Singapore Airlines will introduce flights to a third German market from next summer as it takes advantage of the arrival of its new Airbus A350-900 airliners to introduce a new non-stop link between its Changi Airport hub and Düsseldorf. The three times weekly service will launch from July 21, 2016 and will complement the airline’s existing flights to Frankfurt and Munich.
Subject to regulatory approval, the new ‘SQ338’ will depart Singapore on Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays at 23:30 (local time), with the return sector, operated as flight ‘SQ337’, departing Düsseldorf on Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays at 11:30 (local time). Although launching with a three times weekly schedule, the carrier says it intends to increase frequency at a later date.
“Flights to Düsseldorf will complement our existing services to Europe, and be served by all-new Airbus A350-900s fitted with Singapore Airlines’ latest cabin products. With this addition, Singapore Airlines will serve the three largest airports in Germany, including Frankfurt and Munich,” said Ms Lee Wen Fen, Senior Vice President Marketing Planning, Singapore Airlines.
Düsseldorf is the capital of the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia, the most populous of the 16 federal states in Germany and bordering Belgium and the Netherlands. In addition to being an international business, manufacturing and financial centre, it is also a leading fashion centre that is well known for trade fairs.
With the new flights, Singapore Airlines will this summer serve Germany with 38 weekly services thanks to the fifth freedom rights it has for its existing flights into the country. This includes twice-daily flights between Singapore and Frankfurt, daily flights between Frankfurt and New York, daily flights between Singapore and Munich, and daily flights between Munich and Manchester.
The Star Alliance member will be the fourth major Asian carrier to introduce flights to Düsseldorf this decade, following in the footsteps of some of its alliance partners. With links to Asia previously limited to the leisure offering of charter operator LTU and more recently airberlin and one-stop connection options from Emirates Airline, Etihad Airways, Lufthansa and Turkish Airlines, Air China entered the market with a direct link from Beijing in March 2011 followed by All Nippon Airways from Tokyo in March 2014 and then Cathay Pacific from Hong Kong from September this year.
The Asian carrier will take delivery of its first A350-900 in January 2016 and will configure the aircraft in a 253-seat arrangement across three classes – 42 in Business, 24 in Premium Economy and 187 in Economy. It will initially use the type on flights to select Jakarta and Kuala Lumpur flights on a temporary basis, for crew training purposes before making its scheduled debut on the Singapore – Amsterdam route by April 2016.
Singapore Airlines will have at least three A350s in its fleet by the time it launches long-haul scheduled operations with the type in the second quarter of next year and is due to have a fleet of eleven in operation before the end of the year, meaning additional route deployment will be revealed in the coming months, including possible additional new destinations.
Under an amendment to the carrier’s existing order for 63 A350-900s, seven of the aircraft will now be delivered with an Ultra-Long Range capability for flights of up to 19 hours. In addition, the carrier recently placed an additional order for four A350-900s, taking its total firm orders for the A350 XWB Family to 67.
The airline is the launch customer for the new A350-900ULR which will enable it to relaunch premium non-stop flights from Singapore Changi International Airport to the United States. The airline previously offered flights to both Newark and Los Angeles using the A340-500 but suspended both routes due to retirement of the less-efficient four-engined airliner from its fleet.