From May 3, SIA will suspend two of its seven weekly non-stop flights linking Singapore with Los Angeles.
Speaking to Channel News Asia, SIA spokesperson Nicholas Ionides said, “We are temporarily reducing from seven to five non-stop flights a week. It’s to do with matching capacity to demand.”
The affected services are those which operate on Tuesday and Wednesday because these have “less demand” compared with flights on other days of the week.
SIA uses ultra long-range A340-500s to operate non-stop between Singapore and Los Angeles in an all business class layout.
The carrier’s other direct service to Los Angeles, operated by a B777-300ER, and which makes a stopover in Tokyo Narita, continues to operate every day.
But it too has been downgraded in recent weeks as the planned operation by A380 aircraft has been postponed following the recent events in Japan.
Ultra long-haul flights are expensive to operate because during the early stages of the mission you need to burn fuel in order to carry fuel.
This is why, during the last fuel price spike, SIA reconfigured its A340-500s from a two-class (business and premium economy layout) to an all business class configuration in order to boost revenue per flight.
Although SIA admits it is feeling the impact of rising fuel costs the spokesperson said that this was not the sole reason for trimming non-stop flight frequency.
The airline says that the flight reduction will last for at least three months. A decision as to whether or not to extend it will be made at a later date. SIA’s other ultra non-stop US service (a daily A340-500 flight linking Singapore with New York Newark) remains unchanged.