Singapore Airlines is adding another fifth freedom intra-European flight to its network. From January 17th, its Airbus A350s will be seen on the hour and a half long flights between Milan and Barcelona. The route is one of eight 5th freedom routes that the Singapore flag carrier will operate during January.
5th freedom flights can be great for both airlines and passengers alike. They can allow airlines to tap into markets that may not justify a standalone flight and to carry passengers on an extra leg to generate even more profits. For passengers, they can mean cheap fares and a chance to try a slightly different cabin.
5th freedom between Barcelona and Milan
As spotted by Business Traveller, Singapore Airlines will be launching a 5th freedom connection from Milan to Barcelona from January 17th. The flight will operate three times a week, leaving Singapore on Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday.
Theoretically, this would allow passengers to fly between Singapore and Milan, Singapore and Barcelona, and Barcelona and Milan. However, COVID restrictions mean that it is currently only possible to fly from Singapore to Milan and Barcelona and in both directions between Milan and Barcelona. Simple Flying couldn’t find tickets for flights from Barcelona or Milan to Singapore.
According to schedule data from aviation data experts Cirium, the route will operate as follows,
- SQ 378 – Singapore (SIN) 23:45 – Milan (MXP) 05:55+1 – 13h10m
- SQ 378 – Milan (MXP) 07:15 – Barcelona (BCN) 08:50 – 01h35m
- SQ 379 – Barcelona (BCN) 10:10 – Milan (MXP) 11:50 – 01h40m
- SQ 379 – Milan (MXP) 13:10 – Singapore (SIN) 08:05+1 – 11h55m
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Typically, fifth freedom flights come in as a cheaper option than with full-service carriers, though no full-service carriers operate flights between Barcelona and Milan. As such, Singapore Airlines costs much more than the competition, though it could be worth it for the comfort of a widebody with entertainment (lowest prices shown at the time of writing for travel on January 17th),
|easyJet (MXP)||€16 ($18)||€15 ($17)|
|easyJet (LIN)||€20 ($23)||€23 ($26)|
|Ryanair (BGY)||€17 ($19)||€17($19|
|Singapore Airlines (MXP)||€80 ($90)||€73 ($82)|
|Vueling (MXP)||€25 ($28)||€20 ($23)|
Singapore Airlines’s 5th freedom network
As mentioned, the connection between Barcelona and Milan is just one of eight 5th freedom flights planned by Singapore Airlines throughout January. The other routes are,
- Copenhagen (CPH) – Rome (FCO)
- Frankfurt (FRA) – New York (JFK)
- Hong Kong (HKG) – San Francisco (SFO)
- Manchester (MAN) – Houston (IAH)
- Tokyo (NRT) – Los Angeles (LAX)
- Taipei (TPE) – Los Angeles (LAX)
- Vancouver (YVR) – Seattle (SEA)
While operations may be affected due to current coronavirus regulations, during normal operations, such 5th freedom flights allow a carrier to serve both cities from its home base (in this case Singapore), while also tapping into the local traffic that’s already using the route regardless of the carrier’s arrival.
For this reason, some 5th freedom routes, such as Emirates’ service to JFK via Milan, are more oriented around the 5th freedom traffic. Meanwhile, in the case of Singapore Airlines’ Vancouver to Seattle hop, the service is more about serving two cities with a single flight.
Will you look to travel with Singapore Airlines between Milan and Barcelona? Let us know what you think and why in the comments!