48-hour specially themed anniversary sale fares from £345. New British partnerships mark the Golden anniversary
Fifty years ago today, on 3 June 1971, Singapore Airlines (SIA) began its long history with the United Kingdom (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 (MSA), 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 Class customers were also offered an alternative choice for the first time.
The London-Singapore route was the Airline’s first transcontinental service and its launch was celebrated with the largest half-hour fireworks display ever to be staged in Britain at the time. Visible as far as 10 km from London, an estimated 250,000 members of the public watched in person, with a further 10 million seeing it on television in colour. Highlights amongst the blaze of noise and colour were a sky curtain of batik and an outline of an MSA Boeing 707 aircraft.
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.
Starting from three weekly London flights in 1971, Singapore Airlines has steadily increased its presence in the UK and grown its reputation internationally. The Airline was the first to fly the A380 superjumbo in October 2007, bringing it to London as the aircraft’s second destination in March 2008; repeating the pattern following the aircraft’s multi-million-pound cabin product upgrade in late 2017. In 2012, Singapore Airlines increased its London Heathrow schedule to four flights daily, while in 2016, Manchester services were expanded to include a Westbound extension to Houston, USA.
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 though, customers have 48 hours to take advantage of special anniversary-themed sale fares.
Celebrate the 1971 launch of London to Singapore flights with a special £1971 Business Class fare, or reminisce the Boeing 707 with a £707 fare in Premium Economy. Alternatively, enjoy a 50% discount on Economy fares1 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. To enjoy a trip down memory lane, visit YouTube.com/SingaporeAir.
Mohamed Rafi Mar, General Manager UK & Ireland, Singapore Airlines, commented: “Fifty years of continuous flights from London is a significant milestone and one that we are very happy and proud to be able to celebrate. Our history with the UK – both London and Manchester – is incredibly strong and we look forward to creating many more memories in the years to come.”
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For further information, please contact:
Singapore Airlines Team
0208 618 2800