After becoming the first airline to bring the world’s largest commercial aircraft A380 to India, Singapore Airlines is set to deploy its latest Airbus A350 on its India network. Sharing their plans, David Lim, General Manager, India, Singapore Airlines, said, “The two-engine A350 is the most modern aircraft currently in operation and equipped to fly to long-haul destinations. In the initial phase, we have deployed the aircraft to our Europe and Australia routes. We have plans to bring A350 to India this year.” The aircraft offers 42 Business Class seats, 24 Premium Economy and 187 Economy Class seats. “We will bring the latest product onboard A350 to India. The aircraft has a seat configuration of 1-2-1 in Business Class, with ample leg space and each seat offering access to the aisle.”
Singapore Airlines has placed an order for 67 A350, and till December 31, 2016 has taken delivery of 10 aircraft. “Out of the 67 on order, 7 are the ultra-long range aircraft. Singapore Airlines will be the first airline to take delivery of these 7 aircraft starting 2018. These aircraft will be used to fly non-stop trans-Atlantic flights to the USA cities namely New York and Los Angeles from 2018. Currently, we operate the A350 to San Francisco, twice a day, one of them is a non-stop service, and other flies via Hong Kong,” Lim said. Also, from July 2017, its A380 to India will operated with the latest First Class, Business Class and Premium Economy.
Currently, Singapore Airlines connects to six cities in India namely Mumbai (17 weekly flights), Delhi (two daily flights), Bengaluru (12 weekly flights), Chennai (10 times a week), Ahmedabad (3 weekly flights) and Kolkata (daily). “With Ahmedabad showing immense potential, we will increase scheduled frequency to four times a week from April 2017. We enjoy a system wide average load factor of 80% on our global routes,” said Lim.
Currently, India is among the top 5 source markets for Singapore Airlines. The airline enjoys good synergies with Star Alliance partner, Air India and code-shares with India’s national carrier on select international routes. “We may look at the possibility of entering into a code-share agreement with Vistara on the domestic front.”
Singapore Airlines started inducting A380 to its fleet in 2007 and has been receiving good response for its A380 aircraft. The airline started operating A380 to India in May 2014 to Mumbai and Delhi. This year, Singapore Airlines will be celebrating 70 year of operations. The airline is progressively retrofitting its fleet with Premium Economy on all aircraft.