Travellers going to Wellington on Singapore Airlines can now look forward to a new generation aircraft when the airline switches over to the A350-900 long haul version from 31 October 2019.
This switch will see the phasing out of the older regional business class product on this mid-haul service, which has long been a sore point for many travellers on this route.
SIA currently operates the Singapore-Wellington service, via Melbourne, four times a week. From 1 January 2020, SIA will increase it to five times daily. The full schedule is as follow, effective 31 October 2019:
|Flight||Route||Depart||Arrive||Day of week||Aircraft|
|SQ247||SIN-MEL||2005||0630(+1)||Mon, Wed*, Thu, Fri, Sat||A350-900|
|SQ247||MEL-WLG||0750||1310||Tue, Thu*, Fri, Sat, Sun||A350-900|
|SQ248||WLG-MEL||1430||1630||Tue, Thu*, Fri, Sat, Sun||A350-900|
|SQ248||MEL-SIN||1755||2245||Tue, Thu*, Fri, Sat, Sun||A350-900|
*from 1 Jan 2020
The 3-class A350 is a vast improvement over the B777-200. In business class, there are four more seats than the existing B777-200. Economy class has 187 seats down from 245, which is supplemented by a 24-seat premium economy cabin.
The new business class seat is the same one currently on the A350-900ULR, as well as the long-haul versions of the A350s Singapore Airlines is currently operating to the likes of South Africa and Europe.
Singapore Airlines first operated to Wellington in 2016
Singapore Airlines became the first Asian carrier to establish a direct connection (albeit not non-stop) between Asia and Wellington back in 2016 with a lot of fanfare.
Wellington Airport is limited by its runway length. At 1815m, there’s a severe limit to the types of aircraft that could take off from Wellington and thereby limiting the destinations served from the New Zealand capital.
Before Singapore Airlines came in with the Boeing 777-200, most of the jets used are typically single-aisle aircraft including the Boeing 737 and Airbus 320, serving only as far as Australia east coast and some Pacific islands.
Singapore Airlines commenced its Singapore-Wellington service via Canberra in 2016, then marketed as the ‘Capital Express’. The stop in Canberra was necessary for refuelling on the way back from Wellington, so that the Boeing 777-200 could carry just enough fuel for the trans-Tasman leg and still take off from the airport.