Why Singapore Airlines is boosting New York JFK, LAX, San Francisco flights to daily

Dec 18, 2020

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Singapore Airlines is bringing back daily service to its three largest U.S. gateways, an early sign that international travel could be poised for a rebound.

The airline’s Singapore service will become daily from New York-JFK, Los Angeles (LAX) and San Francisco (SFO) starting Jan. 18, 2021. The flag carrier of Singapore describes the increase as its “most significant U.S. schedule expansion” since the outset of the pandemic.

Singapore will also deploy the Airbus A350-900ULR on both the New York and San Francisco routes when the airline moves from its current schedule of several flights per week to daily service.

Want more airline-specific news? Sign up for TPG’s free new biweekly Aviation newsletter!

Singapore’s ultra-long-range variant of the A350 sports 67 business-class seats and 94 premium economy recliners, while the standard Airbus A350-900 flying to LAX is outfitted in a three-cabin configuration with 42 biz seats, 24 premium economy recliners and 187 standard coach seats.

Going forward, that leaves LAX as the only Singapore Airlines destination in the U.S. to currently feature a coach cabin.

Joey Seow, Singapore’s regional vice president for the Americas described the news to TPG as a “significant milestone” and a “positive development” in the recovery of international travel, which has been hit especially hard by the pandemic.

Seow specifically noted that “the worldwide inoculation program underway has led to some positivity for international travel,” echoing the widely held belief that a full recovery won’t happen until there’s mass vaccination against the coronavirus.

Though the country of Singapore itself is closed to Americans, the carrier’s Changi Airport mega-hub is open for transit passengers headed to other places, like the Maldives.

Interestingly, Singapore will continue flying the world’s longest flight from New York-JFK, as opposed to its previous home of Newark (EWR). JFK is the carrier’s “home market” in the region, according to Seow, who cited the fact that it was the carrier’s first point of entry into the East Coast over 25 years ago.

Though Singapore considered splitting operations between JFK and EWR, “from a schedule and economies-of-scale perspective, it made sense to scale up JFK to daily before returning to Newark.”  However, Seow did reassure travelers that “we are not at all abandoning Newark.”

Singapore biz on the Airbus A350-900ULR (Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

Another important consideration for keeping JFK flights is the fact that “it’s a big cargo gateway compared to Newark.”

Cargo also explains why the carrier had originally restarted flying to JFK in November with the standard A350. This plane has more cargo capacity than the ULR, which meant the carrier could carry more goods between the two cities.

However, the standard A350 doesn’t have the range to make it to Singapore with a fully loaded passenger and cargo cabin. With bookings increasing, the carrier needed to bring back the ULR.

As for why LAX doesn’t also get the ULR variant, there’s “a fair bit more cargo flying through Los Angeles, so we need to keep the increased capacity” of the standard A350. Plus, offering a coach cabin from LAX allows Singapore to compete on price for bargain-hunting travelers.

In addition to carrying pharmaceuticals from JFK and produce from the West Coast, Seow also mentioned that the airline is “part of the process of distributing the vaccine throughout Southeast Asia.”

As the vaccine rolls out, Seow expects “greater confidence in economies opening up,” which should ultimately help reopen borders — and generate enough demand to warrant Singapore rebuilding its route network.

Singapore’s U.S. flight schedules beginning Jan. 18, 2021 are below:

JFK – SIN: SQ23 10:30 p.m. – 6:10 a.m. +2

SIN – JFK SQ24 2:25 a.m. – 7:30 a.m.

SFO – SIN SQ33 8:50 p.m. – 6:25 a.m. +2

SIN – SFO SQ34 6:40 p.m. – 5:20 p.m.

LAX – SIN SQ37 10:25 p.m. – 8:15 a.m. +2

SIN – LAX SQ38 8:45 p.m. – 7:55 p.m.

Featured photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Earn 90,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new card in the first three months of card membership. Offer ends 11/10/2021.

With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 Bonus Miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer expires 11/10/2021.
  • Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
  • Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
  • Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
  • Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $250 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Regular APR
15.74%-24.74% Variable
Annual Fee
$250
Balance Transfer Fee
N/A
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.