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Singapore Airlines' first Airbus A350 routes

By David Flynn     Filed under: singapore airlines, Airbus A350

Singapore Airlines will take delivery of its first Airbus A350-900 this week, ahead of inaugural flights in Asia and to Europe.

The advanced jet will arrive in Singapore's Changi Airport on Thursday March 3 as the centrepiece of a wide-reaching fleet upgrade for Singapore Airlines, with 63 firm orders and options to buy 20 more.

Inaugural A350 commercial services will make short hops from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur and Jakarta for the purposes of crew familiarisation with the all-new aircraft, before spreading its wings onto the 13 hour Singapore-Amsterdam route from May 9.

Düsseldorf will follow with three A350 flights a week from July 21, 2016.

The airline expects to have ten A350 jets in its fleet by year's end in a long-range configuration of 42 business class seats using SQ's latest design, plus 24 seats in premium economy and 187 in economy.

However, that first tranche of A350s will be followed by a wave of 'medium-range' models from 2017 with less emphasis on premium seating, which will eventually replace all of Singapore Airlines' A330s on flights of up to eight hours, including most SQ services into Australia.

Read: Singapore Airlines confirms Airbus A350 'medium-range' config

Next up will be the ultra-long range Airbus A350ULR, for which Singapore Airlines is the worldwide launch customer, with the long-legged jet to fly non-stop from Singapore to Los Angeles and New York.

This will sport a premium-heavy layout of around 170 seats, expected to be a mostly business class configuration bookended by small first class and premium economy cabins.

Read: Singapore Airlines ultra-long range A350 to have 'all-new' business class

Inside Singapore Airlines' A350

The A350's pointy end will feature the same superb business class seats as SQ’s newest Boeing 777s.

Further down there'll be a smaller premium economy cabin with similar seats to the airline's recently-launched premium economy design (show below).

This will be "a somewhat new seat" compared to those of the A380 and Boeing 777-300ER, "but the look and feel will be more or less the same" says Mr Tan Pee Teck, Singapore Airlines' Senior Vice President for Product & Services.

AusBT review: Singapore Airlines premium economy (Sydney-Singapore)

Economy seating will be the same as on the airline's newest Boeing 777-300ERs and arranged in a 3-3-3- layout.

Read more: Inside Singapore Airlines' all-new Airbus A350

However, a second wave of A350s due from 2017 is expected to see fewer business class seats and a larger economy cabin, with those jets adopting a 'medium range' configuration for relatively shorter flights of up to eight hours.

Singapore Airlines is also considering if some of the medium-range A350s might sport the airline's next-generation business class, due in 2017 for the Airbus A380 and in 2018 for the ultra-long range A350.

That ultra-long range A350, for which Singapore Airlines is to date the sole customer, will fly non-stop from Singapore to Los Angeles and New York, fitted with around 170 seats compared to just over 250 passengers in SQ's long-range A350-900.

Singapore Airlines CEO Mr Goh Choon Phong last year told Australian Business Traveller that unlike the 'all business class’ model of SQ's previous non-stop Airbus A340 flights, the layout for the long-legged jets "will probably be more than just business class, I think it will be a mix of cabin classes."

This is likely to see a mostly business class configuration bookended by small first class and premium economy cabins.

The Singaporean flag-carrier will be the fifth airline to fly the A350, with Asian neighbour and competitor Cathay Pacific due to collect the keys to its first A350 in the coming months.

Read: Cathay Pacific Airbus A350 delivery pushed back to Q2

More great Airbus A350 reads on Australian Business Traveller

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About David Flynn

David Flynn is the editor of Australian Business Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.


Have something to say? Post a comment now!

1 on 12/10/15 by Tom

No Aussie Cities :(

1 on 13/10/15 by aklrunway

Give them a chance!

2 on 13/10/15 by elchriss0

Considering that AMS has a single daily flight and for the most part on crappy old 777s (plus a couple of 77Ws a week more recently), I think they deserve to be first to get the new aircraft.

It is likely that any flights currently operated by the A333s (as they come off of their 6 year leases) and older 777s will be the flights that they'll replace first.

1 on 13/10/15 by CityRail

And the B777-300ER from AMS should run on SQ211 and SQ 212. This is a premium service as you can touch down Singapore by lunch time, good connection to rest of Asia.

Yet there's no Premium Economy and a decent Business Class which is disappointing.

2 on 12/10/15 by Rishi

Would be amazing if SQ could bless Melbourne with their new A350 in exchange for the A380s they took for Auckland.

3 on 12/10/15 by Michael

I hope they start servicing A350 on the Austrslian cities currently serviced by A330 by the end of 2016. 

1 on 13/10/15 by Shoudy


2 on 13/10/15 by CityRail

But how about Sydney? Don't forget we still have 1x daily service operated by B777-200ER... :(

1 on 14/10/15 by elchriss0

Delta has just purchased 11 77Es from SIA (ex SQ and Scoot) so they will likely replace the 77Es taken from SQ alongside the A333s as their leases expire.

4 on 12/10/15 by abudhabi1

Will Adelaide be seeing these.

1 on 12/10/15 by Roger


1 on 13/10/15 by Chris

Singapore Airlines has not announced further A350 destinations beyond Amsterdam, Kuala Lumpur and Jakarta, Roger.

1 on 13/10/15 by Jason

Chris, they haven't made further destinations announcements as yet. However, with 63 A350 on order, you can bet that at some point, they will be flying to secondary Aussie cities at some point.

1 on 13/10/15 by Chris

Indeed SQ hasn't announced further destinations for the A350 as of yet, although we'd not assume this particular aircraft would fly on any particular route until Singapore Airlines makes that known – remembering that SQ has quite a diverse fleet.

5 on 12/10/15 by Roger

i  expect  that  they  will  eventually  replace  all   A 330s and   older  B  777  200   aircraft to   Australian   cities   like Adelaide,   BNE  and  PER. About  time   since those  planes do  not offer  Flat   beds   in   business class.

1 on 13/10/15 by elchriss0

you forget that MEL also gets those older 77Es next year on one of the daily flights

1 on 15/10/15 by abudhabi1

Off the topic a little can anyone tell me which service out of Melbourne is the latest 777-300ER.I quite like the schedules of SQ227 AND SQ228 ever since Adelaide's SQ279/SQ278 got switched to mid mornings OUT OF Australia and the god awful 11pm at night ex SIN TO ADL which are great if connecting onto the rest of Asia but lousy if your end destination is Singapore.

1 on 15/10/15 by Roger

SQ  228  departing    at    16.40   gets   to   Changi  at   21.30 is   the latest   777-ER   with  the   all   new   business   class   and  First  seats. Sometime   next  year  (I  think   from   May  2016  SQ   238-  departing  MEL  around   11  Am  and  arriving  in   Singapore    around    16  30 will   also  be   switched   to   a 777  300  ER   (  currently  they    fly the   old   version  of   777-300) Not    sure   if   that   will  be    the   latest   777  300  ER  , but   I   am   hoping    so,  since   the   current  777   300   is    quite   an  old   and  dated    aircraft (  angled    business    class  seats)

1 on 15/10/15 by elchriss0

well that J class in the regular -300s is actually their current gen regional business (same as on A333s and some 77Es).  Also I've got 4 flights with them next year, all on 77Ws.  One of them has PE so that means it has new economy also.  My flight ex MEL is SQ238 so I will see if that is new one or not.  It's not always guaranteed that they use the new cabin because the seat layout in the new 3-class is almost identical to older 77W config.

6 on 15/10/15 by nix584

Chris was there any indication about when SQ will release the schedules for the A350 to AMS?

1 on 15/10/15 by elchriss0

It will be the same time flight as what they already have.

1 on 16/10/15 by nix584

Yes I imagine it will replace the 77W on SQ324/323, but I'm wondering if there has been any word on when they will actually start flying or when the schedules will be updated? I want to change my flight home from Europe next year to leave AMS instead of BCN but I won't until I know for sure that I'll be on an A350.

1 on 16/10/15 by elchriss0

oh right well that might be a while...i decided to leave mine out of LHR since it will be on 77W with new economy cabin

2 on 18/2/16 by kaiserkudo

Also waiting to hear on an actual start date and equipment change loaded into GDS as I have a flight towards the end of April. They should have atleast 2 by mid April (9V-SMB scheduled for mid April delivery). Depends if Airbus is able to ramp up production as theyre still only getting 1-2 out per month.

7 on 3/2/16 by Angus

Why could signapore airplanes have just ordered the 777-8 instead of the A350? the 777-8 has a bit more range than the A350-900ULR. 

1 on 3/2/16 by Jedinak K

SQ needed an aircraft that could fly to NY and LA now, rather than waiting 5-6 years and letting the competition grab a large slice of the market share. But who knows, if these routes are successful and SQ gets good loads and demand for these routes they might order the larger 777-8. 

8 on 3/2/16 by Mark

To the best of my knowledge, the 777-8 was not launched when they ordered the A350. I wish Qantas had ordered the A350 instead of the overrated 787.

1 on 3/2/16 by AARON

The 787 is not overrated it is actually it has a better aircarft technology. It is not Boeing fault airliners decided to put 9 seats instead of 8 in a row. Boeing meant for extra comfort in economy and no suprise the first oprator ANA did just that. Sad that for an extra about 20-22 seats premium full service airlines put 737 width seats. Much like the a380 - not Airbus fault Emirates and other to follow plan to put 11 seats in a row.  

1 on 3/2/16 by Mark

Just my opinion Aaron for what it's worth. After having flown on the 787 a number of times now, I think it's not as quite as the A380, which I hope the A350 compares too. True it does not help that airlines are going with 9 abreast seating.

2 on 3/2/16 by Jedinak K

AARON how is it a better aircraft when airlines are cramping it with 3-3-3 economy seating, being somewhat louder than the A350 according to some reports and being grounded due to battery fires?I've flown on the B787 and trust me, it's not that big a deal and not that different to other aircraft except for mood lighting, auto dimming windows and more breathable air. 

2 on 19/2/16 by FLX

And I wish more folks who considered the 787 as overrated will also cease overrating the 350....

9 on 4/2/16 by emirates777

Will Canberra eventually see these A350's?

1 on 4/2/16 by Roger

I   think   eventually   all  the    A  330s    and  B   777   200s    will  be  replaced    by   the  A  350 s    but  it   WILL   take  a   long   time   ,   so  guys    don't  ho;ld   your   breath. Their   priority  is   to    place   the   350  on   long  haul   Europe    and  US   routes.

1 on 23/2/16 by FLX

<<all the A 330s and B 777 200s will  be replaced by the A 350s...>>

Actually, not in the case of SQ.  Don't forget they hold a firm order for 78J(i.e. 787-10) x30 in which none is planned for Scoot.  On the other hand, there're 333(i.e. 330-300) x29 in SQ fleet today.  Among all the new types ordered by SQ over the past 10yrs, 78J has the closest payload/range performance to the 333.

I strongly suspect almost all 333s @ SQ will eventually be replaced directly by the 78J.

1 on 23/2/16 by elchriss0

The intention was that the second batch of  2-class A359s will replace the A333s.  The A333s are all on 6-year leases as a stop-gap measure until the A359s arrive.  This was due to the long delays of the A350 program which was supposed to be delivered to SQ I think in 2010 originally.  Also I believe they are being delivered before the 78Js.

Having said that, the 2-class A350s will probably replace A333s 1 for 1 as their leases expire.  Any additional aircraft recieved prior to lease expiration of A333s will be instead used to replace 772s and eventually 773s

10 on 2/3/16 by AB__CD

Singapore Airlines has just loaded the schedule into the GDS: KL gets the 350 from 8 Mar through 8 May, at which point it will fly to Amsterdam, and the moment it returns from AMS, it will fly SQ956/957, and SQ962/963 to Jakarta. Forever. Then Dussledorf from 21 July.

11 on 15/4/16 by Ho Really

SQ has added Hong Kong to the list of A350-900XWB destinations ahead of the long-haul European flights. From 27APR16 to 08MAY16, the A350-900XWB will operate Singapore – Hong Kong route once a day, on SQ856/861 service.

SQ856 SIN0955 – 1355HKG 359 D

SQ861 HKG1540 – 1935SIN 359 D



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