While Singapore Airlines is looking to diversify its fleet with the addition of Boeing 737s (800s and MAXs), it is still some way off from adjusting to a prolonged suppressed demand.
Singapore Airlines will fly non-stop into JFK, though historically it flew into Newark. While passenger demand is bound to remain suppressed due to travel restrictions, the carrier expects a significant cargo market.
On March 25th this year, the world’s longest regular passenger service was suspended indefinitely. However, it would seem that the date for the resumption of Singapore Airlines’ record-holding route has been decided. Beginning November 9th, Singapore Airlines will offer a thrice-weekly non-stop service between Singapore’s Changi Airport and New York’s JFK.
Flight SQ24 will operate on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays. It will depart from Changi Airport at 02:25, and arrive at JFK at 07:30. The estimated flight time is 18 hours and 5 minutes.
The return service of SQ23 will depart from JFK on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. It will push away from the gate at 22:30 and arrive in Singapore at 06:10, not only +1, but +2. Of course, with a flight time of 18 hours and 40 minutes, skipping an extra day is to be expected.
The airline says the relaunch of the service is an important step in rebuilding its network. Cargo-demand will drive revenue.
The flights will be operated by one of Singapore’s A350-900 long-range aircraft. They are configured with 42 seats in business class, 25 in premium economy, and 187 in the main cabin. It will be interesting to see what the load-factors will look like to begin with.
In an interview with the Straits Times Newspaper; Mr. Lee Lik Hsin, commercial executive vice president at Singapore Airlines, said that the non-stop service’s relaunch was an important step in rebuilding the carrier’s global network. He added; “While travel restrictions are bound to keep passenger demand subdued for some time to come, the airline expects a significant cargo demand” for pharmaceuticals, technology, and e-commerce business.”
This is Singapore Airlines’ second route to the U.S. since the crisis. The carrier also operates a non-stop service from Singapore to Los Angeles, clocking in at just over 15 hours of flight time. With the addition of the JFK route, the airline will be flying to 41 destinations.
The small city-state of Singapore has no domestic market, and it’s all wide-body national airline is heavily dependent on long-haul transfer traffic. Last year, Singapore Changi Airport was the seventh busiest in the world. Now, it has fallen to number 48.