LONDON – Singapore Airlines (SQ) has this week announced it will be resuming services to New Zealand.
Auckland and Christchurch will be the two Kiwi-based destinations in question, being operated by the carrier’s Airbus A350-900 aircraft.
These services are part of Singapore’s minimum connectivity plans as it aims to recover from the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic.
Commenting on the route news was the airline’s General Manager for New Zealand Kenny Tao who stated that this was a small-step towards re-establishing the airline’s presence in the country.
“We are committed to ensuring New Zealand remains globally connected in a Covid-safe manner during these challenging times, whether it be keeping key trade channels open or allowing for essential travel to occur”.
“This move is another small step in the long journey to returning to regular operations. We continue to monitor the changing border restrictions globally and when appropriate, will make further changes to our minimum connectivity network.”
Flights will resume on June 9. For the Auckland service, it will be a twice-weekly service, and Christchurch will offer a once-weekly service.
SQ285 will depart Singapore at 1205L on Tuesdays, arriving into Auckland at 1440L the same day.
The return, SQ282 will depart Auckland at 2320L that same day before arriving into Changi Airport at 0610L+1.
The second service, dubbed SQ281 will depart Singapore Changi at 0845L on a Friday, arriving into Auckland at 2220L that same evening.
The return of SQ286 will depart Auckland at 1515L on a Saturday before arriving into Changi Airport at 2205L that same day.
As for the Christchurch service, SQ297 will depart Singapore at 2300L on a Sunday before arriving at 1240L+1.
The return of SQ298 will see the flight depart Christchurch at 0900L on a Tuesday, arriving into Singapore for 1550L.
Singapore Airlines had been already operating to Auckland over the pandemic through the use of its thrice-weekly cargo services, which has recently been increased to five flights per week.
For a carrier like Singapore Airlines, restarting operations has been paramount, especially after the airline posted its first loss in its 48-year operating history.
The losses of S$212m for the 12 months ending on March 31 this year were a complete reversal compared to the S$683m profit it had made in the same period last year.
For the first quarter of this year, losses were recorded at S$732m compared to S$203m in the first quarter of 2019.
The country of Singapore had prohibited all short-term visitation in regards to entering or transiting through the city, causing traffic levels to exponentially drop.
As mentioned in this article, analysts are suggesting that SQ’s recovery will occur within one to 1.5 years.
This is suggesting that SQ’s goal is to be back in the air as soon as feasibly possible, like with all other airlines that are combating such low demand.
In-all, this remains an important step for SQ as it aims to acquire some level of demand to reduce losses going forward.