Asian carrier Singapore Airlines will launch long-haul scheduled flights with its new Airbus A350-900 fleet to Amsterdam from May 9, 2016, the carrier confirmed on the eve of the delivery of its first aircraft on March 2, 2016 at the Airbus Delivery Centre in Toulouse. The A350 will serve the airline’s daily flight to Amsterdam as SQ324, as well as its return flight SQ323.
Prior to the launch of the first long-haul services to Amsterdam, Singapore Airlines’ A350-900s will be deployed to selected destinations within Asia on a temporary basis, for crew training purposes and its updated reservations inventory shows it will enter passenger operation on the Singapore – Kuala Lumpur route, operating flights SQ118 and SQ119 until May 8, 2016 and its long-haul debut.
The latest schedule update also shows the type being used on the Singapore – Jakarta route (flights ‘SQ956/957’ and ‘SQ962/963’) from May 10, 2016 ahead of a second A350 being introduced into scheduled service from July 21, 2016, launching a brand new route between Singapore and the German city of Düsseldorf. The three times weekly service will complement the airline’s existing flights to Frankfurt and Munich, but the carrier says it is already planning to increase frequency at a later date.
The Asian carrier has configured the A350-900 in a 253-seat arrangement across three classes – 42 in Business, 24 in Premium Economy and 187 in Economy. It currently has orders for 67 A350-900s having placed an additional order for four aircraft last year. Seven of these will now be delivered with an Ultra-Long Range capability for flights of up to 19 hours.
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.
Singapore Airlines will have at least three A350s in its fleet by the middle of this 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. The A350 will form a key part of the airline’s future fleet, enabling Singapore Airlines to introduce new destinations, expanding its network and improving connectivity through the Singapore hub.