The daily A330-300 service will see an increase of 76% in seat capacity between the two cities.
Singapore Airlines will operate an A330-300 service between Singapore and Busan, taking over the existing SilkAir service from 28 October 2019. The transfer will enable Singapore Airlines to increase seat capacity on the route by 76% to meet the growing travel demand.
SIA will operate flights to Busan four times per week, maintaining SilkAir’s current flight frequency. The revised schedule will be as follow:
|SIN-PUS||SQ616||2310||0635(+1)||6h 45m||Mon, Fri, Sat||Airbus A330-300|
|2310||0630(+1)||6h 40m||Wed||Airbus A330-300|
|PUS-SIN||SQ615||0800||1325||6h 25m||Tue, Thu, Sat||Airbus A330-300|
|0810||1325||6h 15m||Sun||Airbus A330-300|
The route will be served with the A330-300 aircraft with 285 seats, consisting 30 Business Class and 255 Economy Class seats. The A330s can accommodate up to 123 more passengers per flight than SilkAir’s 162-seat Boeing 737-800s which currently serve the Singapore-Busan route.
If you are familiar with SIA’s A330, you will know that these are the old 2009 regional business class seats in a 2-2-2 layout, which features angled beds.
Boeing 737 MAX 8
Silkair announced Busan as a new destination back in February 2019 which was supposed to be operated by the ill-fated Boeing 737 MAX 8s. However, the grounding of the fleet since March 2019 meant that the service was operated by the older Boeing 737-800s instead.
Given the range of a typical Boeing 737-800 is about 6+ hours, the Singapore-Busan sector is clearly within the upper limits of the range. Depending on the cargo loads for the flight and other factors such as weather, there may be load restrictions on the flight, which will definitely hamper commercial viability.
With Singapore Airlines taking over the service with the A330 (which is due for retirement by 2020), the move will free up some Boeing 737-800s for SilkAir to use for the upcoming year end Northern Winter peak.