Singapore Airlines withdraws A380 from New York

Singapore Airlines has announced a flight schedule update for 2023. This is good news for Australia and bad news for the United States.

Singapore is withdrawing A380s from the US and relocating them to Australia

Singapore Airlines currently operates a single daily Airbus A380 frequency to the United States. Specifically, the airline offers this aircraft on the SQ25/26 frequency, which is the flight that operates from Singapore (SIN) to New York (JFK) via Frankfurt (FRA). This second sector is a fifth freedom flight, so this is also a fun way to fly between Germany and the United States.

Unfortunately, that will change soon. From May 15, 2023, Singapore Airlines will withdraw the A380 from the Frankfurt and New York route and replace it with a Boeing 777-300ER. As this was the only route to North America that used Singapore Airlines’ A380, it also means we will no longer see the airline’s A380 service to the continent.

Why is Singapore Airlines taking the A380 off the route? Well, the airline sees greater demand for these planes in the South Pacific instead. At the same time as the A380 is being withdrawn from the New York route, Singapore Airlines will add a second daily A380 service to Sydney (SYD) and a daily A380 service to Melbourne (MEL).

Since the pandemic began, Singapore Airlines has only resumed A380 service to New York from March 2022, so the plane will only have been around 13 months. Unfortunately, I’m not surprised to see this change. With Singapore Airlines operating multiple daily non-stop flights between New York and Singapore, there is limited demand for the service via Frankfurt. It’s also a very long mission, and a single daily return flight requires up to three A380s.

Say goodbye to the Singapore Suites on the route to New York!

What does this mean for passengers?

Just to compare the layouts of the A380 and 777:

  • The A380 has 475 seats spread across four cabins; This includes six first class suites, 82 business class seats, 44 premium economy seats and 343 economy seats
  • The 777 seats 264 in four cabins; This includes four first class seats, 48 ​​business class seats, 28 premium economy seats and 184 economy seats

As you can see the difference in capacitance is huge here, but what about the actual quality of the product?

Probably the biggest difference is in First Class. Singapore’s A380 features suites, the airline’s flagship first class product. This consists of just six seats, spread across three rows in a 1-1 configuration. This is an incredible product that is among the best in the world.

Singapore Airlines A380 suites
Singapore Airlines A380 suites

Singapore’s 777 First Class consists of just four seats spread across a single row in a 1-2-1 configuration. While this is also an absolutely beautiful product, it doesn’t have the same “wow” factor.

Singapore Airlines 777 first class

Unfortunately, we’re seeing more top-notch capacity cuts here, which doesn’t bode well for awards. Having only six seats wasn’t much at first, but four makes it even more difficult. Fortunately, many of us were able to experience the amazing A380 Suites product last year when the airline opened the award doors in late 2021.

In business class, the difference is rather small. Singapore’s A380 business class has a 1-2-1 configuration and is a perfect product.

Singapore Airlines A380 business class

The 777 business class in Singapore is also in a 1-2-1 configuration. While the bones are broadly similar, it’s not as advanced as a seat.

Singapore Airlines 777 business class

In Premium Economy and Economy the difference is quite small as both aircraft have the most comfortable cabins you will find.

bottom line

As of May 2023, Singapore Airlines is ending A380 service to the United States. This comes as New York service is downgraded from an A380 to a 777 via Frankfurt. As part of this we will see two routes to Australia being converted to the A380.

I can’t say I’m surprised by this change, although I’m selfishly sad to see it. Given Singapore Airlines’ small A380 fleet in the wake of the pandemic, I was surprised that the A380 was initially placed back on the New York route.

What do you think of Singapore Airlines’ A380 flight schedule changes?