Category Archives: Singapore Airlines

CNBC: Singapore Airlines’ order of 31 Boeing 737 MAX jets remains ‘intact,’ CEO says

SilkAir Boeing 737-8 MAX 8 9V-MBD (msn 44241) SIN (Pascal Simon). Image: 945011.

From CNBC:

“Singapore Airlines CEO Goh Choon Phong said Friday that an order for 31 Boeing 737 MAX jets remains “intact” despite the aircraft’s two deadly crashes.”

Read the full article.

Subsidiary SilkAir grounded its six Boeing 737 MAX aircraft in March.

Top Copyright Photo: SilkAir Boeing 737-8 MAX 8 9V-MBD (msn 44241) SIN (Pascal Simon). Image: 945011.

SilkAir aircraft slide show:


Singapore Airlines celebrates the delivery of their Airbus A350-900 medium-haul aircraft with Thales AVANT IFE and Connectivity

2nd A350 ULR, delivered on September 28, 2018

Thales has issued this press release:

Singapore Airlines is known globally for its high standards of service and cabin experience. The airline has been awarded the internationally acclaimed five-star rating from Skytrax and was recognized by the organization in 2018 as the ‘World’s Best Airline” for the fourth time, operating a modern passenger fleet of more than 100 aircraft. For the upcoming fleet of Airbus A350-900 medium haul aircraft, Singapore Airlines has entrusted Thales to sustain their brand promise of improving service excellence, retaining competitive advantage and continuing to meet and exceed customer expectations.

This new fleet of aircraft will be equipped with Thales’s AVANT IFE system, featuring an innovative and personalized user experience uniquely designed for Singapore Airlines. The 40 Business Class passengers will enjoy 17″ High Definition touch screen monitors with a complementing handset that operates similarly to a consumer smart phone, enabling passengers to use it as a secondary device to control the seatback monitor. The 263 Economy Class seats will feature the latest 11.6″ touchscreen monitors.

The sleek and lightweight design of AVANT provides travelers an exceptional inflight experience with Singapore Airlines’ vast choice of entertainment. The IFE solution is designed with a new Signature user interface that is unique to Singapore Airlines, and offers a more intuitive user experience with new additional navigational options. Some key features on AVANT include:

  • Media Filter: This enables passengers to efficiently locate desired media by filtering content through the various categories, genres, languages and available flight duration;
  • Flight Info Map: When enjoying movies or TV shows, passengers are able to concurrently bring up flight info without exiting the media player; and,
  • Air Mouse (available in Business Class): The touch screen handset functions as a remote control by directing the onscreen cursor on the seatback monitor.

With Singapore Airlines’ myKrisWorld complementing the new IFE system, passengers are able to enjoy a personalized inflight entertainment service with over 1,800 movies, television shows, music, interactive games, informational applications and more. KrisFlyer members and passengers traveling in premium classes will also have access to additional content. Passengers will be able to personalize preferences upon sign-in and bookmark partially watched movies and TV shows to be resumed on subsequent flights.

Passengers onboard Singapore Airlines’ new Airbus A350-900 medium-haul aircraft will enjoy high speed WiFi service using Inmarsat’s Global Xpress (GX) satellite network. The pairing of global Ka-band connectivity and Thales’s latest IFE innovations provides a comprehensive set of onboard entertainment services that transform passenger experiences wherever they fly.

To ensure that the IFE and Connectivity systems remain at optimal performance, Thales will also provide turn-key maintenance support and services through its FlytCARE service, including line maintenance, software and media content loading, repairs and support from the Singapore Customer Support Center.

Top Copyright Photo (all others by Thales): Singapore Airlines Airbus A350-941 ULR 9V-SGB (msn 223) LAX (Michael B. Ing). Image: 944723.

Singapore Airlines aircraft slide show:


SilkAir to transfer routes to Scoot ahead of merger into Singapore Airlines

SilkAir Boeing 737-8 MAX 8 9V-MBE (msn 44242) SIN (Pascal Simon). Image: 944508.

Scoot is to take over a number of SilkAir’s routes over the next two years, ahead of SilkAir’s merger into Singapore Airlines (SIA). Scoot will also be transferring some of its services to existing destinations served by SIA and SilkAir.

The changes are expected to take place between April 2019 and the second half of 2020. They are the result of a detailed review to identify which airlines in the SIA Group portfolio are best suited to meet evolving customer demand. The changes, which are subject to regulatory approvals, are planned as follows:

From SilkAir to Scoot:

  • Luang Prabang and Vientiane in Laos, in April 2019
  • Coimbatore, Trivandrum and Visakhapatnam in India, between May 2019 and October 2019
  • Changsha, Fuzhou, Kunming and Wuhan in China, between May 2019 and June 2019
  • Chiang Mai[1] in Thailand, in October 2019
  • Kota Kinabalu in Malaysia, in December 2019
  • Balikpapan, Lombok, Makassar, Manado, Semarang and Yogyakarta in Indonesia, between May 2020 and July 2020

From Scoot to SIA (Both are existing SIA destinations):

  • Bengaluru and Chennai in India, in May 2019 and May 2020

From Scoot to SilkAir (Both are existing SilkAir destinations):

  • Shenzhen in China, from June 2019
  • Kochi in India, from October 2019

In addition, SilkAir will be converting its Mandalay route to a seasonal service. Existing services will end in March 2019 and will resume in November 2019, continuing until January 2020. Scoot will meanwhile be suspending services to Honolulu with effect from June 2019 as a result of weak demand.

Dates are indicative as a result of required regulatory approvals. Customers with existing bookings will be provided the option to switch to the new Scoot, SIA or SilkAir flights where possible, or be provided refunds.

“We are now at the half-way mark in our three-year Transformation Program, and this announcement represents another significant development. The route review will strengthen the SIA Group for the long term, with the right vehicles in our portfolio of airlines deployed to the right markets,” said SIA CEO, Mr Goh Choon Phong.

SIA announced in May that its regional wing SilkAir is to undergo a significant investment programme to upgrade its cabin products ahead of its eventual merger into SIA. The programme will see SilkAir’s cabins fitted with new lie-flat seats in Business Class, and the installation of seat-back in-flight entertainment systems in both Business Class and Economy Class.

The investments will ensure closer product and service consistency across the SIA Group’s full-service network. Low-cost subsidiary Scoot’s fleet will meanwhile be expanded with the transfer of 14 Boeing 737-800s from SilkAir, while SilkAir will continue growing its operations in the years ahead as it takes delivery of new Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft.

(1) Existing Scoot destination.

Top Copyright Photo (all others by the airlines): SilkAir Boeing 737-8 MAX 8 9V-MBE (msn 44242) SIN (Pascal Simon). Image: 944508.

SilkAir aircraft slide show:



Singapore Airlines to fly nonstop to Seattle/Tacoma

Singapore Airlines Airbus A350-941 9V-SMS (msn 158) SIN (Michael B. Ing). Image: 944221.

Seattle will become the fifth US city in Singapore Airlines’ route network – and the fourth to be served nonstop from Singapore – when new flights are introduced next year.

The nonstop Singapore-Seattle/Tacoma flights are due to be launched on September 3, 2019 and will initially be operated three times per week before increasing to four times per week in October 2019.

Airbus A350-900 aircraft will be used on the route, fitted with 42 Business Class, 24 Premium Economy Class and 187 Economy Class seats.

Subject to regulatory approvals, flight SQ28 will initially depart Singapore at 0925 hrs every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday and arrive in Seattle/Tacoma at 0905 hrs on the same day (all times local). The return sector, operated as SQ27, will depart Seattle/Tacoma at 1040 hrs every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday and arrive in Singapore the following day at 1730 hrs. From October 2019, flight SQ28 and flight SQ27 will operate every Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday.

The new Seattle flights will complement Singapore Airlines’ existing services to the US cities of Houston, Los Angeles, New York (both JFK and Newark airports) and San Francisco. Singapore Airlines recently  introduced daily nonstop flights between Singapore and Newark and from tomorrow will fly nonstop between Singapore and Los Angeles using Airbus A350-900ULR (ultra-long-range) aircraft. Existing nonstop services to San Francisco will also be increased from seven to 10 flights per week with effect from November 28, 2018.

Singapore Airlines will operate 53 flights per week to the US by December 2018, including 27 nonstop Singapore-US services. With the introduction of the new Seattle flights next year, total US frequency will increase to 57 flights per week.

Top Copyright Photo (all others by the airline): Singapore Airlines Airbus A350-941 9V-SMS (msn 158) SIN (Michael B. Ing). Image: 944221.

Singapore aircraft slide show:


The world’s longest nonstop flight lands in Newark

From Singapore Airlines:

Story by Claire Knox

The longest commercial flight on the planet set off from Changi International Airport Terminal 3 last night at 11:37pm, and arrived at New Jersey’s Newark Liberty International Airport a day later at 5:29am (US Eastern time).

Excited passengers boarded the sleek, brand-new, two-class Airbus A350-900ULR (ultra-long-range) aircraft at around 11pm before settling into SQ22’s 67 business suites and 94 premium economy seats. As they headed down the aerobridge, airline staff handed out memorabilia that included a signed flight certificate from Captain SL Leong.

A warm welcome onboard

The marathon 19-hour, 16,700km route will initially be served three times a week, departing Singapore on Monday, Thursday and Saturday, with daily operations commencing on 18 October. The airline has an additional seven A350-900ULRs on order and from 2 November will fly non-stop to Los Angeles.

The two flights are just the latest services that signify the airline’s stronger presence in the US: in October 2016 SIA commenced non-stop flights between Singapore and San Francisco and by the end of this year will be operating 27 non-stop services a week from Singapore to the US.

Campbell Wilson of Singapore Airlines speaks at the inaugural flight of SQ22
Senior vice-president for sales and marketing Campbell Wilson

“These new flights will also provide convenient connections beyond Changi Airport, helping to boost connectivity to and through the Singapore hub,” the airline’s senior vice-president for sales and marketing, Campbell Wilson said at a pre-flight reception inside the gatehold room.

“Flying on Singapore Airlines is not about one single service or feature – it is a holistic experience comprising the best seats, great food, plenty of entertainment, the opportunity for good rest and, of course, unparalleled service,” he told SilverKrisas he boarded the flight, adding that he was looking forward to relaxing with several “nice meals and a few good sleeps” before clearing through emails and being ready to hit the ground in New York.

SQ22 inaugural plane
The plane features higher ceilings, larger windows and an extra wide body

To fight any jet lag, the A350-900ULR will offer passengers a more comfortable travelling experience with features such as higher ceilings, larger windows, an extra wide body and lighting designed to reduce jetlag. Its carbon composite airframe also allows for improved air quality due to optimised cabin altitude and humidity levels.

The airline has also engaged wellness brand Canyon Ranch to design additional meals as well as exercise and stretching videos specifically tailored to the flight. Business class suites benefit from a new mattress topper and a choice of hard or soft pillows, while premium economy seats have also been updated with calf rests. The IFE now has 1,200 hours of movies, television and audio to choose from.

Passengers – many of them plane enthusiasts who had flown in from around the globe just to take this flight – arrived at the gate earlier for the reception, clinking champagne flutes and enjoying a colourful performance by cabin crew crooners, including the Frank Sinatra classic New York, New York and Etta James’ smooth-as-velvet At Last.

Guests enjoyed performances from some very talented cabin crew
Guests enjoyed performances from some very talented cabin crew

CNN international anchor and self-confessed “avgeek” Richard Quest was also on board the flight, live-blogging the entire journey. As an experienced long-haul flyer – in 2005 Quest was aboard a 22-hour Boeing demonstration flight that entered the Guinness Book of Records – he had a few words of wisdom for his fellow passengers.

“The key is all in how you plan a flight of this duration, otherwise you’ll sit there bored. You need to maximise the time that is relevant to where you are going – set the clock to where you are going and sleep at all the right times,” he advised.

SQ22_Inaugural_Richard Quest
CNN international anchor Richard Quest was onboard the inaugural flight

Quest himself didn’t get much sleep though, tweeting and filing updates to his live CNN story for most of the 19 hours.

“There has always been a level of, and dedication to, quality that is very unique to Singapore Airlines,” he told SilverKris. “But in the last five years I’ve seen that improve even more. There is now an even greater degree of flexibility, and that’s huge. I am most impressed not by the frills but by the perfectionist nature [of the airline].”

Singapore Airlines kebaya
Singapore Airlines flight attendants in their iconic kebaya uniforms

Vippin Bagga from New Delhi decided to take a detour to a business meeting in Toronto in order to be on the inaugural SQ22. “I could have easily have flown from India to Toronto, but I chose a longer path so that I could experience all of this,” he said.

Cherag Dubash flew in from his home base of Dubai just to be on board SQ22. “I’m an ‘avgeek’ and have an Instagram [dedicated to aviation]. This will be the longest flight I’ve taken, but I’ve got my routine planned – I’ll first set up my GoPro and then settle into movies and surfing the net,” he said.

The “First to Fly” group were also on the inaugural A380 flight, 11 years ago

Dr Chong Jeng How from Singapore is from a group called “First to Fly”. He was travelling on SQ22 with eight other members of the group, who met during another of SIA’s world firsts 11 years ago – its first commercial flight of the double-decker Airbus A380 – and discovered a common interest in aviation. “This flight is a friendship thing for us – it’s a time to bond with each other,” he said.

And while connecting to the flight’s WiFi was priority for many passengers, Tilo Kruger from Ireland was doing just the opposite. “For me, a flight of this length is a great opportunity to escape and disconnect,” he said. “That’s what I love about flying.”

All photos by Singapore Airlines.

First Ultra Long Range Airbus A350-900 delivered to Singapore Airlines

First Ultra Long Range (ULR), delivered on September 22, 2018

Airbus delivered the first A350-941 Ultra Long Range (ULR) (9V-SGA) aircraft to launch customer Singapore Airlines (SIA) on September 22, 2018. The aircraft has departed Toulouse for Singapore.

The latest variant of the best-selling A350 XWB is capable of flying further in commercial service than any other aircraft, with a range of up to 9,700 nautical miles, or over 20 hours nonstop.

Altogether, SIA has ordered seven A350-900 ULR aircraft, configured in a two-class layout, with 67 Business Class seats and 94 Premium Economy Class seats.

SIA will begin operating the A350-900 ULR on October 11, 2018, when it will launch nonstop services between Singapore and Newark. With an average flying time of 18 hours and 45 minutes, these will be the world’s longest commercial flights. Following New York, the aircraft will enter service with SIA on two more non-stop transpacific routes, to Los Angeles and San Francisco.

The A350-900 ULR is a development of the A350-900. The main change over the standard aircraft is a modified fuel system, enabling the fuel carrying capacity to be increased by 24,000 litres to 165,000 litres. This extends the range of the aircraft without the need for additional fuel tanks. In addition, the aircraft features a number of aerodynamic enhancements, including extended winglets, which are now being applied to all in-production A350-900 aircraft.

The A350 XWB is the newest and most modern widebody aircraft family, incorporating  the latest aerodynamic design, carbon fibre fuselage and wings, plus new fuel-efficient Rolls-Royce engines. Together, these latest technologies translate into unrivalled levels of operational efficiency, with a 25 per cent reduction in fuel consumption and emissions, and significantly lower maintenance costs.

The A350 XWB features the Airspace by Airbus cabin, which is designed to enhance comfort and well-being on long flights. The aircraft has the quietest cabin of any twin aisle widebody and features the latest air conditioning, temperature management and mood lighting systems, with an optimised cabin altitude and higher humidity levels. The aircraft also features the latest in-flight entertainment and WiFi systems, with full connectivity throughout.

As at the end of August 2018, Airbus had recorded a total of 890 firm orders for the A350 XWB from 46 customers worldwide, already making it one of the most successful widebody aircraft ever. Almost 200 A350 XWB aircraft have already been delivered and are in service with 21 airlines, flying primarily on long range services.

Singapore Airlines is one of the largest customers for the A350 XWB Family, having ordered a total of 67 A350-900s, including the seven Ultra Long Range models. Including today’s delivery, the airline’s A350 XWB fleet now stands at 22 aircraft.

Singapore Airlines issued this statement:

Singapore Airlines (SIA) on September 22 took delivery of the world’s first Airbus A350-900 ULR (ultra long range) aircraft from Airbus. It is the first of seven A350-900 ULRs on firm order and will enter service on October 11, 2018 – operating the world’s longest commercial flight between Singapore and Newark Liberty International Airport.

SIA is the launch customer for the new A350-900 ULR, which is capable of flying up to 9,700 nautical miles (nm), or over 20 hours nonstop. The flight to Newark will cover a distance of approximately 9,000 nm (16,700 km), with traveling time of up to 18 hours 45 minutes. The aircraft is configured in a two-class layout, with 67 Business Class seats and 94 Premium Economy Class seats.

The A350-900ULR is designed for a more comfortable travelling experience with features such as higher ceilings, larger windows, an extra wide body, quieter cabins and lighting designed to reduce jetlag. Its carbon composite airframe also allows for improved air quality due to a more optimised cabin altitude and humidity levels.

The first two A350-900 ULRs will be used for the launch of Singapore-Newark services while subsequent aircraft will be used for Singapore-Los Angeles services commencing on November 2, 2018, as well as to increase frequency on the existing Singapore-San Francisco route. By the end of 2018, SIA will link Singapore and the United States with 27 weekly nonstop flights.

With the delivery of the first A350-900 ULR, Singapore Airlines now has 22 A350-900 aircraft in its fleet, with 45 more on order including the six additional ULR variants.

Singapore Airlines currently operates 40 flights per week to the US cities of Houston, Newark, Los Angeles and San Francisco. With the new ULR flights, total US flight frequency will increase to 53 per week by December.

As previously announced, Singapore Airlines (SIA) and Canyon Ranch, the world’s premiere integrative wellness brand, have forged a partnership to re-invent ultra-long-haul travel with a focus on wellness cuisines, rest and relaxation, and general well-being on the world’s longest flights.

The Canyon Ranch team of experts from integrative medicine, exercise, nutrition and other disciplines – collectively known as Canyon Ranch Wellness Architects™, including the 17th U.S. Surgeon General – has developed science-based strategies for improved sleep, exercise and stretching, as well as new, nutrition-focused menus, applied specifically to SIA’s 18 hour 45 minutes non-stop service launching on October 11, 2018 between Singapore and New York (Newark), the world’s longest commercial flight. The program will also extend to Singapore-US nonstop services to Los Angeles and San Francisco.

“SIA is firmly committed to continually elevating our customers’ experience to be the number one in the industry. Our new partnership with Canyon Ranch builds on that commitment, as well as our strong legacy of service, tapping into their deep expertise and science-based recommendations and strategies to deliver an even more comfortable journey for our customers,” said Singapore Airlines Acting Senior Vice President Customer Experience, Mr Yeoh Phee Teik.

The partnership focuses on the following components:

  •  Wellness Cuisines – developed by Canyon Ranch chefs and nutritionists focused on nutrition and hydration (taking into consideration longer flight duration with less body movement), combined with bold flavours and textures. These wellness cuisines are offered in addition to SIA’s own meal selections and creations by its International Culinary Panel chefs. (Please refer to Annex A for a sample of the wellness menu).
  • Rest and Relaxation – which includes sleep strategies designed to help customers in all cabin classes improve the duration and quality of rest, as well as specific light settings in providing better cabin ambience for rest and relaxation.
  • Guided Stretching Exercises – led by Canyon Ranch exercise physiologists, accessible via personal seatback entertainment systems to promote relaxation.

“As a trailblazer in integrative wellness for four decades, collaborating with the world’s most awarded airline that has ushered customers globally for more than 70 years, our affiliation is testimony to heritage brands that continue to innovate. We are fortunate to provide transformative wellness to guests on land, at sea and now – in the air, with a partner that is equally committed to their guests’ experience as we are,” said CEO of Canyon Ranch, Ms. Susan E. Docherty.

SIA will be the first airline in the world to operate the A350-900 ULR, with seven on firm order with Airbus. This ultra-long-range aircraft will be configured in a two-class layout, with 67 Business Class seats and 94 Premium Economy Class seats. SIA’s existing A350-900s feature a three-class layout with 42 Business Class, 24 Premium Economy Class and 187 Economy Class seats.

Photos: Airbus and Singapore Airlines.