With a growing fleet of new and refitted Airbus A380s, and a recent announcement of the type’s withdrawal from the Delhi route, we’ve been eagerly awaiting news of new cities for the carrier’s flagship superjumbos in the weeks and months ahead.
Singapore Airlines has now confirmed that it will deploy its Airbus A380s on more Australia routes from May 2023, with a return of the type to the Melbourne route and a restoration of twice daily service to and from Sydney with the latest cabin products on board.
Unfortunately the news also means the aircraft type will no longer feature on the airline’s flagship Singapore – Frankfurt – New York flights from mid-May next year, with that service downgauging to the four-class Boeing 777-300ER aircraft, which is bad news for those booked in the Suites cabin.
Australia gets more A380 flights
Singapore Airlines will reinstate Airbus A380 flights to and from Melbourne daily from 16th May 2023, which will represent the first time in four years since the aircraft type was used on this route.
This will take the form of the daily SQ237/SQ228 rotation, currently operated by the Boeing 777-300ER with the following timings.
- SQ237 SIN-MEL: 0.25am – 9.50am
- SQ228 MEL-SIN: 3.40pm – 9.30pm
As you can see, the A380 will operate overnight service from Singapore to Melbourne, returning mid-afternoon for an evening arrival back at Changi.
This upgrade will be particularly exciting for those who managed to book or redeem in the First Class cabin of the Boeing 777-300ER previously planned for this route, who will soon find their seat map updated to reflect the brand new A380 Suites product.
In addition, those flying to and from Sydney will get an additional daily Airbus A380 option from 17th May 2023, with a bigger upgrade from the three-class A350 Medium Haul aircraft on SQ221/SQ232 flights upgauging on this key route, with the following timings.
- SQ221 SIN-SYD: 8.20pm – 5.55am (+1 day)
- SQ232 SYD-SIN: 11.00am – 5.30pm
This will supplement the existing daily SQ231/SQ222 Airbus A380 flights, which were reinstated on 1st December 2021.
Sydney will therefore benefit from 12 Suites in total in each direction to and from Singapore, mirroring the recent increase to double daily A380s on SIA’s London services.
This will solidify the airline’s position on the ‘kangaroo route’ with a high volume of its latest cabin products in both directions each day.
Note that at the time of writing, Singapore Airlines has yet to update its flight schedules to reflect these new A380 services. This will likely filter through in the coming days, so don’t be too concerned if your booking still shows a different aircraft type.
Latest KrisFlyer award rates
Singapore Airlines recently hiked KrisFlyer redemption rates across its network, including for travel to and from Australia
Here are the latest KrisFlyer award rates for the Singapore – Sydney and Singapore – Melbourne route, including for the (likely very elusive) Suites cabin.
Singapore ⇄ Sydney / Melbourne
|First / Suites||93,500||155,000|
Don’t expect this capacity increase to coincide with a flood of Saver awards, given the popularity of these routes, but hopefully there will be at least some options available in time.
Frankfurt and New York lose the A380
Alongside the good news about more A380 services to and from Australia, Singapore Airlines will unfortunately remove the popular type from its Singapore – Frankfurt – New York JFK SQ26/25 flights next year.
Obviously the airline is trying to play down the impact, pointing out that the Boeing 777-300ER also features a four-seat First Class cabin, but that’s no match for the six private Suites installed on the upper deck of the carrier’s A380s.
For those already booked for next summer, it will mean the experience changing from this…
You can read a full review of the 2013 First Class product installed on the Boeing 777-300ERs here.
In Business Class the impact is less of an issue, with the newer 2017 seats on the A380 being replaced by the 2013 seats on the 777-300ER, though they are quite similar in most respects.
Singapore Airlines first reinstated A380 flights to Frankfurt and New York post-pandemic back in March this year.
SIA will continue to operate its two non-stop New York flights (to JFK and Newark Airports respectively) using Airbus A350 ULR aircraft, in addition to the Boeing 777-300ER via Frankfurt.
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.
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.
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.
We also enjoyed the ‘A380 Restaurant@Changi’ experience on board the new Suites cabin back in October 2020 – see our review here.
These new Suites will debut on the Melbourne route for the first time as a result of this announcement.
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.
This is our personal favourite among the airline’s Business Class seats, so it’s great to see it offered three times per day to and from Australia for the first time.
Confirmed A380 routes
Here’s where you’ll find the Singapore Airlines superjumbo fleet deployed from mid-May 2023, based on confirmed schedules at the time of writing, including these latest announced changes and the upcoming addition of Hong Kong to the superjumbo network.
Singapore Airlines A380 Flights
(from mid-May 2023)
|Current and Future Flights|
|18 Nov 2021||7 x weekly|
|30 Oct 2022||7 x weekly|
|1 Dec 2021||7 x weekly|
|14 Mar 2022||7 x weekly|
|4 Jul 2022||1 x weekly|
|1 Dec 2022||7 x weekly|
|16 May 2023||7 x weekly|
(in addition to SQ231/222)
|17 May 2023||7 x weekly|
Unfortunately there’s no sign of a much-wished-for return of the type on Tokyo flights for the time being!
It’s great to see more Singapore Airlines Airbus A380s back in service, with additional flight options, now set to include a second daily Sydney service and a daily Melbourne service from mid-May 2023.
Unfortunately at the same time the carrier is removing its flagship superjumbo from the popular SQ26/SQ25 Singapore – Frankfurt – New York route, which has been receiving the aircraft type with the latest cabin products since March this year.
That’s disappointing news for those booked in the Suites cabin on that route next summer, who will now be downgraded to the 2013 First Class seat, while on the flip side many of those booked in First Class to Melbourne are set to benefit from a cabin upgrade to Suites.
(Cover Photo: Plane’s Portrait Aviation Media / Malcolm Lu)