American Airlines Teases New Route To Singapore In Employee Leak

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.

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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. JFK-SIN has only a single SQ nonstop without any seats in Y, and it’s got to be one of the highest yielding routes in the world. If you want to fly in Y you need to go through FRA, so this would be a market all to AA itself, and there is limitless demand in J at very high fares that fills SQs flight most everyday and pax are forced to the much longer JFK-FRA-SIN. If SFO can support 2 nonstop flights, NYC certainly can with all of the finance, business, and legal traffic. And as good as SQ is, a lot of people just hate the J seat which needs to be made into a bed and is a bit of a rigamarole.

  2. Like you I am very skeptical they intend to launch such service and Singapore has quite bit of competition from SQ and UA in addition to all of the connection options on Asian carriers (TYO, TPE, HKG, MNL, and ICN).

    If AA wants to start something from Seattle that doesn’t have as much competition I’d seriously look into TPE. Regardless, my sentiments is AA has really ruined their European network (retired rather than mothballing widebodies during COVID – esp A332s) and I’d like to see them bring back or add more routes. DBV, PRG, EDI, SNN, KEF, OPO, BRU, GVA, etc.

  3. Would be amazing for AA to expand it’s tpac network.

    787 delays and Russian overflight issues make this a challenge.

    If the NEA sticks, what about Boston for a market with no Sin competition?

    A one stop flight (on AA metal) would be great as well. I know LHR slots are expensive, but AC has made tags to India work.

  4. Was just researching this trip out of MSP. SEA-SIN via Incheon is covered by KAL partnered with Delta. You can also go via SFO. So as you and several others have said, the market could well be saturated.

  5. For a “normal” configured aircraft, the only routes that work are from the west coast. No US carrier is going to operate a configuration like SQ does with half the numbera of seats)

    The A350 already has more range than the B787-9 and SQ uses the latest versions of the A350-900 in a normal configuration (250 seats) to fly the 17+ hours in the air on LAX-SIN. Delta already has A350-900s that could fly LAX-SIN with 250+ passengers but they only have a couple of them even though they are getting more than a dozen more in the next 2 years.

    AA has pulled its transpac network back to DFW but there is a pretty small part of the Pacific Rim that works from there.
    The whole notion that AA will build SEA as a gateway to Asia has always been a fantasy and nothing more. Delta built SEA as its own transpacific hub and there isn’t a single longhaul destination in the world other than to LHR where AA consistently outperforms DL in average fares.

    AA and/or DL adding SIN and other parts of E. Asia further down the Pacific Rim will add competition at the expense of SQ and UA.

  6. AA will not fly to SIN. AA’s TPAC route network is skeletal (on its own metal) and reliant on JL, CX, and QF. A SIN route would need steady and continuous demand on both ends, and that requires a strong sales effort on the SIN end, and that is where AA has underinvested since the 1980s when it began flying to Japan.

  7. @Tim Dunn “For a “normal” configured aircraft, the only routes that work are from the west coast.”

    You are right. SEA is really the only practical possibility. Even LAX wouldn’t work well with a -9.

  8. I don’t think American Airlines can operate a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner to Singapore because it is too long, so AA will consider using a route for Boom Sonic Overture plane between Seattle to Singapore and other route from Seattle to Bangalore in India from Seattle in 3 hours as a fastest supersonic flights

  9. Skeptical. Biz loads are not that good to SIN for UA. Checking a week to 2 out many flights are more than half empty out of SFO

  10. This, as everything else AA fantasies especially with new routes, is just like pissing against the wind. We all know how this is going to play out and end. No surprises here, just a lot of wishful thinking you guys.

  11. @Nick

    Your intel is bad for Biz loads on UA. Both of today’s flights are full in C class. So are tomorrow’s. Biz travellers are booking days out, not weeks out. Regardless, AA won’t be a worthy competitor. They never have been in Asia, as evidenced by their retrenchment in Chicago and Los Angeles.

  12. Znotins is the guy who said AA was a better domestic carrier than an international carrier. AA concluded that the trans-Pacific market was too competitive and threw in the towel. LAX became a second-tier hub. But, of the trans-Pacific operations we do keep, let’s base them out of . . . Dallas!!! Now this. Combined with PHL and CLT as European way-points instead of JFK, AA is indeed demonstrating that it is a better domestic airline than an international airline.

  13. This will never happen. JFK-SIN? lmfao.. no. AA doesn’t have the right plane for this route. They have enough problems making it back from DEL.

  14. I dunno, Lee. For those of us in Dallas, it’s very welcome news whenever new routes are opened from DFW to APAC. Especially when your wife is japanese like mine. 😀

  15. I’m surprised AA hasn’t developed PHX as a hub. I actually have never been to PHX but think it might work for some destinations
    SIN has always been tricky as far as routings fares & competition

  16. @Keith – PHX is an AA hub, of course. But there’s not really a big premium local market to Asia from there. (Oddly, in a meeting with LAX-based pilots shortly after closing the merger, Doug Parker said they might add Asia from Phoenix that was… quickly corrected since it was pretty dumb.)

  17. The Block 2 789s will be lower capacity at around 244 seats, J-heavy with 51 Flagship Suites.

  18. Idiots run the airline. They say that they can’t profit from HKG when CX only flies one flight LAX- HKG daily with economy fares over $3k. But want to try flying to a non-Oneworld carrier hub competing with one of the best airlines. I smell a big ego in planning

  19. AA’s transpacific (well and the transatlantic) network is pathetic compared to United and Delta’s. Although they specifically mentioned LAX-SIN in the meeting with pilots (after one cornered them asking why they’ve forgotten LA) they’ve clearly abandoned LAX so I doubt they will ever launch this route. From seeing the videos they sent to employees, it seems to me the execs want to distract employees from how they gutted the international network. Toss them a bone to keep the crew on board when long-haul flying isn’t really where their interest are. In the end AA only cares about domestic, the Caribbean and some Latin America. They don’t care about being a global airline. Everyone else can connect in LHR.

  20. “In the end AA only cares about domestic, the Caribbean and some Latin America. They don’t care about being a global airline.”

    The end is already being written for AA in South America as it was for Asia. Delta/LATAM is already moving in on the routes that AA has been serving seasonally, with less than daily frequencies, or not at all. These had been some of AA’s highest yielding routes, but they’d rather fly more frequencies to London via Charlotte or Philadelphia.

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