Singapore Airlines changes three routes from October, affecting free stopover cities

GUIDE: Using Points
DIFFICULTY: Intermediate
TIME TO READ: 3 minutes
POSTED: August 11, 2016
UPDATED: January 21, 2018
LOYALTY PROGRAMS: Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer, Velocity Frequent Flyer
STATUS: The list of stopover cities in this post is now out-of-date. For an updated list, see our guide on how to maximise KrisFlyer redemptions by using free or additional stopovers

Singapore Airlines will cut back on its overseas stopovers from October 2016, with Hong Kong, Moscow, Munich and Barcelona out, and Manchester and Milan joining Tokyo, Seoul, Frankfurt and Singapore as stopover options.

The airline operates some interesting ‘fifth freedom’ flights, such as Tokyo Narita to Los Angeles (which I took in March 2014), meaning that it operates between airports that are outside of its hub, i.e. Singapore Changi.

You can read more in our guides to including stopovers on Singapore Airlines-only and combination Singapore Airlines-Star Alliance flights.

Manchester replaces Moscow as stopover between Singapore and Houston

SQ changes IAH

Due to the fall in the price of oil, business traffic between the oil hubs of Houston (through which 9% of the world’s total oil cargo passes) and Moscow has fallen significantly.

As a result, Moscow is being switched out for Manchester as a stop between Singapore and Houston from 30 October. This flight will continue to be operated on the Boeing 777-300ER.

Singapore Airlines 777-300 Business Class Cabin -  SQ211 Business Class (5)

Business Class on the 777-300ER

This also means that instead of a stop in Munich on the way from Singapore to Manchester, there will be a non-stop flight to Manchester, which will then continue on to Houston.

Given that there will be no onward flights from Munich or Moscow from October, these will become ‘terminator’ services (meaning the plane will just turn around to go back to Singapore).

Singapore – Barcelona service will now include a stop in Milan

SQ changes BCN

From 23 October, the current non-stop Singapore – Barcelona 777 service will add a stop in Milan. In addition, the onward flight from Barcelona to Sao Paulo will be discontinued.

This is a real shame as it was possible to get a roundtrip ticket from Sydney/Melbourne/Brisbane/Adelaide to Sao Paulo with a free stopover in Singapore or Barcelona for 103,300 KrisFlyer miles in Economy or 187,850 in Business Class.

Singapore – San Francisco becomes non-stop

SQ changes SFO

As we have written about before, a direct Airbus A350 service from Singapore to San Francisco will commence on 23 October, negating the need to transfer through Seoul or Hong Kong.

(From the same date, one of the daily services from Singapore to Seoul will now fly on to LAX and there is still one daily service to San Francisco via Hong Kong, in addition to the nonstop).

The A350 flies to Amsterdam, Dusseldorf, Johannesburg, Melbourne (until it switches to San Francisco – see below) and possibly Moscow from March 2017.

SQ A350 seat

Business Class on the A350

This flight will make most sense to:

  • passengers from Perth, Adelaide, Canberra and Darwin, who would have to make a stop to get to the US anyway
  • passengers from the East Coast who have a lot of flying time to spare
  • travellers wanting to combine with a trip to the US with a stopover in Singapore
  • those wanting to go around the world, visiting Singapore, Frankfurt/Manchester, New York/Houston and San Francisco (follow the link above for more details)
  • aviation enthusiasts who are eager to try out 1-2-1 fully-flat bed Business Class on the A350

Melbourne – Singapore gets a daily A350 service until end of October, then A380 until March next year

SQ changes MEL

Melbourne will get a loan of the A350 until the non-stop San Francisco service starts in late October, with flights SQ207 and SQ208 using the new two-cabin aircraft.

From November 2016 until March 2017, for those wishing to enjoy a First Class Suite or excellent Business Class experience, it is worth trying to get on the SQ217 from Singapore to Melbourne or the SQ218 in the opposite direction, which will be one of the four daily Singapore Airlines flights between Singapore and Melbourne operated by the Airbus A380.

First Class Suite on the A380

Summing up: how these changes affect your stopover options

One of our favourite things about KrisFlyer redemptions on Singapore Airlines is that you can get a free stopover on a:

  • roundtrip saver award; or
  • one-way advantage award; or

purchase as many stopovers as you want for $100 USD each (handy if you are travelling on a one-way saver award, which is what a lot of people search for).

With the changes crossed out, your stopover options originating from Singapore are now:

  • Tokyo on the way to Los Angeles
  • Seoul on the way to San Francisco Los Angeles
  • Hong Kong on the way to San Francisco
  • Frankfurt on the way to New York
  • Moscow Manchester on the way to Houston
  • Munich on the way to Manchester
  • Barcelona on the way to Sao Paulo
  • Milan on the way to Barcelona

All of these flights are on the 777, except Frankfurt – New York on the A380, featuring First Class Suites.

SQ changes all stopovers

Images courtesy of Point Hacks, Great Circle Mapper and respective airlines.

Singapore Airlines changes three routes from October, affecting free stopover cities was last modified: January 21st, 2018 by Matt Moffitt