At an internal employee ‘Crew News’ question and answer session, American Airlines Vice President of Network Planning Brian Znotins shared that the airline is looking at Singapore as a new destination, as revealed by aviation insider JonNYC. This service would become possible once the airline begins taking delivery of new Boeing 787-9s it has on order, which will feature new business class suites with doors, currently slated for next year.
“Also several times in crew news, it was alluded to that HKG's economy is stalling, and singapore is rising. Znotins definitely alluded to Singapore flying as being a real possibility in the future”
— 🇺🇦 JonNYC 🇺🇦 (@xJonNYC) March 25, 2023
American Airlines service to Singapore would almost certainly be from Seattle.
- While American’s Pacific service is currently centered in Dallas (outside of flights to joint venture partner hubs in Tokyo and Sydney), after dismantling Los Angeles as its Asia gateway, Dallas – Singapore is too long for a densely-configured Boeing 787-9 to operate.
- They’ve focused on Seattle for Pacific growth. Alaska Airlines, based there, is more than just a partner through oneworld. With reciprocal elite benefits that include extra legroom seats and upgrades for customers, the two airlines consider themselves “seamless partners”.
Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 4
However I am skeptical that American Airlines will fly Seattle – Singapore.
- Singapore Airlines already serves Seattle – Singapore, and American has said that one reason Los Angeles Asia flying wasn’t profitable, and they scaled it down, was competition from Asian carriers.
- American lacks a partner on the Singapore side to drive connections. American has focused its international flying on partner hubs. While Singapore has taken on greater importance as Hong Kong increasingly turns inward towards mainland China, it would be out of character for American to focus on new ultra-long haul destinations and destinations that lack connecting opportunities.
- At a minimum, Alaska Airlines would need to drop its Singapore Airlines partnership first – intended to drive traffic to Singapore’s non-stop from Seattle.
Credit: American Airlines
While several years ago there was some discussion about a possible American Airlines route to Kuala Lumpur (which never made sense to me, but at least had the virtue of being a oneworld partner hub for connections), JonNYC observes that this is the first time there’s been a leak of Singapore as a possible destination. Like me, he is skeptical, even going so far as to wonder if Znotins is intentionally sharing disinformation – knowing that this would be leaked – in order to send a signal to competitor airlines.