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