United Airline
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Will SQ Resume Its Axed Flights?

Fri Jan 18, 2013 8:03 am

SQ used to fly to YVR, YYZ, ORD, LAS etc. Will they resume service some day?
 
ely747
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RE: Will SQ Resume Its Axed Flights?

Fri Jan 18, 2013 9:53 am

YYZ or ORD are both extra long haul so I can't see them as being direct flights to SIN. They couldn't make EWR profitable although it was business class only service. >SQ might work out some interesting like they've seen on SIN-DME-IAH or SIN-FRA-JFK but then again it's all about the freedom rights. YVR is well positioned on US / Canada border and definitely has some potential there.

[Edited 2013-01-18 01:59:07]
 
Asiaflyer
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RE: Will SQ Resume Its Axed Flights?

Fri Jan 18, 2013 10:03 am

SQ has went into codesharing with Virgin America, in order to cover the US better. Hence I see even less need than before for new US destinations. If SQ is to increase capacity anywhere in US, it will be to current destinations.  
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Sligo
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RE: Will SQ Resume Its Axed Flights?

Fri Jan 18, 2013 1:22 pm

Quoting United Airline (Thread starter):
SQ used to fly to YVR, YYZ, ORD, LAS etc. Will they resume service some day?

Fair question though. The move to long, thin routes and the new aircraft that would fly them was sold as a boon to the higher yielding airlines and SQ was thought to be at the front of the line for such benefits. Instead A345 services have disappointed and a load of 787s are being handed off to Scoot....and meanwhile SQ has increased mid-range, higher density via the 380.
 
olympic472
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RE: Will SQ Resume Its Axed Flights?

Fri Jan 18, 2013 6:01 pm

Not in the foreseeable future.
The area of growth for SQ is Asia. They are focused on growing this market.
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Viscount724
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RE: Will SQ Resume Its Axed Flights?

Fri Jan 18, 2013 10:39 pm

Quoting United Airline (Thread starter):
SQ used to fly to YVR, YYZ, ORD, LAS etc. Will they resume service some day?

SIN is a very small market to/from Canada and SIN is also too far south to serve as a good connecting hub for North America-Asia traffic, except for a few very small markets like Malaysia and Indonesia. When SQ previously served Canada they had to rely on low-yield, unprofitable 5th freedom traffic to fill their flights.
 
nrt1011
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RE: Will SQ Resume Its Axed Flights?

Fri Jan 18, 2013 11:08 pm

I would love to think of YVR as a gateway to N.America for airlines such as SQ and TG. However it seems the reality is that NRT is fulfilling that role, it is easy for both those airlines to serve NRT and use subsequently utilize their Star Alliance partners into N.America (AC, UA, ANA etc.)
 
ORDJOE
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RE: Will SQ Resume Its Axed Flights?

Sat Jan 19, 2013 2:19 am

I believe ORD used to be a 772 that went to AMS and then on to SIN. ORD-AMS is pretty well served by a daily 747combi and a 763 (I think a 772 for a while) by UA. That was a pretty well served route at the time, I could see SQ's yields being horrible. In all honesty you will not see those 18 hour flights ever in even the remote near future. Even with more efficient planes that is just so long that you are still burning a ton of money just to fly fuel. I could only see SQ expanding to the states if they can pull off another IAH-DME, a high yielding niche route. I somehow thought they tried to start something new to the US via MXP but were denied the rights by the Italian govt, or maybe I am remembering this all wrong.
Once they get their 787s there could be more options, but I do not picture the golden swan heading to the US much more than it already is.
 
United Airline
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RE: Will SQ Resume Its Axed Flights?

Sat Jan 19, 2013 2:58 am

Why are they transferring the B787s to Scoot? It would have been a great plane for long haul routes with thinner capacity.

With the A350 wonder if they will bring back SIN-LAX/EWR.

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 5):
SIN is a very small market to/from Canada and SIN is also too far south to serve as a good connecting hub for North America-Asia traffic, except for a few very small markets like Malaysia and Indonesia. When SQ previously served Canada they had to rely on low-yield, unprofitable 5th freedom traffic to fill their flights.
Quoting nrt1011 (Reply 6):
I would love to think of YVR as a gateway to N.America for airlines such as SQ and TG. However it seems the reality is that NRT is fulfilling that role, it is easy for both those airlines to serve NRT and use subsequently utilize their Star Alliance partners into N.America (AC, UA, ANA etc.)
CX is doing very well on HKG-YVR. Wonder why SQ is not doing well at all on its YVR flights?

Wonder if they will bring back SIN-HKG-LAS or flights to Top
 
aquariusHKG
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RE: Will SQ Resume Its Axed Flights?

Sat Jan 19, 2013 3:26 am

Quoting United Airline (Reply 8):
CX is doing very well on HKG-YVR. Wonder why SQ is not doing well at all on its YVR flights?

I think much has to do with distance, SIN is about 3 hours further from YVR than HKG, CX has always flown the route nonstop vs SQ having to stop in North Asia (SEL/ICN in the past). Also CX does benefits from the huge Hong Konger's population in Vancouver. Also as mentioned above, HKG is much better positioned to serve as an Asian hub than SIN, with nearly all of SE Asia not requiring backtracking.
 
LAXintl
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RE: Will SQ Resume Its Axed Flights?

Sat Jan 19, 2013 3:32 am

Quoting United Airline (Reply 8):
Why are they transferring the B787s to Scoot? It would have been a great plane for long haul routes with thinner capacity.

Because Scoot needs something smaller itself. A 400 seat 772 is too much. Management says a 787 provides Scoot significant per seat cost savings and is better sized for its future network.

Quoting United Airline (Reply 8):
CX is doing very well on HKG-YVR.

You realize CX has reduced YVR right?

Service is down to 14x weekly on the 77W, and now one flight does not offer F class either.

Also the company has publicaly said the following in recent times:
In Canada, revenue grew in 2011, but less than capacity. We added two flights a week to Toronto to make it a twice-daily service from May. Yields on the Vancouver route, particularly in economy class, fell as a result of increased competition.

Business on the Canada routes was affected by strong competition and there was a fall in yields."

So things are not rosy in YVR for CX.

Quoting United Airline (Reply 8):
Wonder why SQ is not doing well at all on its YVR flights?

Comparing CX and SQ is like and apples and orange.

CX has a large local market to YVR, along with geographic advantage for wide regional connections at its HKG hub, two important things that SQ fails to have.
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United Airline
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RE: Will SQ Resume Its Axed Flights?

Sat Jan 19, 2013 3:47 am

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 10):
Quoting United Airline (Reply 8):CX is doing very well on HKG-YVR.
You realize CX has reduced YVR right?

Service is down to 14x weekly on the 77W, and now one flight does not offer F class either.

Also the company has publicaly said the following in recent times:
In Canada, revenue grew in 2011, but less than capacity. We added two flights a week to Toronto to make it a twice-daily service from May. Yields on the Vancouver route, particularly in economy class, fell as a result of increased competition.

Business on the Canada routes was affected by strong competition and there was a fall in yields."

So things are not rosy in YVR for CX.

I believe CX is still doing well on HKG-YVR/YYZ. I know there are lots of compeitions.

I remember one of the flights was a B 747-400. So they downsized that flight to a B 777-300ER?

I remember they did 3 times daily at one point.

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 10):
Because Scoot needs something smaller itself. A 400 seat 772 is too much. Management says a 787 provides Scoot significant per seat cost savings and is better sized for its future network.

Can't they just order more?
 
kdonohue
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RE: Will SQ Resume Its Axed Flights?

Sat Jan 19, 2013 4:06 am

Before pulling out of Vancouver, SQ was on record saying they wanted to increase the number of flights to YVR taking advantage of Fifth Freedom between ICN and YVR, but apparently the Canadian government said no to the increased flights, so SQ decided it wasn't profitable to serve Vancouver with just three (or was it four) flights a week.
 
stlgph
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RE: Will SQ Resume Its Axed Flights?

Sat Jan 19, 2013 8:31 pm

What's interesting to me is that Singapore isn't dropping Newark until November of this year.
And on top of that, they've just launched a fresh round of advertising targeting executives, business, and financial professionals in the New York City area. I don't want to start rumors or speculaiton, but it's a helluva chunk of change for a service that's going to be gone in 10 months.
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infinit
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RE: Will SQ Resume Its Axed Flights?

Sun Jan 20, 2013 3:41 am

Quoting stlgph (Reply 13):
What's interesting to me is that Singapore isn't dropping Newark until November of this year.
And on top of that, they've just launched a fresh round of advertising targeting executives, business, and financial professionals in the New York City area. I don't want to start rumors or speculaiton, but it's a helluva chunk of change for a service that's going to be gone in 10 months.

Interesting that they've been Advertising that way there. My hunch is that they've got something planned for both EWR and LAX

Quoting United Airline (Reply 8):
Wonder why SQ is not doing well at all on its YVR flights?

Hong Kong is in North Asia and Singapore is in Southeast Asia, a state in the Malayan region.
Beyond geography, Canada has strong ethnic links with HK but for Singaporeans, Canada is a distant country with next to no ethnic ties and hardly any business ties.

And in terms of a future strategy, CX will ride on growing affluence and travel from Mainland Chinese and Taiwan.

SQ's growth will be more focused on India comparatively. And of course the economic boom in Southeast Asia- the 10 member ASEAN countries. Singapore was a founding member of ASEAN and since then trade within the region has boomed. There is a big affluent crust and a growing middle class in the region who will -only- fly SQ, it's a status symbol. Indonesia- the superpower of the region expected to grow into becoming the 7th largest economy in 15 years from now, has always been a cashcow for SQ and will continue to be. CGK is a 1hr flight but SQ still offers a 3-class configuration on it because there are just so many wealthy Indonesians who would pay S$2,000 (about US$1,700) just to fly SQ F. Vietnam, Myanmar and Thailand all represent growth potentional for SQ too. Malaysia is our hinterland and of course our largest export partner since we separated from them in 1965 but little growth there compared to the rest of ASEAN.

Australia too has always been a cashcow for them to and will continue to be. Apart from business links and 6th freedom traffic, Australia and Sinagapore have close ethnic ties too, many Australians have moved here and many Singaporeans have moved there. They're so relate-able that we tend to consider them a part of Asia. MI recently added Darwin, a 3hour flight away. TZ will definitely add another flight to Sydney in time to come- they already fly tthere and the Gold Coast. I won't be surprised if SQ mainline will add another Australia flight or twoonce they get their A350s
 
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DolphinAir747
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RE: Will SQ Resume Its Axed Flights?

Sun Jan 20, 2013 4:09 am

Does SQ have the rights to operate any other U.S.-ICN flights? EWR-ICN is a currently unserved route and might work well with all the Koreans in NJ. Knowing SQ of course, they'll operate a flight between two *A hubs without connecting to UA or OZ flights at either end...
 
nrt1011
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RE: Will SQ Resume Its Axed Flights?

Sun Jan 20, 2013 4:56 am

Apparently the biggest growth into Sydney for 2012 was from Singapore and Malaysia
 
justinlee
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RE: Will SQ Resume Its Axed Flights?

Sun Jan 20, 2013 5:36 am

Quoting United Airline (Reply 8):
CX is doing very well on HKG-YVR. Wonder why SQ is not doing well at all on its YVR flights?

HKG is a better transfer hub for mainland China and Taiwan because of the location, visa requirement and also culture and branding issues.
 
United Airline
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RE: Will SQ Resume Its Axed Flights?

Sun Jan 20, 2013 5:45 am

Why doesn't SQ do SIN-JFK instead?

So SQ will pull out of EWR after so many years?
 
infinit
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RE: Will SQ Resume Its Axed Flights?

Tue Jan 22, 2013 6:06 am

Quoting United Airline (Reply 18):
Why doesn't SQ do SIN-JFK instead?

So SQ will pull out of EWR after so many years?

It's anyone's guess now. Not an expert on the dynamics of US routes but I always wondered why they didn't centre their operations on either EWR or JFK rather than operating from both.. duplicating staff costs etc
 
warden145
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RE: Will SQ Resume Its Axed Flights?

Tue Jan 22, 2013 7:27 am

Quoting DolphinAir747 (Reply 15):
Does SQ have the rights to operate any other U.S.-ICN flights?

SQ currently does a daily SIN-ICN-SFO flight with a 777-312ER.
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United Airline
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RE: Will SQ Resume Its Axed Flights?

Tue Jan 22, 2013 8:07 am

Quoting infinit (Reply 14):
Hong Kong is in North Asia and Singapore is in Southeast Asia, a state in the Malayan region.
Beyond geography, Canada has strong ethnic links with HK but for Singaporeans, Canada is a distant country with next to no ethnic ties and hardly any business ties.
Quoting justinlee (Reply 17):
KG is a better transfer hub for mainland China and Taiwan because of the location, visa requirement and also culture and branding issues.

Yes there are LOTS of Hong Kong people in Vancouver. LOTS. Hongcouver........

But both Singapore and Canada are in the commonwealth. There must be some ties.
 
LO231
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RE: Will SQ Resume Its Axed Flights?

Tue Jan 22, 2013 10:48 am

I wish they'd come back to BRU as TG did. We only get SQ cargo flight, though being it a SQ, one would get a bettervservice and food, even sent as a human cargo.

LOL. Some airlines treat you like cargo and nuisance anyway, so...  
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RE: Will SQ Resume Its Axed Flights?

Wed Jan 23, 2013 2:45 am

Quoting United Airline (Reply 21):
But both Singapore and Canada are in the commonwealth. There must be some ties.

Very few, and certainly not enough to generate enough O&D passengers to justify direct service.

Over the past 20 years, immigration from Singapore to Canada has averaged roughly 300 a year. In 2010 there were almost 37,000 immigrants from the Philippines and over 30,000 each from India and China (including HKG), the 3 largest sources of immigrants.
 
aviasian
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RE: Will SQ Resume Its Axed Flights?

Wed Jan 23, 2013 4:53 am

I gather that rumours of a Singapore-Milan-New York (whether it is JFK or EWR) keeps gaining traction. A year ago, there was also whisper of a Singapore-Taipei-New York service.

Ties between Singapore and Canada is extremely cordial and wide-ranging. The Canadian government's website indicated that Singapore is Canada's third largest export market in the 10-member ASEAN region. People to people ties are also good but it is no secret that aviation ties is where things get somewhat acidic. But over time and after changes at the top in the aviation industry in both countries, perhaps the wound has healed somewhat. It would be really nice to see direct flights between Singapore and Canada.

KC Sim
 
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IrishAyes
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RE: Will SQ Resume Its Axed Flights?

Wed Jan 23, 2013 5:19 am

Unfortunately, times have changed an economic conditions have warranted an enhanced focus on chasing yields and profitability and not sustaining "glamor routes" for the sake of prestige when it comes to the likes of CX and SQ.

Quoting United Airline (Reply 8):
Why are they transferring the B787s to Scoot? It would have been a great plane for long haul routes with thinner capacity.

Developing Scoot into a profitable entity is a huge priority for the SIA Group: its not some short-lived, temporary experimentation "just to see" if Singapore can enter into the Hybrid market/budget travel space. The reality is that the landscape has changed in SE Asia and SIA is having to play major catch-up to retain market share lost to other budget carriers in the region, particularly the ones that have successfully evolved into the medium-range such as Jetstar and AirAsia.

As such, it's necessary for SIA to make the best investments possible to develop Scoot, which do indeed entail 787s.

Quoting stlgph (Reply 13):
And on top of that, they've just launched a fresh round of advertising targeting executives, business, and financial professionals in the New York City area

SQ still will serve JFK via FRA. That could be the reason why.

Quoting United Airline (Reply 18):
Why doesn't SQ do SIN-JFK instead?

So SQ will pull out of EWR after so many years?

Yes, SQ will end the nonstop services to LAX and EWR as they will be returning the Airbus A340-500s used for these routes to Airbus. In exchange, they received a great deal on new aircraft such as the A350.

Even though the concept of a nonstop SIN-JFK route looks good on paper, circumstances are just not ideal right now. Then again, who knows.
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DolphinAir747
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RE: Will SQ Resume Its Axed Flights?

Wed Jan 23, 2013 8:47 pm

Quoting warden145 (Reply 20):
SQ currently does a daily SIN-ICN-SFO flight with a 777-312ER.

I know, but do they only have the rights for that route or for any U.S.-Korea route, like EWR-ICN?
 
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TWA772LR
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RE: Will SQ Resume Its Axed Flights?

Thu Jan 24, 2013 2:19 am

How about SQ serving the US mainland from Guam or New Zealand? Guam would have less of a chance because of UA, but there will have to be a GUM-Mainland flight eventually, so SQ mite-as-well jump on that.

As for AKL, they could do SIN-AKL-IAH/MEX/GRU/GIG/etc... If UA/CO saw, and NZ sees, potential for AKL-IAH, there has to be something there. It could be another high yielding niche like DME-IAH. Oceana also makes a great stop-over for South America to Asia connections so the possibilities seem endless.
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MAH4546
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RE: Will SQ Resume Its Axed Flights?

Thu Jan 24, 2013 2:26 am

Quoting TWA772LR (Reply 27):
How about SQ serving the US mainland from Guam or New Zealand? Guam would have less of a chance because of UA, but there will have to be a GUM-Mainland flight eventually, so SQ mite-as-well jump on that.

It's illegal for a foreign airline to fly a domestic route.

Nevermind the fact that there is barely enough demand from GUM to the mainland to support the service, and the fact that using a SQ premium aircraft on such a route is essentially a license to lose millions.

[Edited 2013-01-23 18:27:39]
a.
 
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TWA772LR
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RE: Will SQ Resume Its Axed Flights?

Thu Jan 24, 2013 2:33 am

Quoting mah4546 (Reply 28):
It's illegal for a foreign airline to fly a domestic route.

Sorry, I didn't know that. Would that also include flying transborder, pre-clearance flights to the US from Canada?

Quoting United Airline (Thread starter):
LAS

I think the next Asia route from LAS would be NRT on a 787, and to an even greater stretch, HKG.
Beauty is watching a 787 bank to make a short final. Bliss is watching that 787 with a good beer. Nirvana is all of that with a beautiful woman on your side.
 
steex
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RE: Will SQ Resume Its Axed Flights?

Thu Jan 24, 2013 2:39 am

Quoting TWA772LR (Reply 29):
Sorry, I didn't know that. Would that also include flying transborder, pre-clearance flights to the US from Canada?

No it wouldn't, USA-Canada is still international - where one clears customs has nothing to do with it.
 
LAXintl
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RE: Will SQ Resume Its Axed Flights?

Thu Jan 24, 2013 2:42 am

Both NW and JL tried LAS-Tokyo without much success.

Considering the Japan-US market is on an overall decline, I dont see the viability for such.

Also for info SQ tried HKG-LAS. That was a failure as well.

[Edited 2013-01-23 19:42:25]
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Viscount724
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RE: Will SQ Resume Its Axed Flights?

Thu Jan 24, 2013 3:10 am

Quoting TWA772LR (Reply 29):
Quoting mah4546 (Reply 28):
It's illegal for a foreign airline to fly a domestic route.

Sorry, I didn't know that. Would that also include flying transborder, pre-clearance flights to the US from Canada?

For a foreign carrier to be able to carry passenges on Canada-US transborder routes (as a continuation of a flight to/from their home country) depends on whether the bilaterals between that carrier's country and both Canada and the US include 5th freedom rights. If both are Open Skies agreements like the Canada-EU and US-EU multilateral agreements, 5th freedom rights are normally automatic. But many bilaterals are still quite restrictive and may or may not include 5th freedom rights, and often only on one or two specific sectors.

As a sidenote, the rare foreign carriers that do operate 5th freedom services on Canada-US routes (example CX YVR-JFK) don't use pre-clearance, as that would mean the through passengers HKG-JFK would all have to deplane in YVR and clear US customs/immigration which wouldn't be very convenient and would probably mean longer turnaround times and delays. Local passengers YVR-JFK on that flight have to clear US formalities on arrival at JFK along with passengers who boarded in HKG.

Unless I'm overlooking something I believe CX YVR-JFK is now the only transborder 5th freedom operation, since PR ended their YVR-LAS tag-on service from MNL last week.
 
kdonohue
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RE: Will SQ Resume Its Axed Flights?

Thu Jan 24, 2013 6:22 am

VISCOUNT 724 - Unless I'm overlooking something I believe CX YVR-JFK is now the only transborder 5th freedom operation, since PR ended their YVR-LAS tag-on service from MNL last week.

Yes, you're right the CX flight is the last Fifth Freedom from YVR. There used to be quite a few

JL to MEX
PR to LAS and EWR
QF to SFO
MH to TPE
SQ to ICN
FJ to HNL
 
United Airline
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RE: Will SQ Resume Its Axed Flights?

Thu Jan 24, 2013 5:39 pm

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 31):
Also for info SQ tried HKG-LAS. That was a failure as well.

Why did it fail?
 
steex
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RE: Will SQ Resume Its Axed Flights?

Thu Jan 24, 2013 5:49 pm

Quoting United Airline (Reply 34):
Why did it fail?

I would assume because it's a very long flight that doesn't have very good yield. While there is probably a bit of casino-related business traffic transferring, I would imagine the continued growth in Macau also somewhat hurts overall demand - unless you have a specific desire to see Las Vegas, most folks will in Hong Kong will take the 1-hour ferry ride rather than a 12+ hour flight.
 
LAXintl
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RE: Will SQ Resume Its Axed Flights?

Thu Jan 24, 2013 7:41 pm

Per Vegas news article at the time

"Low load factors and insufficient premium demand made Las Vegas challanging. SIA given its strong focus on the top end of the market, hoped a growing visitor demand to the US gambling capital from Asia would translate to passengers choosing its nonstop service over other competitors that favor connections via the US West Coast."

In other words, the yields were bad, and SQ simply could not support a long 14-15hr nonstop flight.

[Edited 2013-01-24 11:50:34]
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United Airline
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RE: Will SQ Resume Its Axed Flights?

Sun Jan 27, 2013 5:14 pm

Do they still fly SIN-TPE-LAX? Guess not? Will this come back anytime soon? Perhaps they should restart SIN-HKG-TPE altogether so that we can go to LAX on SQ via TPE.
 
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RE: Will SQ Resume Its Axed Flights?

Mon Jan 28, 2013 2:16 am

Quoting United Airline (Reply 37):
Do they still fly SIN-TPE-LAX? Guess not? Will this come back anytime soon? Perhaps they should restart SIN-HKG-TPE altogether so that we can go to LAX on SQ via TPE.

Dropped in 2008. They may opt to add an additional LAX flight when they drop the SIN-LAX non stop service laster this year, they have 8 77Ws to be delivered starting mid 2013.
 
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RE: Will SQ Resume Its Axed Flights?

Mon Jan 28, 2013 3:16 am

They dropped HKG-TPE after the SARS. This route was meant for people to transit through TPE to LAX right? Wonder if they will resume this flight
 
anrec80
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RE: Will SQ Resume Its Axed Flights?

Mon Jan 28, 2013 4:01 am

Quoting TWA772LR (Reply 29):
It's illegal for a foreign airline to fly a domestic route.

It's not illegal per se. QF operates a flight between LAX and JFK, though you can't buy a ticket on it just between JFK and LAX - you must travel to a point in Australia on QF.

Quoting TWA772LR (Reply 29):
Sorry, I didn't know that. Would that also include flying transborder, pre-clearance flights to the US from Canada?


When I flew on CX between YVR and JFK, there was no pre-clearance in YVR - border is being crossed in JFK.
 
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TWA772LR
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RE: Will SQ Resume Its Axed Flights?

Mon Jan 28, 2013 5:20 am

Quoting anrec80 (Reply 40):
When I flew on CX between YVR and JFK, there was no pre-clearance in YVR - border is being crossed in JFK.

Were you allowed off the airplane or did you have to remain seated? Did the Canadian passengers who boarded in YVR have to clear customs in JFK with the HKG originating pax?
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RE: Will SQ Resume Its Axed Flights?

Tue Jan 29, 2013 12:04 am

Quoting TWA772LR (Reply 41):
Quoting anrec80 (Reply 40):
When I flew on CX between YVR and JFK, there was no pre-clearance in YVR - border is being crossed in JFK.

Were you allowed off the airplane or did you have to remain seated? Did the Canadian passengers who boarded in YVR have to clear customs in JFK with the HKG originating pax?

Passengers boarding in YVR clear customs on arrival at JFK. If they used pre-clearance all the through passenges HKG-JFK would have to deplane and also use pre-clearance which would be very inconvenient for those passengers and increase turnaround times. As far as I know through passengers are permitted to deplane at YVR and remain in the in-transit area.
 
anrec80
Posts: 210
Joined: Mon Jan 10, 2011 7:50 am

RE: Will SQ Resume Its Axed Flights?

Tue Jan 29, 2013 2:46 am

Quoting TWA772LR (Reply 41):
Were you allowed off the airplane or did you have to remain seated? Did the Canadian passengers who boarded in YVR have to clear customs in JFK with the HKG originating pax?

I was boarding in YVR. They locked the gate area for use of the passengers that were on the plane from HKG to JFK - there were like 30 of them from a 77W. The rest (traffic between YVR and JFK) were waiting in the hallway while those passengers re-board and CX staff unlocks the gate area. Frankly, there were no Canadian security or border protection officers to look after the gate area, even though it's possible to exit the gate area and get out of the airport. I am sure there were cameras though.

Upon arrival to JFK, everyone cleared the customs in JFK.