SINGAPORE: Singapore Airlines (SIA) will fly four times a week to Vancouver in Canada and Seattle in the United States from Dec 2 to Feb 15 next year, said the carrier on Monday (Oct 11).
Announcing the seasonal services, SIA said two of these weekly Seattle-Vancouver-Singapore flights will operate as vaccinated travel lane (VTL) services, providing eligible customers entry into Singapore without COVID-19 quarantine. Sale of tickets through various distribution channels will begin on Tuesday at noon.
SIA indefinitely suspended its thrice-weekly service between Singapore and Vancouver via Seoul on Apr 25, 2009, ending the airline’s more than 20 years of flying to Canada. In a press release on Jan 14, 2009, it attributed the move to the global economic downturn.
For this seasonal service, flight SQ28 will depart from Singapore Changi Airport at 9.15am and arrive at Vancouver International Airport at 7.30am. It will then leave for Seattle-Tacoma International Airport at 8.40am to arrive at 9.30am.
Flight SQ29, SIA’s twice-weekly designated vaccinated travel lane service, will depart from Seattle at 11am and arrive at 11.45am in Vancouver, before departing again at 1.15pm to arrive the next day at 10.05pm in Singapore.
SIA will also operate SQ27, a twice-weekly Seattle-Vancouver-Singapore service, for customers who are not eligible to enter Singapore under the vaccinated travel lane arrangement.
The 253-seat Airbus A350-900 will be deployed for the Singapore-Vancouver-Seattle service, with 42 business class seats, 24 premium economy seats and 187 economy seats.
SAN FRANCISCO ROUTE TO BECOME VACCINATED TRAVEL LANE
From Oct 20, the airline will also convert its daily non-stop services from San Francisco to Singapore into designated vaccinated travel lane services. Tickets are already available for sale.
Flight SQ34 departs from Singapore at 6.40pm and arrives in San Francisco at 7.05pm. Return flight SQ33 departs at 10.05pm, arriving two days later in Singapore at 5.45am.
For this service, SIA operates the 161-seat Airbus A350-900 ULR, with 67 business class seats and 94 premium economy seats.
“With the new Singapore-Vancouver-Seattle flights and the conversion of San Francisco-Singapore to a VTL service, SIA customers can enjoy even more seamless travel options to North America during the year-end holiday season,” said SIA’s senior vice president for marketing planning JoAnn Tan.
“SIA will continue to monitor the demand for air travel, and adjust its services accordingly.”
These additions to the vaccinated travel lane network follow previously announced vaccinated-only services from Los Angeles and New York, and will bring the number of destinations in SIA Group’s vaccinated travel lane network to 17 cities.
The carrier will operate vaccinated-only services from Amsterdam, Barcelona, Copenhagen, London, Los Angeles, Milan, New York, Paris and Rome from Oct 19, as well as Seoul from Nov 16. Currently, SIA operates vaccinated travel lane services from Bandar Seri Begawan, Frankfurt and Munich.
Sister airline and budget operator Scoot will begin vaccinated-only flights from Berlin on Oct 20.
“Customers who wish to travel on the VTL services should note that Vaccinated Travel Pass applications open on Oct 12, 2021. They must also ensure that they are eligible to travel under the VTL arrangements before their flight,” said SIA.
Travellers will also be subject to requirements such as having to take polymerase chain reaction tests before departure and upon arrival.
The carrier said multi-city itineraries within countries in the vaccinated travel lane network are allowed if customers meet the eligibility criteria, adding that they can “enjoy fuss-free transfers via Singapore Changi Airport to 59 destinations within the SIA Group network”.
Following feedback from parents, the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore on Monday said unvaccinated children aged 12 and below will be allowed to enter Singapore under the vaccinated travel lane scheme.
They must be accompanied by another traveller on the scheme and those aged above two will have to take the polymerase chain reaction test.