Economy Class and First Class option for those flying from Singapore to or from San Francisco. That’s because Airbus A350 ULRs currently serving the city pair do not offer those cabin types.

The schedule is valid until 31st December 2021 at this stage, the latest end period to which SIA has confirmed its schedules.

Hong Kong / San Franciso redemptions

Here are the applicable one-way award rates using KrisFlyer miles on the SQ7/8 service, depending on your routing.

KrisFlyer Redemption
Singapore ⇆ Hong Kong
Class Saver Advantage
Economy 15,000 30,000
Premium Economy 24,500 n/a
Business 30,500 50,000
First 40,500 73,000
KrisFlyer Redemption
Singapore ⇆ San Francisco
Class Saver Advantage
Economy 38,000 70,000
Premium Economy 68,000 n/a
Business 95,000 125,000
First 130,000 222,000
KrisFlyer Redemption
Hong Kong ⇆ San Francisco
Class Saver Advantage
Economy 33,000 60,000
Premium Economy 63,000 n/a
Business 89,000 115,000
First 104,000 172,000

Cabin classes

Singapore Airlines will use its Boeing 777-300ERs for both of these routes, accommodating 264 passengers in the following configuration:

  • 4 First Class
  • 48 Business Class
  • 28 Premium Economy
  • 184 Economy
First Class on the Boeing 777-300ER. (Photo: MainlyMiles)

 

 

Summary

It’s great to see Singapore Airlines progressively increase its services with reinstatements like these.

Frankfurt – New York is a no-brainer, with quarantine-free travel open to fully vaccinated residents of the EU or the USA come November, meaning the airline can tap into “fifth freedom” demand regardless of Singapore’s border restrictions.

An SIA Boeing 777-300ER in Hong Kong. (Photo: Plane’s Portrait Aviation Media / Malcolm Lu)

First Class will also be available on SIA flights to New York for the first time in nearly 20 months.

Strangely, SIA has not yet confirmed reinstatement of its only other transatlantic service, from Manchester to Houston. Currently the schedule on that three times weekly route has an Airbus A350 Long Haul ‘resting’ on the ground in the UK for 26 hours each time it visits, perfect timing for the Houston extension to be added.

Let’s see if the airline also commits to a transatlantic route from Manchester in time for the festive season. Singapore – Seattle is also ‘waiting in the wings…’

Elsewhere it’s a more subdued return to the Hong Kong – San Francisco route three days per week – more likely to be targeted at cargo demand – though this does open up First Class and Economy Class options from Singapore to the Californian city for the first time since March 2020.

Singapore Airlines says it has restored “65% of its pre-Covid-19 roster of services to and from the United States”, and we’ve surely not seen the last of the increases both in this market and others in 2021.

(Cover Photo: Plane’s Portrait Aviation Media / Malcolm Lu)

7 comments

  1. This will therefore be the only Economy Class and First Class option for those flying from Singapore to San Francisco, or vice-versa, because Airbus A350 ULRs do not offer those cabin types.

    This paragraph needs adjustments!

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