Singapore Airlines is confirming the introduction of its newest aircraft, the Airbus A350-900ULR, the ultra-long-range version of the A350 from 2018. The aircraft will be deployed on routes from Singapore to the United States, offering again non-stop flights. It is forecast to serve Los Angeles, New York, and potentially San Francisco. The airline is also looking at introducing the aircraft to a fourth North American destination but so far did not unveil any name.
SIA will be the launching carrier of the brand-new aircraft. The airline ordered last year seven aircraft. The aircraft can cover non-stop distances of up to 8,700 nautical miles, the equivalent of 16,112 km. This could translate into non-stop flights up to 19 hours.
According to the Australian Business Traveller, the Singaporean carrier is mulling out the option of offering a two-class configuration. Previously, SIA used to fly the Airbus A340 LR to the USA offering a single business class configuration. SIA management is now convinced that non-stop routes to the USA is unlocking potential for clients who would like to fly also in an economy class configuration. No definitive decision has been taken so far but it could be possible that the future aircraft might then be equipped either with a Premium Economy Class and a Business Class or even a First Class/Business Class configuration.
So far, the management indicated to the Australian Business Traveller that it would probably configure the aircraft in a 170-seater version compared to 250 seats in SIA other Airbus A350 versions and 300 seats for other airlines. The new Airbus A350 offering three class of services entered into service last June, serving routes to Amsterdam and Düsseldorf. Meanwhile, the A350 will be introduced on Singapore-San Francisco from this coming winter schedule at the end of the month.
SIA also flew with the A350-9 between Singapore and Melbourne but this was only on a temporary basis. However, the carrier is now looking at flying to Australia year-round with the brand new flagship aircraft but the management did not name any destination.
In another development, Thai Airways International, which also looked at flying its brand new Airbus A350-9 to Australia was not able to start its service as it did not receive the authorization of deploying the aircraft from Australian authorities. It now plans to introduce the aircraft on some of its European routes, including trunk routes such as Frankfurt, London and Paris. The airline is due to take this month its second Airbus A350.