Singapore Airlines (SIA) has commenced Airbus A350-900 operations to Brisbane, with the inaugural flight touching down under overcast skies on Tuesday morning.
Flight SQ235, operated by Airbus A350-900 9V-SMH landed just before 0730 on Tuesday, after an eight-hour journey from Singapore.
The aircraft was on the ground for a tick under two hours before operating the reciprocal SQ256 back to Singapore.
Currently, the Star Alliance member and Virgin Australia shareholder flies four times a day between Singapore and Brisbane.
By the end of January 2018, three out of the four daily rotations will have switched over to the A350-900, replacing either the Airbus A330-300 or Boeing 777-200.
Configured with 253 seats comprising 42 in business, 24 in premium economy and 187 in economy, the A350’s arrival marks SIA’s introduction of premium economy on the Brisbane route for the first time.
By contrast the A330-300s and 777-200s SIA uses to Brisbane have 285 and 266 seats, respectively, spread across business and economy.
Brisbane is the second Australian port for SIA’s A350-900 fleet, having flown the aircraft to Melbourne since August 2016. It currently has 16 of the type in service.
The Singaporean flag carrier has 67 A350s-900s on order, including eight ultra long range models that will be used for nonstop flights from Singapore to Los Angeles and New York starting in 2018.
Brisbane Airport chief executive Julieanne Alroe said having SIA’s A350-900 featuring the airline’s newest cabin products flying to Brisbane was great news for travellers.
“Premium flight options attract premium visitors seeking high-end experiences which significantly contribute to a vibrant growth in tourism, with the benefits rippling through the entire state,” Alroe said in a statement.
“Any extra or upgraded service to Brisbane Airport helps boost the economy and will benefit all of Queensland as visitors connect onto other popular intrastate destinations, as well as visiting local hot spots like the Gold and Sunshine Coasts.”