Singapore Airlines is reintroducing capacity into the US market in Oct-2016 as it launches a daily nonstop service to San Francisco. The new flight is strategically important because it enables SIA to accelerate the resumption of nonstop flights to the US by two years and compete more effectively against United, which launched nonstop flights on the Singapore-San Francisco route at the beginning of Jun-2016.
The new Singapore-San Francisco nonstop flight will increase SIA’s US operation from 40 to 47 weekly frequencies. However, its total capacity to the US will increase a relatively modest 9% as SIA is also downgauging seven frequencies from A380s to 777-300ERs.
The 9% increase only partially offsets a significant earlier reduction in capacity to the US. SIA reduced capacity to the US by 16% in late 2013 and by a further 5% in 2015. As a result, SIA’s US capacity in Nov-2016 will still be down 12% compared with the situation just over three years ago. Most of its main Asian competitors have significantly increased US capacity during this period.
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