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Question About SQ's 18-hour Non-stop Flight  
User currently offlineL410Turbolet From Czech Republic, joined May 2004, 5743 posts, RR: 19
Posted (10 years 3 months 2 weeks 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 8659 times:

I just saw a short report by R. Quest on CNN about EK's and especially SQ's super-long-haul flights. 18-hour non-stop flight seems like a real ordeal to me. Not only to the crews but to the pax as well. I noticed on myself that 10-hour long-haul flight is about maximum I'm able to sustain. Idea of being stuck in the plane nearly double that time, regardless of I suppose high-quality service, is just hard to imagine for me.
How attractive is this service? Biz success story or not? Or is it too early to tell?
Does anyone know how it works with both cockpit and cabin crews of these flights? Are there two or perhaps more crews, which rotate? Is it enough for such a long flight? I wonder how the cabin crews deal with working hard for extremely long hours in such physically demanding environment - low air humidity, low pressure, jet lag, etc.
BTW, is there any trip report on a.net from either the SIN-LAX or SIN-JFK flight?

31 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineStarlionblue From Greenland, joined Feb 2004, 17185 posts, RR: 66
Reply 1, posted (10 years 3 months 2 weeks 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 8565 times:

Does anyone know how it works with both cockpit and cabin crews of these flights? Are there two or perhaps more crews, which rotate? Is it enough for such a long flight?

For 18 hours you would probably need 4-6 pilots. It depends a bit on how they are allowed to split up the duty cycle. You could have a pair that take off, fly for 5 hours, go sleep and eat for 8 hours, then take over for the last 5 hours, unless that is against regulations (don't think it is since they get their crew rest). That would give 4 pilots.

As for cabin crew, there are probably plenty of occasions when they can be down to only 4 crew awake, so lots of opportunity for naps and sleep.

There is quite a bit of space onboard to walk around, and the pitch is at least Premium Monkey so it's probably not that bad.



"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots."
User currently offlineSolnabo From Sweden, joined Jan 2008, 859 posts, RR: 2
Reply 2, posted (10 years 3 months 2 weeks 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 8554 times:

Bring back the Concorde with HUGE fueltanks......pleaseee! *lol*

Micke  Big thumbs up



Airbus SAS - Love them both
User currently offlineWarren747sp From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 1172 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (10 years 3 months 2 weeks 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 8428 times:

Sonic Cruiser sounds better!


747SP
User currently offlineAntares From Australia, joined Jun 2004, 1402 posts, RR: 39
Reply 4, posted (10 years 3 months 2 weeks 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 8393 times:

I have only noticed trip reports for the HKG/JFK service by Carfield, who is an excellent observer of airline standards.

My company plays close attention to SQ and Temasek Holdings, its priciple shareholder.

So far the performance of the two non-stops to LAX and ERW appears to have been outstanding and that is the guidance given by the carrier to financial analysts.

It has been profitable at over 70 % occupancy, and this target appears to have been consistently exceeded in a very large number of flights but we would like precise data.

The acceptance of the premium economy product was slow at first but not so any longer, which probably explains why the fare for it appears to have started to rise when you shop around in the US where the real retail fare is often volatile than in Singapore itself.

The jets are routinely taking freight out of LAX which was not in the original plan.

The A345 has gouged a big chunk out of SQ's competitors because we think we see a transfer of extra passengers to its aggregate loads on the one-stop and non-stop services. In simple terms, we think they are taking premium cabin passengers off other carriers, and without the usual costs of converting valuable new frequent corporate customers to your brand.

Obviously we anticipate a full accounting as to the performance of the services from SQ probably after it release its 6 month results to September 30.

SQ has a unique hard core of high frequency premium travellers, a tiny percentage of all passengers, yet who deliver an exceptionally high proportion of its revenue. At least that is what they say and I have always found them credible. They are reluctant to give away too much detail because of its commercial sensitivity.


User currently offlineIowa744fan From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 931 posts, RR: 1
Reply 5, posted (10 years 3 months 2 weeks 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 8326 times:

According to a recent article about SQ's SIN-EWR service in the recent Airliners magazine, they only carry two sets of crew - two pilots and two co-pilots. If I remember correctly, both sets of crew must be present for take-off. After take-off, the extra set of crew retire to their sleeping berths. Interestingly, SQ did some research and one thing that they do is to provide two different places for the crew so that each pilot can rest in a different place. This way, one does not make noise, etc. that would disturb the other. Anyway, back to the flight. At some point, I think that they said 5-6 hours, the flight crew switch and the second set flies for like 8-9 hours, and finally they switch back again. So, if I remember correctly, the same crew that is in command at take-off is also in command during landing. As for flight attendents, they have rest areas that they cycle threw during the flight.

Also, another thing that SQ does is it has layovers for the crews of at least five days in L.A. or NYC so that they have plenty of time to recuperate from the flight.

I'll try to check the magazine when I get home to get an exact report.


User currently offlineKFly From Australia, joined May 2004, 195 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (10 years 3 months 2 weeks 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 8201 times:

Here's a trip report by YUL2010. He did the EWR - SIN flight. An excellent trip report I must say.  Smile

http://www.airliners.net/discussions/trip_reports/read.main/48912/


K



Fly! My Pretties
User currently offlineSean-SAN- From United States of America, joined Aug 2002, 772 posts, RR: 1
Reply 7, posted (10 years 3 months 2 weeks 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 8181 times:

I did LAX-SIN-LAX. The 16.5 hour flight was not really an ordeal, due to the combination of extra space (I was in exec econ) and the outstanding entertainment. The food was fine too. I'd much rather sit in exec econ for 16 hours than Delta or CO with the 31" pitch for 8 hours.

User currently offlineEjazz From United Arab Emirates, joined May 2002, 725 posts, RR: 34
Reply 8, posted (10 years 3 months 2 weeks 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 8161 times:

IowaB744fan wrote:

"Also, another thing that SQ does is it has layovers for the crews of at least five days in L.A. or NYC so that they have plenty of time to recuperate from the flight."

Such luxuries do not exist at cut throat Airlines such as SIA. The layover is normally one full day off, excluding the day you arrive and the day you leave. Any extra day, that very few crews have, you will be on call should any of the operating crew for that days flight report sick etc.

The flights have 4 crew, 2 Captains and 2 First Officers but SIA wants that changed in the future to 1 Captain and 3 First Officers. The rest periods I understand are split 4 ways instead of in half as is the norm on the B744 and B777 fleets.

The B777 has seperate bunks for the 2 resting Flight Crew just as on the A345.

The crew are NOT all required to be in the flight deck for take-off and landing, although it is recommended. Many retire to the cabin to avoid being blamed for any mistakes the operating crew may make whilst they are occupying the jumpseat. A result of the punitive system at SIA.

Only one of the 2 Captains is in Command and he will therefore have to occupy the left seat for both the landing and take-off.








Etihad Girl, You're a great way to fly.
User currently offlineIowa744fan From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 931 posts, RR: 1
Reply 9, posted (10 years 3 months 2 weeks 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 8095 times:

I just saw the magazine and the layover for crew is stated as three to four days before and after each flight according to Airliners. This is what the article says, so that is where I am getting my info:

"Every A-340-500 operates with two full flight crews. All four pilots occupy the flightdeck during takeoff (and landing), then one captain and first officer remain in the cockpit while the other two retire to specially equipped bunks - one forward; one aft, below decks. They rest for three hours, then return to the cockpit to relieve the other crew. Later, both crews have a second rest break, lasting about five hours. The captain and first officer who are the 'command crew' on the outbound leg serve as the backup crew on the return sector. Flight attendents are scheduled between four and six hours rest in the eight bunks below the passenger deck. Crews do not work for three to four days before and after an ultra-long-haul trip. There is a two- or three day layover in Los Angeles or New York.

My apologies for the difference on the number of days as I was trying to go by memory.


User currently offlineEjazz From United Arab Emirates, joined May 2002, 725 posts, RR: 34
Reply 10, posted (10 years 3 months 2 weeks 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 8082 times:

IowaB744fan

Just don't believe everything you read. That write up is riddled with errors.

[Edited 2004-09-11 08:20:39]


Etihad Girl, You're a great way to fly.
User currently offlineAsianFA From Malaysia, joined Jul 2004, 76 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (10 years 3 months 2 weeks 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 7893 times:

Cabin crew have a 6 day flight pattern to NYC n LAX....this includes the day of dep n arrival which is early morning into SIN.....so basically they only have one full day off n one standby day in both cities.Before their long haul flight they must have one day off in SIN before and only 2 days off after they arrive back.During the flight they are entitled to 5 hours rest which is taken all at once in 2 shifts.And their bunks are all eqiuipped with the IFE.

User currently offlineCaptain_777 From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 295 posts, RR: 2
Reply 12, posted (10 years 3 months 2 weeks 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 7741 times:

Thanks to Channel 9 last week on my Beijing - Chicago flight, I was able to hear and identify SQ022 bound for EWR from SIN over the Beriing Strait. Very cool I must say.

User currently offlineWdleiser From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 962 posts, RR: 3
Reply 13, posted (10 years 3 months 2 weeks 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 7708 times:

Well I don't know about SIA, but Lufthansa on their flights to Johannesburg they have Captain, First Officer and a Senior First Officer. The Senior first Officer is present at takeoff and then goes to rest after X number of minutes in the air. The senior first officer takes the captain's seat when the captain want's some sleep, and then the F/O's chair when the F/O wants a nap. Now the Senior First officer only has a 2 day stay at Johannesburg as compared to a 3 day stay for the rest of the crew. So the flight back to Frankfurt has a different Senior First officer than that on the arriving flight to Johannesburg.

User currently offlineStarlionblue From Greenland, joined Feb 2004, 17185 posts, RR: 66
Reply 14, posted (10 years 3 months 2 weeks 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 7610 times:

There cannot be a requirement for all four to be on the flight deck at the same time. It's illogical since if regulations required 4 crew for a takeoff all 345 ops would require 4 crew.

Maybe they sometimes have to be there since there are no other seats available and they cannot lie in the bunks for takeoff.



"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots."
User currently offlineGotairbus From Singapore, joined May 2001, 851 posts, RR: 1
Reply 15, posted (10 years 3 months 2 weeks 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 7207 times:

What the 18 hour (sometimes ridiculous) long flights don't appease, the "Executive Economy" Class of Singapore Airlines A340-500 compensates for it.






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Photo © Vector Grafix


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Imagine if we were cramped 18 hours in the normal cattle class that other airlines offer...

(gotAirbus?)



(gotAIRBUS?) - (Got Commonality?) - (Have A Nice Flight!)
User currently offlineETStar From Canada, joined Jan 2004, 2103 posts, RR: 7
Reply 16, posted (10 years 3 months 2 weeks 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 6096 times:

What is the proportion of econ plus vs regular econ on these flights? Or is the latter not offered at all? How about fare wise, how much more expensive is econ+?

User currently offlineGigneil From United States of America, joined Nov 2002, 16347 posts, RR: 85
Reply 17, posted (10 years 3 months 2 weeks 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 5934 times:

There is no regular economy on these planes.

The price is competive for now, but all predictions is that they will eventually be charging a higher fare.

N


User currently offlineAa777jr From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 18, posted (10 years 3 months 2 weeks 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 5659 times:

Dunno if it was previously stated, but the amount of crews goes on every 6 hours. So ever six hours, a new crew would be rotated in. Pilot A, Co-Pilot A, F/O A, would take off and level out. Pilot A is usually the most senior of both crews and will just take off and level out. Pilot A retires to one of the two F class seats reserved for cabin crew. Pilot B takes over with crew A. Pilot A must always land if he is the one that took off. It's not necessary for more than 2 full crews, they just need 6 hr breaks. This is my understand from my CFI flying ORD-FCO on AA 763 as a Capt. Hope this helped...sorta off topic.

AA777jr


User currently offlineGigneil From United States of America, joined Nov 2002, 16347 posts, RR: 85
Reply 19, posted (10 years 3 months 2 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 5402 times:

On this route, SQ actually has crew rest areas with beds.

N


User currently offlineAsianFA From Malaysia, joined Jul 2004, 76 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (10 years 3 months 2 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 5205 times:

Crew rest areas with beds are not exclusive to only this route or the A345s...all SQ 747-400s and 777ERs are equipped with crew bunks...any flight above 9 hours cabin crew are entitled to rest.For cockpit crew if they have 3 or more crews operating i think its the same if i am not wrong.

User currently offlineMozart From Luxembourg, joined Aug 2003, 2239 posts, RR: 13
Reply 21, posted (10 years 3 months 2 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 4989 times:

Thanks to Channel 9 last week on my Beijing - Chicago flight, I was able to hear and identify SQ022 bound for EWR from SIN over the Beriing Strait.

So they fly over the Bering Strait? Isn't that a big detour? Don't ask me why, but I always thought they would fly westwards out of SIN to EWR.


User currently offlineHz747300 From Hong Kong, joined Mar 2004, 1711 posts, RR: 1
Reply 22, posted (10 years 3 months 2 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 4954 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

This month's Airways magazine (US) details the flight and the ops with in flight pictures.

One thing I noticed right away is the fold out leg rest of "Executive Economy" looks uncomfortable when deployed--and viola the article mentioned as much that it tends to cut off circulation.

The article displays the routes taken on the flight and the return. Good stuff. Good stuff.



Keep on truckin'...
User currently offlineRobK From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2004, 3958 posts, RR: 18
Reply 23, posted (10 years 3 months 2 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 4789 times:

Mozart wrote:

Thanks to Channel 9 last week on my Beijing - Chicago flight, I was able to hear and identify SQ022 bound for EWR from SIN over the Beriing Strait.

So they fly over the Bering Strait? Isn't that a big detour? Don't ask me why, but I always thought they would fly westwards out of SIN to EWR.

--

No they go north which, if you look at a globe, is the shortest way to New York.

The United flight (895?) which goes from Chicago (I think) to Hong Kong or Beijing (somewhere round there) doesn't go west/southwest like you'd expect either - that also goes north up over the north pole roughly. I've heard the flight plenty of times on HF in the vicinity of the pole.

Most interesting.

Getting back to the Newark-Singapore direct flight, it actually leaves Newark in the evening on say, a Monday (local) and arrives TWO days later in Singapore late morning (local). That'll do a fine job of arsing up your body-clock !  Wow!

RK


User currently offlineRobK From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2004, 3958 posts, RR: 18
Reply 24, posted (10 years 3 months 1 week 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 4556 times:

Just for info..

SIA21 enroute Newark-Singapore right now is currently diverting to Heathrow with a cracked windscreen. Was gonna go to Copenhagen but they have got a replacement.

9V-SGD A340-500 - go get it spotters!

RK

[Edited 2004-09-17 13:41:20]

25 StMawganE14 : RK Thanks for the scoop - what is the ETA into LHR? Thanks Brian
26 RobK : Sorry, don't know. I would imagine it's there now or will be very shortly. RK
27 Gigneil : Don't ask me why, but I always thought they would fly westwards out of SIN to EWR. They actually fly the route in a very Eastwardsly manner frequently
28 CPH-R : Was gonna go to Copenhagen but they have got a replacement. While understanding the necessity of a quick fix, I must utter a: Nooooooooooooooooooooooo
29 L410Turbolet : I was one of those who thought SQ flies the SIN-EWR route across the Pacific. If you look on the globe, the destinations are on EXACTLY opposite ends.
30 Starlionblue : but isn't it great that they can basically "flip the coin" wheter they'll fly eastbound/westbound? Distance wise yes, but the winds go in only one dir
31 Trickijedi : The United flight (895?) which goes from Chicago (I think) to Hong Kong or Beijing (somewhere round there) doesn't go west/southwest like you'd expect
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