With every day that passes I’ve grown more and more skeptical that we’d see a product launch this year. At first I thought they’d announce the products in the run up to NDP to capitalize on the nationalistic fervor, Then I thought they’d at least launch it by the end of 2017 as part of the 70th anniversary celebrations. But the fact is, we’ve heard absolutely nothing up to now. Apart from some vague confirmation that the new A380s will launch on the SIN-SYD route, it’s been radio silence on all fronts. We only have one photo of the new A380, and that’s an exterior shot on its ferry flight from Toulouse to Hamburg back in March 2017.
I’m currently holding three confirmed Suites award tickets that I booked speculatively a few months ago-
- SQ221, 1 Dec SIN-SYD
- SQ231, 2 Dec SIN-SYD
- SQ308, 2 Dec SIN-LHR (booked when I was trying to hedge between LHR and SYD as launch locations)
The more I think about it, the more I feel time is running out for a product launch this year. All major media outlets (The Milelion notwithstanding) will presumably be invited to the media event, and they haven’t announced anything yet in the way of dates. I’m assuming that one month’s notice is the general standard in the aviation industry for media invites. Based on what’s happened in the past, here’s the gap between product announcement and first flight
- 2006 Business/First Class: Announced 17 Oct, Launched 6 Dec (59 days)
- 2013 Business/First Class: Announced 9 July, Launched 27 Sept (80 days)
- 2015 Premium Economy: Announced 21 May, Launched 9 Aug (80 days)
So let’s take the average of 2.5 months minimum for that. This gives us 3.5 months of buffer, meaning that we’re looking at best at a around Christmas/after Christmas launch. At best.
If we haven’t heard anything by the end of the month, I’ll begin moving some of these bookings to Feb/March of next year. If you, like me, hold speculative bookings, you might want to consider your options too.