Singapore Airlines is returning to the Pacific Northwest, as it is set to launch seasonal service to Vancouver and Seattle. The single route will be offered four times per week, starting in early December through to mid-February. As a tag flight, the service will fly to Seattle via Vancouver.
An exciting new service
Singapore Airlines (SIA) will be launching a four-times-weekly seasonal service to Vancouver and Seattle from December 2nd, 2021, to February 15th, 2022. This will see the airline deploy a 253-seater Airbus A350-900 for this lengthy transpacific service. The A350 will be configured as follows:
- 42 business class seats
- 24 premium economy class seats
- 187 economy class seats
Operating as a tag flight, the A350 will fly first to Vancouver- a flight that will take over 14 hours. After offloading Vancouver-bound passengers, it will continue on to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport to deliver Seattle-bound travelers. Flying back to Singapore Changi, the service will load up in Seattle and continue to Vancouver to collect additional Singapore-bound passengers (Vancouver to Singapore is scheduled to take nearly 17 hours). This means the service will be a tag flight rather than a triangle route.
As far as we can tell, this new service will not take passengers between Vancouver and Seattle as part of a fifth-freedom service.
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Flight scheduling and VTL flights
According to a statement from Singapore Airlines, this new four-times-weekly service will have flight numbers SQ28 outbound and SQ27 for two of the weekly services returning to Singapore. Two of the four services returning to Singapore will be designated as VTL flights carrying the designation SQ29. The flight schedule and timing are embedded below as an image.
VTL, or Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) services, provide eligible customers with quarantine-free entry into Singapore. To be eligible for a VTL flight, travelers will be required to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination and take two COVID-19 PCR tests when flying into Singapore.
“With the new Singapore-Vancouver-Seattle flights and the conversion of San Francisco-Singapore to a VTL service, SIA customers can enjoy even more seamless travel options to North America during the year-end holiday season. SIA will continue to monitor the demand for air travel, and adjust its services accordingly.” -Ms JoAnn Tan, Senior Vice President Marketing Planning, Singapore Airlines
Disrupting the transpacific market?
While travel is still recovering- more so in certain parts of Asia- this service demonstrates Singapore Airlines’ willingness to return to the Pacific Northwest. The airline had operated a Singapore-Vancouver service via Seoul but stopped this in 2009.
Typically, a trip between these two parts of the world would see a stopover in a major East Asian city such as Taipei, Seoul-Incheon, Hong Kong, or Tokyo with one of Singapore Airlines’ competitors.
With the carrier now offering direct service, travelers have a more convenient option on a well-regarded airline. It will be interesting to see how this new route will affect other airlines which carry passengers with connecting traffic. For the time being, however, this appears to be somewhat experimental, as the service is seasonal and only four-times-weekly.
What do you think of this new service? Do you think it has the potential to become more frequent or operate year-round? Let us know by leaving a comment.