Singapore Airlines improves premium product and adds capacity in Perth market

Singapore Airlines (SIA) is adding capacity and improving its premium product in the Perth market in May-2018 with the introduction of the 787-10 on one of its four daily Perth flights. The 787-10 will likely be introduced on other Perth flights over the next several months, resulting in further capacity increases and a more consistent product.


Highlights

  • Singapore Airlines has selected Perth as its first Australia route – and second route overall – to be served with its new fleet of 787-10s
  • Singapore Airlines will initially operate the 787-10 on one of its four daily Perth flights but will likely introduce the 787-10 on more Perth flights over the next several months
  • Introducing the 787-10 results in a product improvement as the aircraft has lie flat seats with all aisle access
  • Upgrading one flight to the 787-10 results in a 5% increase in capacity and upgrading all four flights would drive a more than 20% increase for the Perth market

Singapore Airlines (SIA) is adding capacity and improving its premium product in the Perth market in May-2018 with the introduction of the 787-10 on one of its four daily Perth flights. The 787-10 will likely be introduced on other Perth flights over the next several months, resulting in further capacity increases and a more consistent product.

Singapore Airlines announced on 22-Feb-2018 that Perth has been selected as its first Australia route – and second permanent route overall – for its new fleet of 787-10s. The first SIA 787-10 flight to Perth will operate on 9-May-2018, marking the first 787-10 flight to Australia by any airline as SIA is the 787-10 launch customer.

As Blue Swan previously highlighted, SIA plans to take delivery of its first of 49 787-10s in late Mar-2018. The aircraft will temporarily be used on short flights from Singapore to Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur for crew training purposes before being placed on Singapore-Osaka, the first permanent route for the 787-10 fleet.

See related report: Singapore Airlines to introduce new regional business class product in May

Singapore-Perth will be the second permanent route with the 787-10 and will be introduced once SIA has received a second aircraft. Singapore-Osaka is served with one daily flight – and therefore the entire route can be quickly upgraded from the A330-300 to 787-10.

Singapore Airlines currently operates four daily flights to Perth with a mix of 266-seat 777-200s, 271-seat 777-200ERs and 285-seat A330-300s. The current Perth-Singapore schedule includes two A330-300 flights, one 777-200 flight and one 777-200ER flight. Only the 777-200ER offers a lie flat product in business.

SIA will initially replace one of the two A330-300 flights with 787-10s, from 9-May-2018. The first 787-10 flight in the Australian market is SQ216, which departs Perth at 110am and lands in Singapore at 625am. From Singapore, this flight is SQ215, departing 640pm and landing in Perth at 1155pm.

SIA so far has only started selling one Perth flight but is expected to gradually introduce the 787-10 on more flights. SIA plans to phase out all its 777-200, 777-200ERs and A330-300 fleets over the next few years as 787-10s and regional A350-900s are delivered.

Upgrading the 110am departure from Perth first is significant as this flight operates overnight. SIA’s other departures from Perth are 640am, 215pm and 530pm. Only the 215pm departure from Perth now has a lie flat business class seat.

In addition to 640pm, the departures from Singapore are currently at 1210am, 740am and 1030am. Only the 740am departure currently has a lie flat seat in business.

It would be sensible to next upgrade the 1210am departure from Singapore, which turns into the 640am departure from Perth, given this operates overnight from Singapore. However, offering lie-flat on all flights is important given the connections to long haul flights.

For example, the 530pm departure from Perth is the flight that connects most of SIA’s European flights. This flight now operates with the 777-200, which has 38 angled flat seats in business with a less than ideal 2x2x2 configuration.

SIA’s A330-300 has the same business class seat as the 777-200, offering 30 angled lie flat seats in 2x2x2 configuration. The 777-200ER has been retrofitted with 26 lie flat business class seats in 1x2x1 configuration.

The 787-10 will feature 36 lie flat business class seats in 1x2x1 configuration. SIA’s new fleet of 787-10s will have 301 economy seats compared to 255 on the A330-300, 228 on the 777-200 and 245 on the 777-200ER.

Replacing the A330 with the 787-10 will therefore result in a 20% increase in business class capacity on SQ215/SQ2016 and an 18% increase in economy capacity. SIA’s total capacity in Perth will increase by nearly 5% as a result of upgrading this single flight.

SIA’s capacity to Perth could increase over the next year or two by 22% if the airline elects to use the 787-10 on all four flights. SIA is already the largest foreign airline in Perth and accounts for 14% of total international seat capacity.

Adding capacity to Perth is significant as SIA has not added capacity to Perth since 2012, when it introduced the fourth daily flight. SIA has added capacity to Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney over the last few years while its capacity to Perth has been flat.