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Singapore Airlines to fly A380 to India from May 30

The Economic Times:  April, 2014

New Delhi : Singapore Airlines Monday became the first airline to announce A380 flights to India, more than two months after the country's aviation regulator allowed operations of the world's biggest passenger plane into the country.

Starting May 30, the airline will operate two daily flights each or a total of 28 weekly flights to the airports of Mumbai and Delhi--the two busiest inIndia--on the jumbo jet.

The flights will replace those currently operated by Boeing 777 planes to the two cities.

Bringing the A380--which usually has the most luxurious interiors among planes--to India will mean Singapore will manage to derive a premium on its services. The airline is however limited by bilateral agreements from getting as big a chunk of the market as the jet usually offers.

The A380 can sit 850 people in a single class configuration but usually used in a three-class offering with a seating capacity of 550-600 passengers.

Singapore operates a total of 63 weekly flights to India. Its regional subsidiary Silk Air operates an additional 42.

India on January 42 allowed carriers to operate the A380 to operate to four of India's airports-Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and Hyderabad.

A month later, it certified Mumbai as a Code-F compliant airport, which means it has a runway suitable for the A380 to land. Delhi has been Code-F certified for a few years now.

Middle-eastern airline Emirates is also keen to bring the jumbo plane to India and will have proving flights to Mumbai on the 17th or 18th of this month.It has already operated proving flights to Delhi.

Emirates currently operates 185 weekly flights to India. That will increase as the weekly aircraft seat entitlements between India and Dubai were increased by 11% to 65,200 seats in February.