tip off
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Singapore Airlines goes four times daily both Sydney and Melbourne

Singapore Airlines is responding to Qantas downgrading services to Singapore with a fourth daily flight from Melbourne

Singapore Airlines and Qantas A380s at the Toulouse delivery line:Wikipedia Commons

If you were wondering what Singapore Airlines (and therefore partner Virgin Australia)  might offer to Singapore now that Qantas is ending its A380s to Changi Airport on 31 March, the answer is to give Melbourne a fourth daily frequency to match its Sydney timetable from 1 July.

This means that by mid year, Sydney and Melbourne will have double daily Singapore Airlines A380s, as now, with the other services flown by Boeing 777-300s/-300ERs and Airbus A330-300s. These flights cover all bases when it comes connections to Europe, North Asia, SE Asia or for doing business in Singapore using flights that are business friendly with premium options that are also the subject of a renewal program starting  later next year as already announced by Singapore Airlines.

Which leaves what happens at Hong Kong unknown at this stage, other than that Singapore Airlines won’t be part of that answer, but there are rumors that Virgin Australia is contemplating a relationship with Cathay Pacific. This would have interesting consequences for Qantas FFP members, as well as harmony in the oneworld camp,  although it must be emphasised that at this stage these are just rumors.

What is known for sure is that when it comes to Singapore, the Qantas combination of its own revised schedules and where the links exist, with Emirates flights from Australia, and its business unfriendly Jetstar Asia links, is being met with a very determined competitive response that includes the A380s that Qantas has often praised for being a jet that makes passengers change their itineraries in order to use for its superior cabin amenity.

The Qantas-Emirates factor that has caused Qantas to pull the A380s out of Singapore in favour of Dubai is subject to ACCC approval. The competition and consumer body has previously indicated it was working to a 20 December deadline to indicate whether it proposes to allow, disallow or approve conditionally the Qantas-Emirates business partnership.

Qantas is expected to provide its detailed plans for revised Singapore services shortly.

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  • 1
    Posted December 18, 2012 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

    For people seeking Velocity points and a decent airline, then Virgin Atlantic’s daily service to Hong Kong is a sensible option for Sydney passengers.

  • 2
    Andy Tee
    Posted December 18, 2012 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

    SQ has been operating MEL-SIN double daily for a while now; it started on August 16, 2012. They are adding an extra 4th daily flight out of MEL from July 1, 2013 operated by the Airbus A330-300, THAT was the announcement that was made today by SQ.

    Currently both SQ217/218 & SQ227/228 flights are operated by A380′s and have been since August 16, 2012.

    THEREFORE, Singapore Airlines ALREADY operate x4 Daily A380′s to Australia, x2 Daily from Melbourne and x2 Daily from Sydney.

  • 3
    Mark Newton
    Posted December 18, 2012 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

    Perhaps Qantas should investigate the possibility of a code sharing agreement and frequent flyer peering scheme with Virgin.

    Then they could take “capital lite” to the next level by withdrawing from everything except MEL – SYD and abolishing most of their domestic fleet.

    I’m sure Qantas customers would have no problem with the standard of service and amenities Virgin could provide under such an arrangement.

    “A Modest Proposal.” :-)

    – mark

  • 4
    Ben Sandilands
    Posted December 18, 2012 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

    Thanks Andy, I’m going to edit the item. This morning I had a medical procedure which has really left me less than totally focused, which is no excuse. I should have taken the day off.

  • 5
    Allan Moyes
    Posted December 18, 2012 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

    I imagine there will be many people flying anything but QF to LHR, given the choice already existing. I certainly wouldn’t be doing a long haul to DXB but that is just my preference.

    Ben, I was amused to see earlier on this webpage, an advertisement from BA basically taunting QF with the fact that you could still fly from Australia to London via Singapore. Of course, that would only be from Sydney. The graphic with the ad seemed to suggest a departure from central Qld and a landing in Wales, however – so I’m not too sure if I’d fly them! :)

  • 6
    ltfisher
    Posted December 18, 2012 at 6:41 pm | Permalink

    So with this move by SQ what crumbs will be left for the possible Qantas-Emirates grand alliance? It really is depressing for loyal Qantas passengers and staff.

  • 7
    fractious
    Posted December 18, 2012 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

    @ Allan Moyes
    After previous SYD-LHR return treks with QF and BA, this year I flew with SQ for the first time. QF and BA can stick it.

  • 8
    Allan Moyes
    Posted December 18, 2012 at 10:37 pm | Permalink

    Thanks fractious. I’ve not done SYD-LHR without a stopover for a while now. Thanks for the tip.

  • 9
    SDMack
    Posted December 20, 2012 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

    When the 4th frequency kicks in next year, it appears SQ are pulling one of the A380s from MEL. SQ217/218 will operate with 77W equipment instead.

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