Singapore Airlines to resume Manchester-Houston Fifth Freedom flight from 1 December

Oct 22, 2021

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Singapore Airlines is relaunching its unique nonstop service between Manchester Airport (MAN) and Houston (IAH) as it continues to rebuild its flight network. The airline announced that from 1 December, the transatlantic route will operate three times weekly to and from Houston after being suspended for the past 18 months due to the pandemic.

The airline will handle the route with its fuel-efficient Airbus A350-900 aircraft and its three-class configuration: 42 business, 24 premium economy and 187 economy class seats.

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The resumption of the popular fifth-freedom route to Houston, a Star Alliance hub city thanks to United Airlines, comes a few months after the carrier resumed direct flights from Manchester to Singapore. The plan is to start with three weekly flights, with departure times as follows:

  • Departs Manchester at 10:05 a.m.; Arrives Houston at 14:25 a.m.
  • Departs Houston at 6:50 p.m.; Arrives Manchester 09:30 a.m. (+1 day)

“We are delighted to resume our Houston flights and offer more travel options to our passengers from the Manchester region, after relaunching our flights to Singapore in the summer,” Mohamed Rafi Mar, general manager, UK & Ireland, Singapore Airlines, told Simple Flying.

For those unfamiliar with the term, fifth-freedom routes are what routes are called that allow North American travellers a chance to experience flying on international airlines for just a fraction of the cost. They are operated by a carrier between two countries the airline does not consider a home base but are part of a service that connects to the carrier’s home country.

Related: Singapore Airlines adds new fifth-freedom route within Europe

In this case, Singapore Airlines begins this flight at its home base in Singapore, flies direct to Manchester, before then departing for Houston. Other reasons airlines operate fifth-freedom routes is that it allows for a fuelling stop on very long routes, and more efficient use of its aircraft.

Related: Singapore Airlines awards will finally be available to partners again after 14-month hiatus

It should be noted that neither leg of the Singapore – Manchester – Houston marathon journey is eligible for Vaccinated Travel Lane flights.

The resumption of this fifth-freedom route continues the decades-long relationship Singapore Airlines has had with Manchester Airport. The carrier has been serving long-haul routes since 1986, longer than any other airline that operates from Manchester. It launched its service to Houston in 2016, the first transatlantic route the airline had ever operated from the United Kingdom.

Featured Image: James D. Morgan for Getty Images

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