United To Restart Singapore Flights

The Chicago-based carrier is bringing back flights to Singapore as it embarks on the rebuild of its Asia-Pacific network.

One of the farthest routes in United Airlines’ network will return in January with the restart of flights between San Francisco (SFO) and Singapore Changi (SIN).

The service will resume on Jan. 5, operating four times per week using Boeing 787-9 aircraft. The nonstop route has been suspended since the onset of the COVID-19 crisis in March 2020.

The restart comes as Singapore continues to cautiously reopen its borders. The island’s Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) strategy started in September, enabling fully vaccinated travelers from 16 countries including the US to enter without the need for quarantine.

Earlier this week, the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore extended the program to five more countries: Indonesia, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and India.

Prior to the pandemic, United operated daily SFO-SIN flights using 787-9s, providing 3,528 two-way weekly seats. At 13,575 km (8,435 mi.), the route was the second longest in the airline’s network behind Houston (IAH)-Sydney (SYD) at 13,829 km (8,593 mi.).

Fellow Star Alliance member Singapore Airlines (SIA) also serves the SFO-SIN route, currently offering daily Airbus A350-900 flights and 2,254 seats per week.

In October, the two carriers signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU), agreeing to work on further deepening the connectivity between Singapore and the US. Under the partnership, the airlines will aim to progressively codeshare on each other’s services between the countries, possibly extending to SIA’s low-cost subsidiary Scoot.

OAG Schedules Analyser data shows that United on the week ending Nov. 15 is serving 19 destinations in the Asia-Pacific region, compared with 28 at this time two years ago.

However, the carrier hopes to restart a number of routes in 2022, including Newark (EWR)-Hong Kong (HKG), San Francisco-Melbourne (MEL) and Houston-Sydney.

Photo credit: joepriesaviation.net