Singapore Airlines restores fifth freedom flight on Taipei-Los Angeles

Singapore Airlines is restoring its new fifth freedom route from Taipei to Los Angeles. The flag carrier of Singapore has received the go-ahead to another of its fifth freedom on the Taipei-Los Angeles sector. The route, which has been devoid of air services by Singapore Airlines for the past 13 years, is set to restart on August 25. Deploying Airbus A350s, Singapore Airlines will serve Taipei to Los Angeles (fifth freedom) route three times a week. The state-of-art A350s have 235 seats with a three-cabin configuration, designed to accommodate 42 business-class passengers, 24 premium economy-class passengers. With the expansion of the airline’s footprint across the US, its flight to Los Angeles will continue to the Taiwanese capital of Taipei three days a week.

9V-SJB Singapore Airlines A350, Photo by Eurospot
9V-SJB Singapore Airlines A350, Photo by Eurospot

The Singapore-Taipei-Los Angeles fifth freedom route is a long-haul service that was commenced four times a week using Boeing 777-200ER, yet discontinued since October 1, 2008.

The flight schedule for the new fifth freedom route is published as:

  • Singapore-Taipei (Departure at 11:45 and Arrival at 16:40 on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays)
  • Taipei-Los Angeles (Departure at 17:50 and arrival at 15:20)

Also Read: Singapore Airlines and Scoot: Top Rating From Skytrax for Covid-19 Airlines Safety

Return flight

Qries

.
  • Los Angeles-Taipei (Departure at 00:40 LT and arrival at 6:10 on Mondays, Thursdays, and Saturdays)
  • Taipei-Singapore (Departure at 9:10 LT and arrival at 13:40)

The total flight duration from Taipei to Los Angeles is about 12 hours and 30 minutes, and the return flight duration is 14 hours 30 minutes.

Singapore Airlines A350

In this revival of the old fifth freedom route, Singapore Airlines has received full traffic rights (allows international commercial services between, through countries) in both directions between Taiwan and the United States of America. Albeit the granting of freedom for passenger transfers, it’s not possible to travel from Singapore to Los Angeles and vice-versa on this service due to the current travel ban. No transit passengers are allowed in Taipei, making the ticket booking either between SIN-TPE or between TPE-LAX.

What does Singapore Airlines Fifth freedom mean?

The flight operating on the fifth-freedom route allows the airline to travel and sell tickets between two foreign countries while connecting to/from the airline’s home country. The Chicago convention officially recognizes the first five freedoms where third to fifth freedom is negotiated between countries. The fifth freedom permits Singapore Airlines to transport revenue traffic between the US and Taiwan to connect SIA’s home country.

The restoration of 2008 Singapore’s TPE-LAX service will give a total of five fifth-freedom routes from the US to seek out new opportunities. The other routes are:

  • LAX-NRT
  • SAF-HKG
  • IAH-MAN
  • JFK-FRA

Only the first route, i.e., the LAX-NRT flight, was re-launched in June after being put on ice earlier in the pandemic. The other three routes are yet to be served, but that hasn’t hindered Singapore’s commitment to offering fifth freedom flights. Since Mid-July, the island-state carrier opened up the new European fifth freedom route via Copenhagen to Rome to cater to the needs of Norwegian and Scandinavian customers and tap into intra-Europe traffic. From this week onward, the airline’s budget subsidiary Scoot is also pursuing the opportunity to fly between Athens and Berlin in the European fifth freedom route.

The JFK-FRA fifth freedom flights operated high-end Airbus A380 superjumbos featuring posh first-class seats before the pandemic. Similar first-class cabin configured aircraft were deployed on fifth freedom routes from LAX and SFO.

Boeing 787-10 on Singapore-Taipei route

New service commences on the Singapore-Taipei route from August 25, 2021, where Boeing 787-10 will serve two cities on weekly operations four times. The schedule is set as:

  • SIN-TPE (Departure at 08:20 and arrival at 13:10 on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday)
  • TPE-SIN (Departure at 14:35 and arrival at 19:10)

SQ876 and SQ 877 are the flight numbers designated to SIN-TPE and TPE-SIN flights, respectively.

Singapore Airlines 787 : Photo by KTMspotter
Singapore Airlines 787 : Photo by KTMspotter

The option of flying between Taiwan and the USA and valuable cargo carried on Taipei-Los Angles will cover the dwindling passenger revenue induced by low passenger demand through travel restrictions. As soon as the countries relax their border restrictions, Singapore Airlines will surely make this route viable for passenger services. It will require significant passenger demand in the coming days for this new service tap. At the same time, cargo revenue will likely set off the passenger revenue loss on this current in-force border restriction.

Airbus A-350 on fifth freedom routes from Los Angeles

Singapore Airlines is using A350-900 for this TPE-LAX fifth freedom route. The airline will provide an option for SIA’s popular 2013 Business class product on a 4.5 hour flight.

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