By Putu Deny Wijaya
Singapore Airlines Reintroduces ‘Seasonal’ Direct Flights from Seattle to Singapore for a Limited Time
Singapore Airlines will restart Seattle-to-Singapore flights from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport beginning in December for a short time to accommodate holiday travel from Christmas through the Lunar New Year.
The airline’s 253-seat Airbus A350-900 will depart Seattle Tacoma four times a week from December 2 to February 15, stopping momentarily in Vancouver, British Columbia, before crossing the Pacific Ocean to Southeast Asia.
In 2019, Singapore Airlines began flying nonstop from Sea-Tac to Singapore, however, the service was terminated in early 2020 owing to the coronavirus pandemic
This seasonal Seattle-to-Singapore flight, according to James Boyd, vice president of public relations for Singapore Airlines, will give customers “the opportunity to reunite with their loved ones during the holiday season,” as well as give people in Seattle and Vancouver another option for a holiday trip. According to Boyd, depending on demand, the route may be extended beyond the holidays.
Two of these weekly seasonal flights from Seattle to Singapore will be part of Singapore’s extended “vaccinated travel lane” initiative. Beginning Oct. 19, fully vaccinated tourists from the United States and a number of other countries will be able to visit Singapore without having to go through quarantine.
Travelers must be vaccinated to fly in these vaccinated travel lanes, and passengers on other Singapore Airlines flights from Sea-Tac will be quarantined for 10 days upon arrival, even if they are vaccinated, according to Boyd. So, if you’re vaccinated and want to escape the quarantine in Singapore, be sure you go on a vaccinated travel lane flight. Travelers from the United States were historically obliged to quarantine for 14 days, regardless of immunization status.
Airlines have progressively re-established international routes from Seattle, according to Perry Cooper, a spokeswoman for Sea-Tac airport. The airport has recovered 65 percent of its foreign flights from before the epidemic. Delta Air Lines resumed service to Paris on September 14, according to Cooper. In May, Icelandair resumed operations. Since July, Condor has started flying Seattle residents to Frankfurt, Germany. In July, British Airways resumed operations. According to him, WestJet will begin service to Calgary on November 4 and Air France will restart service to Paris in December.
Singapore’s vaccinated travel lane program should make it easier for vaccinated U.S. residents to visit Asia. The 14-day quarantine-upon-arrival requirement in effect until last week meant that Singapore was effectively closed to U.S. residents looking for a quick holiday trip.
Japan recently banned travel from the U.S. and many other countries, except under exceptional circumstances. The few U.S. travelers granted entry to China are forced to quarantine for 14 days. Thailand also is enforcing a 14-day quarantine for U.S. travelers.
Singapore has seen COVID-19 infections rise dramatically since the beginning of September, with the Ministry of Health reporting 3,703 new cases on Oct. 9., the highest single-day increase in cases since the beginning of the pandemic. But the number of serious cases remains low, with 83% of the country fully vaccinated.