Why Singapore Airlines Flew 2 A380s & 2 A350s To Barcelona Together

Singapore Airlines flew four jets out of Los Angeles a few days ago. What is so unusual about it, one might ask? Indeed, long-range jets departing a busy US airport is hardly newsworthy. But there was something unusual about the pattern of these flights, and the eventual destination of these widebody airplanes surprised everyone.

Flights out of LAX

Something unusual happened over the skies of California on March 13th (or 14th, depending on where you are). Four Singapore Airlines jets took off from Los Angeles International Airport one after the other in a matter of hours. As LAX is connected with Singapore with regular scheduled departures, one might not think much of these flights. But close inspection revealed that there’s more than meets the eye.

The airplanes in question were two Airbus A350-900s and two A380s. So far, so good! But hawk-eyed planespotters noticed something unusual about these flights. Instead of heading west towards the Pacific, all four had their noses pointed east towards Europe. So, if not Singapore, where were they heading?


Capture-5

The four flights took off within hours of each other. Photo: Flightradar24

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Barcelona

The four planes that evening were flying to Barcelona. The first to depart was an A350 (9V-SMW) at 1:51 pm local time and arrived in Barcelona at 8:29 am local time. The second, an A380 (9V-SKU), left about two hours later at 3:43 pm and landed at 10:23 am.

The third flight was performed by another A380 (9V-SKV), departing at 6:35 pm and arriving at 1:16 pm, and the last was an A350 (9V-SMV) leaving at 8:37 pm and reaching Barcelona at 3 :06 pm. The flight numbers assigned to the four planes were SQ8207, SQ8210, SQ8213, and SQ8204, respectively.

But what could have happened for Singapore Airlines to deploy four widebodies between Los Angeles and Barcelona on a single day?


Singapore Airlines A350

The destination of all four planes was Barcelona. Photo: Airbus

Special customer

aeroTELEGRAPH reveals that all four planes were in fact chartered to perform special flights for someone. It reports a spokesperson for Singapore Airlines as saying that it was an “unprecedented special offer.” However, the airline did not disclose the identity of the customer.


While most of us collect airline miles or hope for that rare upgrade to a premium cabin, here’s someone who chartered four widebody jets, which together offer around 1,500 seats, for a trip to Europe.

The bill must have been enormous when considering the different elements of the costs involved – billable flight time, fuel surcharge, crew fees, landing, handling & incidental fees, etc. We don’t know if it was a single individual or a corporate organization , but whoever wrote the check for the flights clearly has very deep pockets.

As for the rest of us, the simple joys of bagging a free upgrade to premium economy should suffice!

What do you think about these rare flights? Please share your comments below.


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