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Singapore Airlines extends new Vancouver route to late March 2022

Bookings can't be bad! Singapore Airlines is giving its new seasonal Vancouver route a six-week extension... before it's even started.

Last month Singapore Airlines announced it was relaunching non-stop flights to and from Vancouver for the first time in over 12 years, with four times weekly Airbus A350 services, two of which will return to Changi as designated Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) flights, supporting quarantine-free travel.

A short hop to Seattle is also ‘tagged’ on to the seasonal service, reinstating a link lost in March 2020 when the airline’s non-stop services to the city were suspended.

Singapore Airlines will deploy its three-class long-haul Airbus A350s on Vancouver flights. (Photo: AirImages / Shutterstock)

Flights were originally slated to operate for around 11 weeks, to encompass the peak ski season in the Rocky Mountains, Christmas, New Year and Chinese New Year.

Schedule extended

Singapore Airlines has now extended operation of this seasonal route by a full six weeks, from an original end date on 15th February 2022, but now running right through to the end of the northern winter season on 26th March 2022.

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The new flights retain the same schedule and days of operation, with a morning departure from Singapore on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

Singapore Vancouver Seattle
Flight Schedule
(2 Dec 2021 – 26 Mar 2022)

SQ28
A350-900
Days
M T W T F S S
SIN
09:15
YVR
07:30^
YVR
08:40^
SEA
09:30^
     

^ 1 hour later from 15th March 2022 (Daylight Saving Time in YVR/SEA)

On the way back to Singapore it’s wheels-up from Seattle on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 11am, then from Vancouver at 1.15pm following a brief pit stop, with arrival in Singapore shortly after 10pm the following day.

Seattle Vancouver Singapore
Flight Schedule
(2 Dec 2021 – 26 Mar 2022)

SQ27
A350-900
Days
M T W T F S S
SEA
11:00^
YVR
11:45^
   
YVR
13:15^
SIN
22:05*
         
SQ29
A350-900
Days
M T W T F S S
SEA
11:00^
YVR
11:45^
         
YVR
13:15^
SIN
22:05*
         

^ 1 hour later from 15th March 2022 (Daylight Saving Time in YVR/SEA)
* Next day

What about VTL flights?

You’ll notice that SIA is splitting its homebound flight numbers as SQ27 on Tuesdays and Fridays and SQ29 on Thursdays and Saturdays from Seattle and Vancouver, with the SQ29 pair operating as VTL services.

Here’s the strange thing though.

Despite extending the end of the schedule from 15th February 2022 to 26th March 2022, designated VTL flights have only been extended until 12th March 2022, for some reason.

That’s reflected on SIA’s page outlining its designated VTL flights, and from the lack of a ‘Vaccinated Travel Lane’ marker in the booking engine for the remaining services after that date.

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That means the final four SQ29 services on 17th, 19th, 24th and 26th March are operating as non-VTL flights, which doesn’t make a lot of sense since the airline’s VTL flights on other routes run through to 26th March.

It looks like the final four SQ29 flights from Seattle and Vancouver won’t be returning to Singapore as VTL services, for some reason. (Photo: Chung ChengYen)

We’ll keep an eye on this, and of course our full list of all designated VTL flights will be updated accordingly if there are any changes, but for now don’t book those last four flights thinking you’ll be heading to Singapore quarantine-free. As it stands you’ll be returning under the Category 2 lane (7 days SHN at home).

Could it become year-round?

Singapore Airlines has yet to confirm its flight schedules from the start of the northern summer season on 27th March 2022, which is why you still see non-existent aircraft (like A330s) and non-existent seat maps (like A380s with old Suites) in the schedules when searching for flights beyond that date.

With this extension of the Vancouver / Seattle service to the very end of the winter schedule, it will be very interesting to see whether SIA is confident enough to keep the service going through the summer months too.

Singapore Airlines’ shortest-lived US route to Seattle was performing well. (Photo: Luca Micheli)

Before the pandemic, Seattle was proving to be a big hit for the airline with the four times weekly flights recording up to 90% load factors.

Singapore Airlines
Seattle Route Performance

Month This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is SQtrans-small.pngPassenger Load Factor
Singapore

Seattle
Seattle

Singapore
Sep ’19 93.4% 83.1%
Oct ’19 87.3% 90.2%
Nov ’19 88.1% 86.6%
Dec ’19 89.3% 90.3%
Jan ’20 95.3% 87.1%
Feb ’20 83.1% 65.0%
Mar ’20 64.8% 43.6%

Source: Bureau of Transportation Statistics

COVID-19 put a stop to that early success of course, but the airline must have been buoyed by the demand it was seeing to and from the US “tech town”, which had already witnessed significant non-stop international flight expansion from other Asian carriers in recent years.

SIA was even scheduling a fifth weekly non-stop service to the city from March 2020, before the route had to be suspended.

Five times weekly non-stop Seattle flights provisionally appear in the schedules again from the start of the summer 2022 season on 27th March 2022, but perhaps the airline will continue with this Vancouver / Seattle arrangement instead.

It would be great to have year-round Canada flights again, but until the April 2022 schedules are confirmed we won’t know what the plan is. Watch this space.



 


 

Summary

More VTL options for those flying to Singapore from Seattle or Vancouver, with this latest extension of those twice weekly designated flights through to 12th March 2022.

The full four times weekly schedule of flights themselves, however, continues right up to the end of the published schedule on 26th March 2022, so we don’t know why the VTL-eligible label gets cut off early – there may be more to come on this.

Canada in summer. (Photo: Mark Koch)

Nonetheless, it’s good to see that SIA is confident enough with the new route to extend it by six weeks, so we’ll have to wait and see whether that translates into a year-round extension once the summer schedules start to be announced.

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