News Singapore Airlines

Singapore Airlines doubles A380 London flights from October

Singapore Airlines will double down on superjumbo services to and from London this winter, restoring pre-COVID capacity on its 'cash cow' route.

Great news for Airbus A380 fans, or those eager to try the latest Singapore Airlines Suites and Business Class cabin products, with the carrier confirming its latest plans for the superjumbo during the upcoming winter season.

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From 30th October, which marks the start of the IATA northern winter timetable, SIA will double down on A380 flights to London, reinstating its highest capacity aircraft on the SQ308/319 flights, alongside the existing SQ322/317 service.

“Singapore Airlines can confirm that SQ322 and SQ317 are currently operated using an Airbus A380. From 30 October 2022, SQ308 and SQ319 will also be operated using the Airbus A380.

SIA spokesperson

This will restore pre-COVID capacity to the airline’s London route, including two other daily flights using a four-class Boeing 777-300ER and a three-class Airbus A350 Long Haul aircraft.

It will also mean 12 of the latest Suites flying to and from London each day, on top of a whopping 156 of the latest 2017 Business Class seats, though picking up Saver award redemptions remains challenging given the route’s popularity.

SIA will have two A380 flights each day on its flagship London route. (Photo: Heathrow Airport Limited)

The schedule

Singapore Airlines currently flies the following schedule between Changi Airport and London Heathrow on a daily basis, which will continue until 29th October 2022:

  • SQ306/305 (777-300ER)
  • SQ308/319 (777-300ER)
  • SQ318/321 (777-300ER*)
  • SQ322/317 (A380)

* A350 Long Haul from 1st October 2022

Here’s how the full schedule including flight timings looks for the upcoming norther winter season from 30th October 2022, with Airbus A380s operating on highlighted flights.

Singapore    London

30th October 2022
to 25th March 2023

  Days
M T W T F S S
SQ306
777-300ER
SIN
01:10
LHR
07:20
SQ308
A380
SIN
09:00
LHR
15:20
SQ318
A350 Long Haul
SIN
12:45
LHR
19:10
SQ322
A380
SIN
23:45
LHR
05:55*

* Next day

London    Singapore

30th October 2022
to 25th March 2023

  Days
M T W T F S S
SQ305
777-300ER
LHR
09:10
SIN
06:05*
SQ317
A380
LHR
10:55
SIN
07:50*
SQ319
A380
LHR
20:35
SIN
17:30*
SQ321
A350-900
LHR
22:05
SIN
19:00*

* Next day

The SQ308/319 superjumbo flights from 30th October will replace a three-class Boeing 777-300ER on a daily basis, meaning those lucky enough to already be booked in First Class will enjoy a fantastic ‘upgrade’ to the 2017 Suites cabin in either (or both) directions.

SQ308 will offer a daytime A380 option from Singapore to London, while SQ319 will add an evening departure out of Heathrow for arrival back in Changi the following afternoon, often a preferable timing for those maximising their trip or meeting the late night departure connection bank to Australia, for example.

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As part of the newly confirmed winter schedule, SQ318 and SQ321 will be operated by an Airbus A350 Long Haul aircraft, rather than a 777-300ER, which unfortunately removes the First Class option on these flights.

In total, however, this schedule will mean SIA is offering 20,426 seats per week to and from London, 6% more than pre-COVID (based on January 2020), thanks to the higher total capacity of the latest A380 cabin fits.

London was the first post-COVID A380 route

London was the first route to have A380 operations reinstated by Singapore Airlines after the fleet was grounded due to the pandemic, with daily flights in operation since November 2021.

The type was also used on a series of Singapore – Kuala Lumpur flights the previous month to allow crew to get back up to speed on the superjumbo, and has since been reintroduced on regular services to Sydney, Delhi, Mumbai, Frankfurt, New York and Shanghai.

(Photo: Mike Fuchslocher)

The airline now has ten A380s in regular service, with the final two undergoing refit with the latest cabins, though the oldest seven jets are not returning to the fleet and have either been scrapped or will be disposed of in due course.

Here’s the status of SIA’s 12 A380s returning to service post-COVID, including those that are already actively flying again.

Singapore Airlines A380 Fleet
(as of 24th March 2022)

Aircraft Current
Location
Version Status
9V-SKM SIN V3^   In Service
9V-SKN SIN V3^   In Service
9V-SKP SIN V2
(V3 pending)
Refit & Re-entry
9V-SKQ SIN V2
(V3 pending)
Refit & Re-entry
9V-SKR SIN V3^   In Service
9V-SKS SIN V3^   In Service
9V-SKT SIN V3^   In Service
9V-SKU SIN V3   In Service
9V-SKV SIN V3   In Service
9V-SKW SIN V3   In Service
9V-SKY SIN V3   In Service
9V-SKZ SIN V3   In Service

^ Refitted from V2

SIN Singapore Changi Airport

Singapore Airlines has ten of its A380s back in service, with two more still to rejoin the fleet. (Photo: Plane’s Portrait Aviation Media / Malcolm Lu)

Our analysis shows that the winter 2022/23 schedule including the addition of SQ308/319 flights will require a minimum of nine A380s, with all eight airborne at certain times of day, while the ninth is parked on the ground in New York between flights.

That means a fleet of 10 should be sufficient, to cover routine maintenance, delays and operational disruptions.

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Completion of refits for 9V-SKP and -SKQ therefore do not appear to be necessary in order for this schedule to operate, including the double daily London flights from late October.

With the eventual return of those two aircraft in the new configuration, we should see one or two additional daily A380 options join the fold, but with a slimmed-down fleet of 12 instead of 19 a return to many former superjumbo routes like Auckland, Zurich and Melbourne seems unlikely.

A380 cabin products & reviews

All 12 Airbus A380s returning to the Singapore Airlines fleet are being refitted with the latest cabin products before they re-enter service, as we exclusively revealed in November 2020.

2017 Suites

The biggest selling point of the newly configured A380s is the latest Suites cabin, located on the forward upper deck with a capacity of just six, three either side of a central aisle.

Two of the Suite pairs (1A/2A and 1F/2F) can combine to form a double suite if you are travelling with someone else.

New A380 double suite. (Photo: Singapore Airlines)

You can read our review of the double suite on a flight from Singapore to Hong Kong in 2018 below.

Although Singapore Airlines stopped short of installing showers in the latest A380 fit, there are two large washrooms at the front of the cabin, one of which is so big it has its own separate vanity area.

Vanity desk in the Singapore Airlines new A380 washroom. (Photo: MainlyMiles)

We also enjoyed the ‘A380 Restaurant@Changi’ experience on board the new Suites cabin back in October 2020 – see our review here.

2017 Business Class

Another great advantage of the new Singapore Airlines A380 cabins is the excellent Business Class product, our personal favourite in the fleet, with 78 of these seats occupying the rest of the upper deck in a 1-2-1 layout.

There’s the option at the middle seat pairs to retract the divider for couples travelling together, who also benefit from a ‘double bed’ at the three bulkhead positions – Rows 11, 91 and 96.

Business Class double bed on the new A380. (Photo: MainlyMiles)

This is our personal favourite among the airline’s Business Class seats, so it’s great to see it offered twice per day to and from London for the first time.

Other cabins

SIA’s A380s have the airline’s largest Premium Economy cabin, with 44 seats in a 2-4-2 layout at the front of the main deck.

Each seat is 19.5 inches wide, with eight-inch recline and seat pitch of 38 inches.