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Report: Singapore to Add Coach Cabin to Nonstop Service to New York and Los Angeles

Singapore Airlines launched its all-business class service to Los Angeles and New York a few years ago and has apparently been trying to staunch losses on the route ever since. (Curious about what it’s like? Check out The Points Guy’s recent trip report.) Virtually every airline that has tried single-class long haul service has struggled mightily or simply failed, as carriers are too reliant on one type of passenger throughout the year.

With that in mind, this report suggests that Singapore Airlines will add a coach cabin to their A340-500s on the NYC and LA routes in the near future. This would likely be an Economy Plus product with 37″ of pitch (which is roughly what you get in a domestic first class cabin). For you miles freaks, I have no idea if this would be available as a regular coach redemption, though I would assume it would.

You may remember Thai Airways’ not-long-for-this-world nonstops from New York to Bangkok, which also featured an economy plus-type product with a similar pitch.

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  1. A coach cabin probably won’t help SQ on this route. The problem isn’t relying on one passenger type. They did that for a reason — and it wasn’t because the thought of coach on the world’s longest flights is simply too much to bear. They did it because of the cost of operating! They needed the premium fares in order to cover costs, the problem is they’re not coming close enough to filling the plane. That Airbus just burns gas, Thai stopped their service because of a combination of loads and fuel costs, but largely the latter, their product didn’t work and it wasn’t all business.

    It’s an expensive aircraft and with the length of the flight they basically have to dedicate a couple of aircraft to the route, there’s not any opportunity to pick up additional revenue.

    Bottom-line is the aircraft is a money loser, it can fly the distance but with high fuel costs, so you need really high yields in order to break even.

    I don’t see how a coach cabin is going to solve that.

    And…. OUCH.

    For the ‘mileage freaks’ it’s worth noting that this month Singapore started releasing seats on this route to their partners for redemption :)

  2. Thanks for the info. I’m planning on flying my family to that part of the world later this year on Star Alliance coach award tickets. It would be a useful option; fingers crossed it becomes available for redemption, but I’ll believe it when I see it.

  3. SQ originally ran this route offering premium economy along with business class. They chucked the premium economy in late 2008. Glad to hear they are bringing it back. It’s pretty civilized and with SQ service it makes it tolerable.

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