Singapore Airlines: N. American Operations Nearly Restored

Singapore Airlines on March 28 will relaunch daily nonstop service from Newark Liberty International Airport to Singapore’s Changi Airport and resume its daily flight from New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport with a stop in Frankfurt, the company told BTN. The resumption of flights will bring the airline’s North American operations to 90 percent restored from pre-pandemic levels.

Further, including its current daily nonstop service between JFK and Changi, the carrier for the first time will operate three daily flights to Singapore from the New York area, according to the company.

“New York is a very important market for us,” Singapore Airlines regional VP of the Americas Joey Seow said. “We’re adding more frequency than ever before. It’s a testament to our commitment to the business market.”

With the launch of the New York metropolitan service, the carrier will be close to its pre-Covid schedule for the North American region, Seow added. “In June, we will be ahead of pre-Covid frequency,” he said. “We are not a carrier that caters just to leisure traffic. We have many nonstop flights to the United States and Singapore, and that caters to the needs of business travelers who prefer nonstop service.”

Meanwhile, the government of Singapore announced March 24 that it would allow all travelers fully vaccinated against Covid-19 from any country or region to enter Singapore quarantine-free beginning April 1.

Such travelers must take a pre-departure Covid test within two days of departure and obtain a negative test result. The country’s Vaccinated Travel Lanes will be retired, and travelers no longer will be required to apply for a Vaccinated Travel Pass or Air Travel Pass for entry into Singapore.

“The opening of borders has increased momentum,” Seow said, noting especially the opening of the US to European travelers last November and some Asian destinations. “Since then, the momentum has globally accelerated. Bookings are very encouraging when border restrictions are lifted.”

By June 2, Singapore will increase service to Changi from San Francisco to 14 flights weekly, from Los Angeles to 17 flights weekly and from Houston to four flights weekly. In addition, it will change its Seattle-Vancouver-Singapore route to nonstop service between Singapore and Seattle three times weekly, and nonstop service between Singapore and Vancouver to three times weekly. The changes will bring operations to 108 percent of its pre-pandemic frequency for North American routes, according to the company.

Prior to Covid-19, Seow said the carrier had a 50-50 split between business and leisure. That breakdown now leans more toward leisure, in part because “not everyone is back in the office, and not all companies have allowed staff to travel for business yet,” he said. Still, Seow said companies have told the carrier that in the second half of 2022, those restrictions will be lifted as people come back to the office.

New Premium Classes for the US

The resumed JFK-Frankfurt-Singapore flight now will be operated on an Airbus A380 aircraft, which will introduce the carrier’s revamped Suites and Business Class cabins to the United States. The A380 will be configured with six Suites, 78 Business Class seats, 44 Premium Economy Class seats and 343 Economy Class seats, according to the carrier. The two nonstop flights from New York will use A350-900 aircraft, configured with all premium seats: 67 Business Class seats and 94 Premium Economy Class seats.

The A380 Suites feature a bed and leather swivel reclinable chair and can be booked as a double suite if two people are traveling together. There’s a sliding door for privacy and a 32-inch HD touchscreen monitor and entertainment system paired with Bang & Olufsen noise-canceling headphones. Wi-Fi is included. The aircraft’s Business Class includes leather seats that recline into flat beds and center seats with a movable divider that can be raised for privacy. They also have a reading light, an 18-inch HD touchscreen monitors and noise-canceling headphones.

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