Singapore Airlines will be flying the Airbus A380 to Zürich, Switzerland daily, starting with the 2010 Summer Timetable – from March 28, 2010.
The Singapore Airlines news release states: “Daily Airbus A380 services between Singapore and Zurich will replace the existing 12 weekly frequencies between the two cities, which are currently operated with smaller Boeing 777-300ER aircraft. Operations are subject to the airport being certified for A380 flights.“
Zürich airport is working on the case to be certified for the A380 as soon as possible, and had a full airport test for the aircraft type at the end of January for two days. Thousands of enthusiastic Swiss plane-spotters took the chance on a very cold morning to watch the 73 meter long Airbus A380 land in Switzerland for the first time. After spending one night in Zürich, the Airbus test aircraft flew to Geneva for similar tests.
These exclusive Airline World pictures were taken of the Airbus Test super-jumbo by Mr. Oliver Decsi, at Zürich airport:
Assuming that the certificate is granted, Zurich will be the third city in Europe and the seventh in Singapore Airlines’ network to receive the A380. The Airline started operating the superjumbo in October 2007 to Sydney and subsequently added services to London, Tokyo, Paris, Hong Kong and Melbourne. Many industry analysts earlier predicted Frankfurt, Germany to become the third European destination, but it looks like fellow Star Alliance hub Zürich will get the newest Singapore Airlines airplane, the eleventh of the type for the carrier.
Singapore Airlines is currently the only airline flying non-stop between Zürich and Singapore and can reduce the weekly 12 flights to a daily service, increasing efficiency. On routes where Singapore has started using the A380, it has stolen extra marketshare, and lifted passenger loads. For example on the Tokyo-Narita service, all other airlines flying the route have reported declines in number of passengers (ANA: -13%, JAL: -19%, United Airlines: -22%, Delta Air Lines: -7%), except Singapore with its A380, that gained 8%.
Singapore and Qantas are averaging an 83% load factor across their A380 flights, Airbus says. Singapore’s A380s are achieving a 20% reduction in fuel burn over the 747-400. On reliability, the A380 had a 97% technical dispatch record in the first year, which compares favorably with the Boeing 777 at around 98% and is well ahead of the Boeing 747-400, which swung between 89% and 93% when it entered commercial operations. Airbus is targeting 98% reliability for the A380 this year. The first major batch of software upgrades was introduced on Ship 33, the first for Air France, and these are “making a difference,” as reported by Airbus. The upgrade is being refitted to the other 26 aircraft in service. The A380 has generated approximately 100,000 revenue flight hours on 10,000 flights so far.
Airbus will deliver 20 aircraft this year, including three that were supposed to have been delivered in 2009. “We are at 1.5 aircraft a month and moving up to two a month by year end,” the company said.
20 new A380’s in 2010 will surely mean a lot of similar news about new airlines, new routes and new airports getting the services of the super-jumbo.