Singapore Airlines is celebrating 50 years of operating in the United Kingdom. The carrier began its long history with the UK when the first flight – ML782 – flew between London and Singapore. Back then, cabin crew already wore the iconic Pierre Balmain-designed sarong kebaya, however the Boeing 707’s livery was in black and yellow representing Malaysia-Singapore Airlines, before becoming Singapore Airlines in 1972.
Initially operating three times weekly, the journey in 1971 took almost 18 hours, as the aircraft made stops in Rome, Bahrain and Mumbai (then known as Bombay) on its way from London Heathrow to Singapore. Customers were well looked after on board, enjoying a total of four meals during the flight. First class customers could choose from three main courses and, as part of an important and lasting innovation, economy elass customers were also offered an alternative choice of meal for the first time.
Just six years after the first flight from London, Singapore Airlines entered the UK history books again, by becoming one of only four airlines to operate Concorde. A partnership with British Airways saw a Concorde painted in the livery of both carriers: Singapore Airlines on the portside and British Airways on the starboard. In December 1977, just a month after the launch of the aircraft’s iconic London-New York services, a joint Concorde service between London and Singapore, via Bahrain, was launched. Marketed as ‘Singapore Airlines Goes Supersonic’, the flight took approximately nine hours, saving almost seven hours versus the standard alternative.
To celebrate the 50-year milestone of continuous flights between London and Singapore and the long history with the UK, Singapore Airlines will be launching two exciting new partnerships with British Brands in the coming weeks. Before then, customers have 48 hours to take advantage of special anniversary-themed sale fares.
Customers can celebrate the 1971 launch of London to Singapore flights with a special £1,971 business class fare, or reminisce about the Boeing 707 with a £707 fare in premium economy. Alternatively, they can enjoy a 50 per cent discount on economy fares to mark 50 years of service from London.
Finally, a special “50 years in 50 seconds” video has been created to highlight some of the many milestones Singapore Airlines has enjoyed over the last 50 years; both in the UK and at home. This can be viewed at YouTube.com/SingaporeAir.
In mid-April, Singapore Airlines announced the appointment of Mohamed Rafi Mar as General Manager for the United Kingdom and Ireland. Mar replaces Sheldon Hee, who was posted back to head office in Singapore, having held the role since April 2016.