Melbourne Tullamarine welcomes inaugural A350 service

Singapore Airlines 9V-SME touches down at Melbourne Tullamarine. (Rob Finlayson)
Singapore Airlines 9V-SME touches down at Melbourne Tullamarine. (Rob Finlayson)

Singapore Airlines (SIA) has become the second Airbus A350 operator to Australia.

Under overcast skies, flight SQ207, operated by A350-900 9V-SME, touched down at Melbourne Tullamarine at about 1640 local time on Wednesday, after a six and a half hour journey from Singapore.

The aircraft was met with an Airservices Aviation Rescue and Fire Fighting (ARFF) monitor cross on its way to the international terminal. It was on the ground for about three hours before operating the reciprocal SQ208 back to Singapore.

There were also celebrations at the checkin hall to commemorate the first A350 commercial passenger service to Melbourne and second to Australia, following the start of Qatar Airways’ Adelaide-Doha services in May.

SIA’s A350-900s were configured with 253 seats comprising 42 in business, 24 in premium economy and 187 in economy. The Star Alliance member and Virgin Australia alliance partner has 67 A350s-900s on order, including eight ultra long range models that will be used for nonstop flights from Singapore to Los Angeles and New York.

The airline currently has five A350-900s in service flying to Amsterdam, Dusseldorf, Johannesburg and Cape Town, as well as short-haul services to Hong Kong, Jakarta and Kuala Lumpur, from its Singapore hub.

The A350 has been scheduled to operate the Melbourne-Singapore route for a short, three-month stint ending on October 22. SIA’s nonstop Singapore-San Francisco flights are due to start on October 23.

Melbourne Tullamarine is due to welcome its second A350 service in September when Thai Airways deploys the aircraft on its Melbourne-Bangkok flights.

Photograhper Rob Finlayson captured the arrival of SIA’s A350-900 as it touched down in Melbourne.

Singapore Airlines 9V-SME touches down at Melbourne Tullamarine. (Rob Finlayson)
Singapore Airlines A350-900 9V-SME lands on Runway 34. (Rob Finlayson)
Singapore Airlines 9V-SME touches down at Melbourne Tullamarine. (Rob Finlayson)
SIA started flying the A350-900 in March and was the fifth airline and second in Asia Pacific to operate the aircraft. (Rob Finlayson)
Singapore Airlines 9V-SME receives an ARFF monitor cross at Melbourne Tullamarine. (Rob Finlayson)
Airservices’ Aviation Rescue and Fire Fighting (ARFF) welcome the A350-900. (Rob Finlayson)

Meanwhile, a YouTube video from Dj’s Aviation also captured the landing.

 

Comments

  1. bob says

    very nice….. if only they actually hired pilots from outside of Singapore……. id be gone from this VA B737!

  2. Riplander says

    @Craigy, I think Bob is upset that they don’t recruit pilots who aren’t Singaporean citizens. I’m pretty sure neither VA or QF recruit pilots who aren’t Australian citizens so I’m not sure why he’s complaining.

  3. That Ron guy... says

    Craigy, I dont think Bob has a problem with Singaporean / Singapore Airlines pilots; he just want’s to be one of them & fly the beautiful A350 rather than his Virgin B737! Who wouldn’t!

  4. Geoff says

    Well done again SQ and MEL for another first!

    As the A350 becomes more widely known across the Globe, more and more people will be drawn to it as they have to the A380. It is quiet, roomy (XWB) and so very fuel efficient.

    The big twin will assist Singapore Airlines to win over more Australian passengers travelling to Europe, in the face of tough competition from the Gulf carriers. Of course inbound travellers will be boosted by increasing Chinese people flying here on A350’s and 787’s.

    It will not be long and SYD, PER and BNE will see many A350’s quietly going about the business they are designed for. ADL already had a head start with Qatar A350’s.

    I am sure Virgin Australia will order the -900 to replace all 777 and A330’s. Watch this space!

  5. Rodney Marinkovic says

    Australia all ways has been land is of advance aircrafts. Airbus A350 is most advance commercial aircraft tody. Even A350-1000, will be most impressive to see.
    Rodney. Home of Qantasville II. at Serbia.+✈

  6. Geoff DC says

    I recently flew on the A350 with Qatar and then their 787 a few weeks later, also the 777 twice within the same period, There’s no difference really as a passenger between the 787 and A350, sure they’re both a little quiter than the 777 and feel noticeably less fatiguing with the lower cabin altitude. It’s very minimal though, economy class with always be shitty and crap no matter how good the airline or aircraft is. Unless a huge overhaul is done in the future with some sort of lie-flat seats for economy passengers, or at least a huge more allowance of personal space, it will always be shit. Bring out all the new flashy aircraft they want, it will still be rubbish…

  7. Geoff says

    Eloquently described above!

    The A350 is comfortable in a 9 abreast cabin in Y class with its extra width compared to the 787. Smart airlines are flying A350’s configured this way. These aircraft are replacing 777’s in 9 abreast seating which is also a comfortable configuration. Great move SQ.

    To install 10 abreast seating in 777’s or 9 abreast in 787’s, is counter-productive in long-haul as the complaint factor is too high. Full service Carriers should avoid this temptation for the longer term benefit.