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SIA to launch non-stop flight to Los Angeles on Nov 2

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Singapore Airlines (SIA) will launch non-stop flights between Singapore and Los Angeles (LA) on Nov 2, and increase capacity on its flights to San Francisco - as part of plans to boost services to the United States.

[SINGAPORE] Singapore Airlines (SIA) will launch non-stop flights between Singapore and Los Angeles (LA) on Nov 2, and increase capacity on its flights to San Francisco - as part of plans to boost services to the United States.

The Singapore-LA service will be operated using the new Airbus 350-900ULR (ultra-long-range) aircraft - the same plane that SIA will use when it resumes flying non-stop to New York in October.

In an announcement on Wednesday, SIA said that flight SQ38 from Singapore to LA will fly three times per week on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday.

Daily operations will start from Nov 9 when an additional A350-900ULR aircraft will also be used for this service.

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From Dec 7, a further three services per week will be added, increasing total non-stop flights between Singapore and LA to 10 times per week.

With the introduction of non-stop services between Singapore and Los Angeles, SIA will no longer fly via Seoul, South Korea, from Nov 30.There will however still be flights to LA via Tokyo, Japan.

The airline said it will also increase frequency on the existing Singapore-San Francisco route with three more weekly flights, with effect from Nov 28.

This will take the total number of flights to 10 a week.

"Our US services have always been popular with our customers and we are pleased to be able to provide even more travel options with the launch of non-stop flights between Singapore and Los Angeles, and an increase in frequency on the existing non-stop Singapore-San Francisco route," said SIA chief executive officer, Goh Choon Phong in a statement on Wednesday (July 11).

SIA's announcement comes about a week after United Airlines said that it was pulling the plug on its non-stop Singapore-LA service by the end of October - less than a year after the service was launched.

With demand on the route not as high as expected, the airline said it would instead be adding a second daily non-stop flight for its Singapore-San Francisco route from Oct 28, subject to approval from the authorities.

SIA will be the first airline in the world to operate the A350-900ULR.

The ultra-long-range aircraft will be configured in a two-class layout, with 67 business class seats and 94 seats in the premium economy cabin.

SIA currently has 21 A350-900s in its fleet, with 46 more on order including the seven ULR variants.

The first A350-900ULR is due for delivery in September.

SIA currently operates 40 flights per week to the US cities of Houston, New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco. With the new flights, total US frequency will increase to 53 per week by December.

THE STRAITS TIMES