Singapore Airlines has announced that Brisbane will become its second Australian port to receive Airbus A350-900 services, starting from October.
The first A350 flight to Brisbane will be on October 15, when the aircraft takes over the SQ235/256 rotation – a morning departure from Brisbane and an overnight service from Singapore – currently operated by A330-300 equipment.
Over the following three months, SIA will gradually switch over a second and third daily rotation to the A350-900. Therefore, from January 2018 three out of four of SIA’s daily Brisbane flights will be served by the A350-900.
SIA previously announced it would grow Brisbane-Singapore services to 28 flights a week (ie four times daily) from August 22, from 24 weekly flights currently.
Configured with 253 seats comprising 42 in business, 24 in premium economy and 187 in economy, the A350’s arrival will also mark SIA’s introduction of premium economy on the Brisbane route for the first time.
By contrast the A330-300s and 777-200s SIA has been using to Brisbane have 285 and 266 seats, respectively, spread across business and economy.
Singapore Airlines regional vice president Tan Tiow Kor said the use of the A350-900, as well as the schedule increase to four times daily, was in response to growing demand from the Queensland market.
“While this growth is across all cabin classes the demand for additional premium cabin options has been encouraging,” Tan said in a statement on Tuesday.
“With the growing number of A350 aircraft entering our fleet it makes sense to deploy three of them to Brisbane to help meet the premium market demand that we are seeing.”
The Singaporean flag carrier 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 starting in 2018.
SIA already operates the A350-900 on the Melbourne-Singapore route. It currently has 16 of the type in service.
Brisbane Airport chief executive Julieanne Alroe said the boost to the number of business and premium economy seats through the SIA’s use of the A350-900 reflected well on the economic outlook for the period ahead.
“Any extra or upgraded service to Brisbane Airport helps boost the economy and will benefit all of Queensland as visitors connect onto other popular intrastate destinations, as well as visiting local hot spots like the Gold and Sunshine Coasts,” Alroe said in a statement.
SIA will be the second airline to offer A350 flights to Brisbane after Cathay Pacific introduced the type on its nonstop Brisbane-Hong Kong services in March.