Wellington Scoop

Singapore Airlines bringing newest Airbus to Wellington from November


News from Singapore Airlines
Singapore Airlines today announced that from 1 November, Wellington will be served by one of the world’s most technologically advanced aircraft, the Airbus A350-900.

Singapore Airlines will become the first airline to operate scheduled commercial services using the twin-engine wide-body jet to the New Zealand capital after Airbus certified the aircraft for operations in Wellington.

The A350-900 will deliver customers travelling to and from Wellington with access to lie-flat Business Class seats, Premium Economy Class and a new ergonomically designed Economy Class seat, as well as a range of other comforts that will enhance their travel experience.

Singapore Airlines General Manager New Zealand Kenny Teo said the deployment of the A350-900 was exciting for the city and a wonderful next step in the development of the route.

“We have proudly served the Wellington market since we launched operations here in 2016 and today’s announcement reinforces our commitment to the city and our operations to the capital,” Mr Teo said. “It is exciting to become the first airline to operate scheduled commercial services using the A350-900 to Wellington, which highlights the growth of the operation since we launch almost three years ago.

“Over the past three years we have seen the service grow in popularity and the deployment of the A350-900 will only further enhance our customer’s experience when departing from Wellington.

“All of the products onboard our A350-900 have been designed with the customer’s experience and needs front of mind, and not only are we thrilled to be delivering a new level of comfort to Wellington, but also to be the first long-haul carrier out of Wellington to offer customers the option of flying Premium Economy.

“When the new aircraft arrives in Wellington on 1 November, it will also deliver Singapore Airlines customers access to at least three cabin classes regardless of whether they’re travelling from Wellington, Auckland or Christchurch – all of which include the option of travelling in Premium Economy.”

The A350-900 features 42 Business Class seat in a 1-2-1 layout providing each customer with direct aisle access. Each seat converts into a 78-inch fully-flat bed with cushioned headboard for greater sleeping comfort. Stowage has been designed to include a side console located above the armrest which allows laptop storage in both seat and bed mode. Each Business Class seat boasts a personal 18-inch HD LCD screen along with noise cancelling headphones and a video touchscreen handset to help customers enjoy over 1,000 movie, TV, music and game choices on the KrisWorld in-flight entertainment system.

Premium Economy Class features 24 seats in a 2-4-2 layout providing extra comfort, choices, and privileges for passengers. It all starts with priority handling and boarding, followed by a seat that includes a calf-rest and footrest for extra comfort. The seat reclines up to eight inches with a 38-inch seat pitch, perfectly designed for snoozing. A video touchscreen handset and 13.3 inch HD touch screen monitor, along with the addition of noise cancelling headphones, allows customers to fully immerse themselves in the KrisWorld in-flight entertainment system, all while sipping champagne throughout the flight.

Economy Class features 187 seats in a 3-3-3 layout and provides more legroom and personal space alongside a new backrest cushion with bolstered sides and a 4-way adjustable sculpture headrest, which provides neck support and comfort to rest peacefully. One of the stand out features is the 11.1-inch wide touch-screen personal monitor and video touch-screen handset to view more than 1,000 entertainment options on the KrisWorld in-flight entertainment system throughout the journey.

Customers travelling on the A350-900 can utilise the Singapore Airlines Companion App, allowing them to pre-select their favourite video and audio content before boarding to better plan, personalise and enjoy their journey.

Along with the addition of new cabin features, the A350-900 has been designed with comfort in mind, providing customers flying in and out of Wellington with an improved travel experience, bringing features like higher ceilings, larger windows, and an extra wide body as well as lighting that has been specifically designed to reduce jetlag.

Confirmation of the A350-900s deployment to Wellington follows last month’s announcement that Singapore Airlines will increase services on the Singapore-Melbourne-Wellington route to five times a week from 1 January. It also follows the announcement that the Singapore Airlines and Air New Zealand joint venture will deliver customers travelling to and from Auckland with an additional 35,000 seats between 29 March and 24 October 2020.

As part of the joint venture with Air New Zealand, Singapore Airlines has proudly connected Wellingtonians to Singapore and destinations beyond since launching services in 2016 via Canberra. In May 2018, to better cater for demand and the travel patterns of the Wellington market, Singapore Airlines de-linked the service from Canberra, rerouting the operation via Melbourne.

The first SQ247 flight to operate using the new A350-900 will depart Singapore on 31 October at 20:05 local time and arrive in Wellington at 13:10 local time on 1 November following an 80-minute transit in Melbourne. The return SQ248 flight will depart at 14:30 local time and arrive in Singapore at 22:45 local time following an 85-minute transit in Melbourne.

Singapore Airlines’ has a total of 67 A350-900 aircraft on firm order and as at 1 August 2019 have taken delivery of 38 since the first aircraft entered the fleet in March 2016.

News from Wellington Airport
Wellington Airport today welcomed the announcement by Singapore Airlines that it is to fly the Airbus A350-900 into the Capital. Passengers on the airline’s Singapore-Melbourne-Wellington route will travel on their most modern aircraft and cabin product from 1 November.

“The decision by the world’s most awarded airline to bring this modern aircraft to the city is a vote of confidence in the region and Wellington Airport,” says Steve Sanderson, chief executive of Wellington Airport.

“Singapore Airlines has been operating out of Wellington for three years and over that period there has been a 35% increase in visitors from Asia. This illustrates how popular the service is and we are thrilled with the positive response from travellers.”

Last month, Singapore Airlines announced it will increase services on the Singapore-Melbourne-Wellington route to five times a week from January.

“Wellington and Central New Zealand has greater access to Asia and better onward connections to Europe than ever before,” says Mr Sanderson. “The service has also made it far easier for travellers from Europe and Asia to make Wellington their gateway to New Zealand.”

Over the past three years, Wellington Airport has partnered with WREDA, Singapore Airlines and travel agents in Asia on a series of overseas marketing initiatives designed to put Wellington on the map.

“Wellington is being fully promoted across Singapore’s international network. Tourism trade itineraries are being sold with either arrivals into Auckland and exiting via Wellington or arriving Wellington and exiting Christchurch. This never happened before.

“Visitors from Asia and Europe are spending $73m more per year in Wellington than they were before the service started. It shows the importance of being connected to Singapore’s award winning hub, Changi Airport.”

Singapore Airlines will be the first airline out of Wellington to offer customers the option of flying Premium Economy. The A350-900 also features lie-flat Business Class seats and a new ergonomically designed Economy Class seat.

News from TravelTalk
The route is currently flown by Boeing 777-200 aircraft from the early 2000s that feature a two class configuration with the original economy seating and a 2006-era angled lie flat seat. It will be replaced by the airline’s brand new Airbus A350-900 aircraft in a three-class configuration featuring economy, premium economy, and full lie-flat business class.

The move to the A350 will see a reduction from 266 seats to 253 seats on each flight, and a reduction from 228 economy seats to 187 economy seats on each flight due to the significant increase in business class seat numbers, and the addition of premium economy.

With every seat on this route subsidised by Wellington ratepayers as part of a secret agreement signed between the council’s economic development agency and Singapore Airlines to bring the airline to the capital, originally on the Wellington – Canberra – Singapore route, the move will see costs increase for ratepayers due to the increase in weekly flights.


  1. JennyKay, 21. August 2019, 15:08

    Good that they don’t need to extend the airport runway for the new Singapore-Wellington Airbus flights. [via twitter]

  2. greenwelly, 21. August 2019, 15:25

    Why would they need the longer runway? They are still stopping in Melbourne, so therefore depart Wellington with a very light fuel load.
    Air NZ can currently land all of its long haul fleet in Wellington (777 and 787s), but with the short runway they cannot take off with fuel to go further than Australia (and maybe the Pacific Islands)

  3. Geoff, 21. August 2019, 15:42

    Wonderful news as the best gets better. Singapore has the initiative where Air (North) does not want to for obvious reasons. This will really benefit the local economy. Congratulations to ALL again.

  4. greenwelly, 21. August 2019, 15:52

    @Geoff, the Singapore-Wellington Flights are part of the joint alliance between AirNZ and Singapore Airlines.