Here’s Why Singapore Airlines Is No Longer Selling First Class On Most Routes

Singapore Airlines isn’t selling international first class anymore on most routes, at all, for the next year. What’s going on? And what does it mean for the future of first class?

Singapore Airlines Has Among The World’s Best First Class Products

Singapore Airlines has one of the very best first class products in the sky on its Airbus A380 planes – the suites on their older A380s that have been in service a decade are fantastic, and the new A380 interior is something even more special with a separate seat and bed and the ability for two passengers to combine their cabins and have a double bed.

Singapore Airlines New A380 Suite

They offer a first class that’s older still on long haul Boeing 777s. There are just four seats in the cabin which aren’t nearly as differentiated from business class as on the Airbus A380, but offer privacy, upgraded amenities, and more personalized service. Singapore Airlines in normal times offers some of the best (main meal) food in the sky and a fantastic wine program.

Singapore Airlines Boeing 777-300ER First Class

Singapore Airlines Isn’t Selling First Class At All On Most Routes

Singapore Airlines has stopped selling first class entirely right now. Their Airbus A380s have been grounded – there’s simply not a need to transport so many passengers when Singapore Airlines air travel has been down as much as 99% – and there’s speculation that a fleet review could mean the end of service for the plane at Singapore.

Sale of first class was closed across the board on all routes through March 31, 2021. Recently that’s been extended through end of schedule for a majority of flights operated by aircraft that would have offered it. For instance,

  • Los Angeles – Tokyo – Singapore, a Boeing 777-300ER, isn’t selling first class at all

  • New York JFK – Frankfurt – Singapore, traditionally an Airbus A380, isn’t selling first class either (although it appears that certain flights on the Singapore – Frankfurt sector still offer the cabin).

Singapore Airlines Lobster Thermidor

Why Is First Class Gone, And Will It Return?

A Singapore Airlines spokesperson tells that zeroing out first class sales is “[d]ue potential aircraft deployment changes,” since it’s not clear which routes will operate with aircraft that offer a first class cabin.

First class is only offered on their Boeing 777-300ER and Airbus A380 aircraft. If a route swaps for a different plane, such as an Airbus A350, then the most premium cabin offered will be business class.

With all the uncertainty of the pandemic, with very little travel permitted in, out and through Singapore, and with the pace of travel recovery unclear, they don’t want to sell a product (first class) when they do not know yet when and where they’ll offer it.

Fortunately, the spokesperson assures, “[s]ales will reopen when flight schedules that include B777-300ER or A380 aircraft deployments are confirmed.” I’m hopeful that the airline’s fleet review means keeping the A380 in the air, mostly for the very special first class that it offers.

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. What happens to the actual first class seats when they are flying a plane that happens to have them?

    Do lucky business class passengers get assigned to them?

    Or they just go empty?

  2. I have never been on an SIA plane in my life! How about letting them be used to promote medical tourism? I mean due to covid more and more people around the world needs to be treated so wouldnt having a special first class on board be ideal for such patients to get to where they need treatment? Also can be used for labour purposes safe for newborn and moms. Just my thought.

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