Singapore Airlines will reinstate its service to Brussels from October 2020 after a suspension of over 15 years. The flight is possible thanks to the integration of Airbus A350 latest version into the carrier’s fleet.
In 2003/2004, Singapore Airlines like Cathay Pacific had to face a severe collapse in tourism due to the outbreak of avian influenza (SARS). It took at least two years for some markets to recover but in-between, Singapore Airlines had decided to close down half a dozen routes out of Changi, including Brussels, Madrid and Vienna in Europe or Las Vegas and Seattle in the United States.
But expansion times are back with Singapore Airlines just announcing this week to return to Brussels next year.
The first flight is scheduled for October 25 2020, with four flights per week. Subject to regulatory approval, SQ303 will depart Brussels on Mondays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 11:20 am (local time) with an early morning landing, offering the possibility of connections to the rest of Asia and Australia. Flight SQ304 will depart Singapore on Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays at 23:55 (local time).
The return of the Singaporean national carrier to Brussels is part of a major shift in the airline’s strategy which wants again to have a stronger foodhold in Europe. This strategy is also sustained by an increasing demand for intercontinental services from “secondary” cities and the presence in the market of new aircraft which are more adequate to fill up gaps in networks thanks to its lower fuel consumption. The two aircraft wgich are today redefining airlines’ strategies are the Boeing B787-9 and above all, the Airbus A350-900 and 1000. The brand new European aircraft is revolutionary with its low fuel consumption and exceptional confort on board. It is no wonder that SIA will use the Airbus A350 for its Brussels route.
In recent years, Brussels has indeed experienced a remarkable comeback of Asian airlines. Singapore Airlines will be the sixth airline to offer direct flights to Asia, alongside All Nippon Airways to Tokyo, Brussels Airlines to Mumbai, Cathay Pacific to Hong Kong, Hainan Airlines to Beijing and Shenzhen and Thai Airways International to Bangkok. The latter is already among the top 10 busiest intercontinental routes from Brussels airport with over 142,000 passengers recorded in 2018, a jump of 13.5% over 2017.