First stages of cruise

Hi Infinite Flight community, I have a question regarding cruise altitude during first stages of flight. When on a medium to long haul route is it a common or normal occurrence for an aircraft to climb to 42,000 feet straight after take off? I believed that aircraft start off at an altitude such as 32,000 feet and then climb to higher altitudes later on in the flight when the aircraft is lighter and capable of doing so in order burn less fuel. I was searching around Australian airspace in Flightradar24 and came across a Singapore Airline’s Airbus A350-900 flight from Melbourne (YMML) to Singapore (WSSS). It was only 27 minutes into it’s course and was already climbing to 42,000 feet during it’s first stages of flight. Is this a normal occurrence for aircraft and if so what is the reasoning behind it? I always thought that aircraft would start at lower altitudes and gradually step climb in order to reach these higher altitudes.

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Singapore Airlines is flying next to empty because of COVID, and the flight is short for the long range A350. You often see them climb straight to FL370 when flying SIN-LAX, because there just aren’t that many passengers.


Thanks for letting me know I was always curious about this occurrence. That makes sense considering there is little to no passengers flying at the moment. Less load means it can cruise at higher altitudes earlier on.


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