Norwegian to launch direct route from London Gatwick to Singapore Changi from Thursday 28 September 2017

Norwegian Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner
Norwegian Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner

Norwegian’s aggressive expansion at London Gatwick continues with the launch of a new route from London Gatwick to Singapore Changi airport.

The route will launch on Thursday 28 September 2017. It will initially operate four times weekly, increasing to five times weekly from Monday 30 October 2017. The flight will be operated by the mainstay of Norwegian’s long-haul operations, the Boeing 787 Dreamliner in a two class configuration.

Flights are on sale now at Norwegian.com

Today’s announcement is significant for two reasons:
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Singapore Airlines to introduce one stop link between London Heathrow and Canberra, Australia from Tuesday 20 September 2016

Singapore Airlines is to introduce a one stop link between London Heathrow and Canberra, Australia with the launch of the first international airline service to Canberra from its hub in Singapore from Tuesday 20 September 2016.

Singapore Airlines will fly from Singapore to Canberra four times weekly.  

The flight will then continue from Canberra to Wellington, New Zealand.

The flight will be operated with a 266 seat Boeing 777-200 aircraft in a two class, business class (38 seats) and economy class (228 seats) configuration.  

First class and premium economy class will not be available.

Whilst it is true to say that Australia’s capital Canberra does not top the list of the most popular tourist destinations in Australia and has long been overshadowed by its sexier/smarter rivals Sydney and Melbourne, the route will no doubt attract a lot of Government traffic.

Flights will be on sale at Singapore Airlines.

Singapore – Canberra – Wellington

Flight SQ291 Depart Singapore 23:00 – Arrive Canberra 08:35 (Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, Sunday)

Flight SQ291 Depart Canberra 09:50 – Arrive Wellington 15:05 (Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Sunday)

Wellington – Canberra – Singapore

Flight SQ292 Depart Wellington 20:15 – Arrive Canberra 22:05  (Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Sunday)

Flight SQ292 Depart Canberra 23:30 – Arrive Singapore 05:50  (Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Sunday)

Flight times are subject to change when Daylight Saving Time is adopted.

British Airways opens its new lounge at Singapore Changi airport and premieres its “Concorde Bar” concept

British Airways Lounge, Singapore Changi Airport
British Airways Lounge, Singapore Changi Airport

British Airways has opened its new lounge at Terminal 1 of Singapore Changi airport this week.

Designed by British design studio Graven the lounge features digital panoramic views of the Singapore skyline reflecting the time of the day outside.
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The British Airways lounge at Singapore Changi airport is closed for refurbishment

The BA lounge in Terminal 1 of Singapore Changi airport is currently closed for refurbishment, which is expected to be completed by late summer of this year.

In the interim, eligible passengers (eg those travelling in Club World business class, First Class, and Silver and Gold Executive Club cardholders) will be able to use the highly regarded Qantas Singapore lounge. (There was a time when BA and Qantas jointly operated a business and a first class lounge in Singapore, but for reasons we do not know, the two airlines decided to move to separate lounges.)

For completeness, we should add that, under Oneworld alliance lounge access rules, passengers eligible to use the BA lounge are also eligible to use the Qantas lounge in any event!

Singapore Airlines to introduce premium economy on London Heathrow – Singapore route from August / September 2015

Although both British Airways and Virgin Atlantic have operated premium economy cabins on long-haul aircraft for over 15 years, carriers outside the UK have been slow to follow suit.

Lufthansa and Cathay Pacific have recently joined the relatively small number of airlines such as Qantas, Air New Zealand, Japan Airlines and ANA to offer premium economy.

The principal reason for this is a concern that some passengers (or rather, their cost conscious employers) may choose to downgrade from business class, whereas airlines want passengers to upgrade from economy class.

The latest airline to introduce premium economy is Singapore Airlines.

Singapore Airlines will introduce a premium economy cabin on its Airbus A380 and Boeing 777-300 aircraft, both of which are operated on the London – Singapore route.

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Finnair unveils routes, economy and business class cabins for Asia bound Airbus A350 aircraft

Over the past fifteen years, Finnair has been steadily, but surely, building a niche as the European airline that provides the most efficient link between Europe and Asia via its hub in Helsinki.

In 2000, Finnair served just three destinations in Asia. Now, it serves 15 destinations. Finnair also serves a number of cities without direct links to London including Chongqing and Xi’an in China and Nagoya and Osaka in Japan.

Unfortunately, this has yet to translate into long term profitability for the airline. On Friday, Finnair joined the list of European airlines to issue a profit warning.

However, the airline is committed to its strategy and aims to double revenues from Asia by 2020. This week, Finnair revealed the interiors for its new Airbus A350 aircraft which will replace its quad-engine Airbus A340 aircraft and ply routes from Helsinki to Asia from mid 2015.

The airline has 11 firm orders for Airbus A350 aircraft, and a further 8 options.

The aircraft will initially be deployed on flights to Shanghai, Bangkok and Beijing in 2015. Hong Kong and Singapore will be served by the A350 in 2016.

In business class, Finnair has opted for the Zodiac Cirrus III seat which American Airlines (Boeing 777-300 flights only), Air France and Cathay Pacific have also adopted.

This seat provides both a fully flat bed and direct aisle access for all passengers, which is increasingly becoming standard for business class cabins. Finnair’s seat will also include touchscreen in flight entertainment and AC and USB power sockets. There will be a total of 46 seats in the cabin.

Finnair Airbus A350 Business class cabin
Finnair Airbus A350 Business class cabin

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Singapore will be the fifth destination to be served by British Airways’ Airbus A380 from 28 October 2014

British Airways has today confirmed that Singapore will be the fifth destination to be served by the airline’s Airbus A380 fleet of aircraft. 

The airline is currently operating the A380 on selected flights to Los Angeles, Hong Kong and Johannesburg.  Washington will be added to the A380 network from September of this year.

The Airbus A380 will replace a Boeing 747 on three flights a week between London Heathrow and Singapore from Thursday 28 October.

BA will continue to serve Singapore twice daily, with the second Boeing 777-300 continuing on to Sydney from Singapore.

It’s worth noting that BA has departed from its strategy of deploying the A380 on routes that are not currently served by the A380 from London Heathrow as the London Singapore route has long been served by Singapore Airlines’ A380. 

BA has a total of 12 Airbus A380s on order, of which four have now been delivered to the airline.  BA also has options for a further 7 aircraft (instincts tell us BA will probably maintain its order at 12 aircraft).

BA has released a promotional video for the A380 launch to Singapore on YouTube featuring a very excited Sex and the City star Kristin Davis: