History Singapore Airlines

A history of SIA’s USA flights – Part 2: Bigger Jumbos and The Big Apple

In the 1980s and 90s Singapore Airlines quadrupled its USA flights, introduced 'MEGATOP' 747s on its routes, ditched Hawaii stopovers, and added not just one New York airport to the schedules, but two.

Welcome to our second instalment covering the history of Singapore Airlines’ flights to and from the USA. For the full story make sure you’ve checked out our first part in this series, which examined the inaugural services and initial ramp-up of flights.

We wound up Part 1 with Singapore Airlines running nine times weekly all-Boeing 747 service to and from the USA in December 1980, having finally won rights not only to serve San Francisco via Honolulu but also Los Angeles via Taipei and Los Angeles through the more lucrative Tokyo transit point.

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In common with the rest of the airline’s routes, USA flights moved from Paya Lebar (Singapore International Airport) to Singapore Changi Airport when it opened in July 1981.

The politics continued

There was a fair amount of political wrangling in Part 1 of this series, but if you thought that’s where the politics ended, you’d be wrong.