Some crazy times…
About a week ago, United Airlines requested for rights to transport cargo between Hong Kong and Singapore using a 777-300ER. As part of their application, United stated:
Depending upon the rebound in passenger traffic, United may commence passenger service (between Hong Kong and Singapore) at a future date.
Anchorage Airport’s Response:
Today, Anchorage Airport filed with the DOT requesting United to do something different.
Instead of flying between Hong Kong and Singapore, ANC Airport wants United to launch passenger services in addition to United operating cargo services between Anchorage and Singapore.
This is ANC Airport’s support for why United should launch this route:
- ANC’s geography is “strategically located”, right in between the United States and Singapore (assuming United operates IAH/LAX/SFO-ANC-SIN)
- United is already operating cargo flights to Hong Kong out of its other hubs.
- Alaska’s tourism/economy has been hit hard
- United is temporarily suspending services to ANC thanks to its CARES Act Exemption. If United operates this special flight, they can resume passenger services sooner.
- “Non-stop services between ANC and Singapore offers an opportunity to open a new market for ANC”
- "With a high per-capita GDP, relatively low COVID-19 case count, and a miserably hot and humid climate (lol), Singaporeans are an attractive population to market tourism in Alaska."
- Anchorage typically does not have demand to warrant a nonstop between the cities, so this could be an opportunity for the city and ANC would waive landing fees among other benefits.
If United operates Anchorage to Singapore, they do not need to request for fifth-freedom rights on Hong Kong to Singapore.
ANC Airport wants Singapore Airlines to operate passenger flights to Anchorage:
Among other reasons, ANC Airport is basically saying “Fifth-Freedom Flights bad”.
Anchorage Airports wants Singapore Airlines to eliminate its Manchester to Houston fifth-freedom flight and replace it with a Singapore to Anchorage to Houston flight.
Their reasoning? Costs will be saved.
However, because Singapore Airlines is a foreign airline, they are not allowed to operate domestic flights, such as Anchorage to Houston. So, Anchorage Airport proposes Singapore Airlines operates passenger flights on SIN-ANC and let United carry the rest of the passengers from ANC to Houston.
Anchorage Airport’s Application: https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=DOT-OST-2020-0047-0003
United 777: https://www.airplane-pictures.net/photo/1287769/n2749u-united-airlines-boeing-777-300er/
Singapore A350: https://australianaviation.com.au/2019/08/singapore-airlines-to-operate-airbus-a350-900-to-wellington/
To sum it up: Anchorage Airports wants passenger flights to Singapore, on top of airlines already enhancing cargo services.
Will this happen? Who knows. Crazy times will likely result in crazy flights.
What are your thoughts? Could you see United or Singapore Airlines operating passenger flights between Anchorage and Singapore?