Singapore Airlines (SIA) on the most profitable airlines in the world, announced today further route adjustments as part of the 11 per cent reduction of capacity from April 2009 to March 2010.
While Bangalore remains unaffected, for now, most other gateways of New Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Hyderabad, and Ahmedabad have already been or are being affected by this latest announcement.
I cannot help but compare the withdrawal of services by most international carriers to the massive ramp-up by Emirates and other middle-east airlines in India.
When I visited the airport yesterday, during discussions with various friends, I was informed that the two of the three Emirates flights were going full, and the third was also respectable.
A number of changes have already been announced and some effected, including the withdrawal of service to Amritsar (from Feb 09) and Vancouver (from Apr 09), lower frequency of flights to India, as well as a cutback on the non-stop flights between Singapore and the USA.
A whopping 17 aircraft will be decommissioned from the operating fleet, up from an earlier forecast of four aircraft to be phased out.
The new changes shown below will be in effect from March 29 to October 24, unless specified otherwise:
For the London route, one of the three daily flights will be replaced with a B777-300ER plane from end-March.
The change in aircraft from the B747-400 will result in a seat count reduction of 97, a minus 7.5 per cent difference a day.
Flights to Manchester will be at three times weekly from May, down from the present five times weekly.
The frequency of service to Sydney will be reduced from four to three times daily till July.
Services to Seoul will be reduced to twice-daily, from its already-reduced schedule of 17 times weekly. One flight will continue on to San Francisco.
Japan, the Singapore-Bangkok-Tokyo service will reduce from six to five flights per week.
China, flights to Beijing will decrease from 21 to 17 weekly. Guangzhou and Nanjing services will reduce to five and two per week respectively.
Flights to Hong Kong will be reduced from a weekly 42 to 35.
Aside from already announced changes affecting Indian gateways (see details below), Colombo and Male will each be served by five flights per week, down from seven.
In the region, the Jakarta route will see a reduction from 56 to 49 a week, while Bangkok flights will be cut from 41 to 33 per week.
Other routes, such as Brisbane, Perth, Fukuoka, Nagoya and Rome will now be operated with variable frequencies depending on the season.
Flights to India
Hyderabad-Singapore services, SQ439 and SQ438, will be reduced from four to three times weekly, with the suspension of the Saturday service from February 21.
SQ405 and SQ406, between New Delhi and Singapore, will be reduced from a six times weekly service, to five times weekly service. Changes will apply from March 10 to 24, as flights on Tuesdays during that period will be suspended.
For Mumbai and Singapore, services SQ421 and SQ422 will be progressively reduced from five to four times weekly services, starting February 27. Flights on Fridays will be suspended.
Morning flights to Chennai will be cut.