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Discussion in 'General Discussion | Travel' started by adventuress, Oct 19, 2013.
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Strong rumors suggest they'll relaunch the services as soon as there are more economic ultra-long-range ETOPS qualified twins available for the routes. That should be fairly soon, ETOPS permitting. There have been a couple of threads about range capacities pointing out that the B777-200LR has longer range, which is true. The A340-500 has 9000NM while the B777-200LR has 9380NM. However, the B777 does not have the large ETOPS required for that nonstop flight, and has not the range required if it is routed to comply with current ETOPS. Either the 200LR or more likely, the B777-8X could be the catalyst for reintroducing the services, this time with multiple classes and lots of ffreight capacity to improve operating economics. There obviously could be no announcement until the many issues are all resolved favorably. I'd bet on two years at the earliest. I have been a fan of SQ21-22.
had the pleasure of taking this flight 2 years ago, all business class, fantastic and felt well rested upon arrival..
The article, like most, miss the real story....residual values on the 340-500s have been very weak. Such a highly specialized aircraft has fewer buyers.
Without having access to their internal numbers, but having a good sense of the loads from flying this route a bunch of times over the years, I would put forward that is route was nicely profitable, with all high-margin J pax.
SQ used their leverage when placing their a350 order to get airbus to buy the -500s back at above market prices to subsidize the new acquisition.
If this route was unprofitable, SQ would have ended it shortly after the sale deal was announced, or would have reduced the frequency. Instead, they continued to run a daily service for roughly a year since they announced the 350 acquisition. Not the sign of a money-losing route.
was my first flight in business class, memorable as i took 20 min to find out how to convert the seat into a bed while trying to appear nonchalent and a seasoned biz class traveller to those sitting around me..
you're telling the most significant backstory. SQ did record a nice gain on sake of those A340-500's, something not easy to do! True, nobody wants them now.
Re an earlier post, recall SQ ran a premium economy cabin on this flight for a period of time. They pulled it to put in more j seats. Numerous times I looked to book (paid) and would find j full and room in y.
More recently, in the all j service, even booking two plus weeks out, there were often blocks of days where the flight was completely sold out. I'd wait list, and usually clear...but not always.
Any long haul route that can regularly sell 80+ non discounted j seats is unambiguously profitable.
Not to mention that the SIN-EWR route was always at quite high pricing anyway. I missed getting on several times, IIRC four times, because I booked within a week of travel. Several other times I could not change dates without being forced on to the routes with stops. The rumor at the time of the tradein deal was that SQ received much better pricing by returning the A340-500's earlier than planned because there were buyers/lessors available if the delivery was fast enough. The route with more capacity, particularly freight, and better fuel consumption should be even more profitable. I remain curious why SQ was willing to go a couple of years without both routes.
Dang looks like I will miss the last flight on the route. After having taken the inaugural flight I had hoped to be able to take the last one also.
I recall it starting at about $8k RT and going up from there, when I was looking for what the flight would have cost me for my award ticket on it. I know that the Thursday and Friday ex-EWR departures were the most popular from the flight loads I saw when going to book my ticket, there were no Fridays available at SQ's low award level. I flew on a Wednesday for my ticket EWR-SIN and the plane was only about 50% occupied.
Keep in mind while it ran full some of the time, there were a considerable number of flights where it ran at 50% loads or less. This was a specialty product in period of high demand could command 12K round trip from the U.S, but there was nearly as many days (especially in the summer/winter) where the flights were 1/2 full or less
Also remember this flight was launched pre-recession and the pricing in 2007 "started" at 9K. It went down as low as 5K round trip and the starting point finally was pushed back up to 7K. I think SQ had visions of 9K + fares on every flight, but the demand patterns are still to "hit or miss" to achieve that consistently.
The flight has a private jet feel to it.
Do the math..The plane has a 100 Seats. If they sell out the entire flight at an "average" round trip fare of say 8K = $800,000...$400,000 for each flight segment.
A G5 from New York to Singapore would be at least 200K, and without the larger crews and added expense that an airline has (distribution, baggage, airport fees, reservations etc) ....If they sell 75 seats out of 100, they were probably losing.
Plus some customers connected onward at either end. That erodes the yields, too. There used to be some spectacular MNL-YTO fares which allowed routing on the SIN-EWR flight for <$3000 o/w IIRC.
Also, it is important to remember that there will still be a "world's longest flight." It will just be a different route.
"world's longest flight" has come a long way from Kitty Hawk...
I was frightened to see people connecting at SIN on my flight. 18 hour flight and it still doesn't quite get you to where you want to go?
Indeed...it is a big world out there.
That, and it was only 18 hours on good days. It was once 22 hours when we had headwinds, landing with fairly low fuel reserves I'm sure. luckily they had almost endless diversion options US-bound, if need be. I connected elsewhere on ever SQ21-22 I ever took. Due to all teh space and comfort I was never overly exhausted when doing so. I'd guess a good many people connected, and fare promotions, as WA mentioned, explain a bit of that. Singapore-bound the Singapore Stopover deals made many people pass a day or so shopping before proceeding onwards. I have no idea what percentage of people take those offers, but the destination signage and general recognition suggest it is high. I've been taking them since the 1970's and some of my acquaintances/friends have been doing it too for all those years. The long flights do benefit from a break before proceeding onwards.
I can't say much because I did have to come down from BOS for my flight, so effectively I connected too. But I didn't fly, I don't trust UA before big international trips into delay prone airports like EWR when I have a connecting flight .
The next operator of these five Singapore A345s is Aerolineas Argentinas. It is said AR will replace four A342 and one non X A343 with these SQ aircraft. Their visits to NYC in the future will move across the Hudson and East River to JFK and their longest route in the future will be around 3600 km shorter than SIN-EWR.