Which airline has the best Brisbane-Singapore business class?

By Brandon Loo, May 16 2019
Which airline has the best Brisbane-Singapore business class?

The traffic between Brisbane to Singapore isn’t as frenetic compared to Sydney or Melbourne, but competition is still surprisingly fierce with three full-service airlines putting on some of their best products on this route.

Qantas and Singapore Airlines are the obvious contenders, but there's also an Emirates flight which heads to Dubai via the Red Dot. Here’s our take on the best business class from Brisbane to Singapore

Brisbane-Singapore business class: the best schedule

Singapore Airlines goes all-out with four daily flights at 9:10am, 2:45pm, 6:10pm, and an overnight red-eye departing at 11:50pm to reach Singapore before the crack of dawn.

Qantas and Emirates follow with one daily flight each. The flying kangaroo leaps off at 12:00pm to arrive in the early evening, while Emirates opts for a painfully early or late 2:35am departure (depending on how you look at it) that sails into Singapore around 8am later that day, before continuing onwards to Dubai.

These flight schedules are current for the 2019 winter period, and will naturally have some variations throughout the year.

Brisbane-Singapore business class: the best lounges

Qantas’ recently refurbished Brisbane International Lounge is in full swing during the morning departures, including QF51 to Singapore.

After a redesign in 2016, this lounge is now up to Qantas’ mixed ‘premium lounge’ standards and spans two stories. On the top is the ‘Brisbane Breakfast Hatch’ which offers up healthy plates to start your travel day right.

Soft egg, kale, haloumi and quinoa
Soft egg, kale, haloumi and quinoa

This lounge is open to Qantas business class guests, Qantas Club members and elite frequent flyers.

AusBT Review: Qantas Brisbane International Lounge

The Emirates Brisbane lounge was the first-ever outstation lounge for the Middle Eastern airline, and one of just a handful to offer direct lounge-to-plane boarding.

Champagne is on tap, as well as a wide selection of hot and cold buffet dishes.

Technically, Qantas passengers to Singapore have access to this Emirates lounge as well. However, since Emirates’ flights are all in the evening and Qantas' at midday, the lounge would be closed before QF51.

AusBT review: The Emirates Lounge, Brisbane

Singapore Airline has a bright and airy SilverKris lounge to cater for its four daily departures.

With plenty of food, beverage and seating options available, this lounge ticks all the boxes for business and leisure travellers.

AusBT Review: Singapore Airlines' SilverKris Lounge, Brisbane Airport

Honourable mention: Singapore Airlines business class guests and Star Alliance Gold flyers can also gain access to the nearby Air New Zealand lounge, if it’s open (2.5 hours before an Air NZ or contracted partner flight). It has a funky vibe and plenty of natural light and views, thanks to its corner location.

Also read: Your guide to Brisbane International Airport lounges

Brisbane-Singapore business class: the best seats

The business class seats you'll get flying between Brisbane and Singapore are mostly top-notch. Here's how we rate them for comfort.

Qantas’ daytime flight features the airline's functional and fashionable Airbus A330 Business Suite, which should satisfy the needs for just about any traveller.

There's plenty of nooks and crannies for your personal items, and a mattress topper is supplied for overnight flights back from Singapore.

Singapore Airlines’ now exclusively flies the Airbus A350-900 between Singapore and Brisbane, but there are some differences between these jets.

One of the four flights, SQ246 at 11:50pm, will have the long-range business class seats also found on the Boeing 777-300ERs.

It’s quite wide at 71 cm across and has plenty of spaces to store things around you.

The remaining flights will have Singapore Airline's newest regional business class seats, which are more compact.

It’s still a welcome upgrade from the previous ‘sloping sleepers’ found on the Airbus A330s and Boeing 777-200s that used to fly to Brisbane. Arranged over ten rows of 1-2-1, every seat reclines into a fully-flat bed.

For maximum comfort, the first row of the cabin has the widest footwells for more space to stretch out and sleep.

Rounding up the list is Emirates Boeing 777-300ER business class. These birds aren't being refitted, so expect a 2-3-2 layout in business class...

... which creates the dreaded ‘middle seat’. These older version seats recline to form an angled-flat bed.

Given EK433 from Brisbane to Singapore is a truly overnight flight, the sooner Emirates can launch a better business class product, the better it will be for business travellers.

Brisbane to Singapore business class: the best inflight service

Each airline does inflight service somewhat differently. Here’s a brief outline of what you can expect while you’re onboard.

  Singapore Airlines Qantas Emirates
Pre-book dining Yes - ‘Book the Cook’ from Brisbane has twelve dishes to choose from, and you can pre-order your main course online Yes - Menu Select allows you to pre-book your choice off the inflight menu or an online exclusive No - but the inflight menu is usually available one month before the flight
Amenity kits Yes - but essentials are stocked in the lavatories Yes Yes
Pyjamas No Yes - only on the overnight return flights No
Inflight WiFi Yes - 30MB free for business class No - not yet Yes - 20MB free initially or unlimited if you add your Skywards number to the ticket
Points and Status Credits

From 4733 KrisFlyer miles and Elite miles, or from 4733 Velocity Points and 120 status credits

From 7,800 Qantas Points and 120 status credits From 5,200 Skywards Miles and 5,200 Tier Miles

There’s not too much to differentiate with service, so your decision will likely fall down to scheduling and what jets you’re hoping to ride on.

What’s your favourite business class for travelling between Brisbane and Singapore?

Brandon Loo

Based in Perth, Brandon enjoys tucking into local delicacies, discovering new cocktails, and making aeroplane food look good on camera.

Etihad - Etihad Guest

16 May 2019

Total posts 1

Singapore Airlines now allows passengers to pre-select the main course from the regular menu network-wide. This is on top of the Book the Cook service from selected station.

10 Aug 2015

Total posts 125

Pretty sure SQ255/236 is regional business and doesn't offer premium economy. SQ245/246 is now the only flight with long-haul business and premium economy

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

20 Nov 2017

Total posts 115

SQ by a country mile.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

05 Apr 2012

Total posts 57

QF fall behind with the lack on WiFi on International flights. SQ win on the multi flight options. EK is like CX to HK with the Red ye efficiency :)

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

24 Aug 2011

Total posts 783

SQ wins again. Four flights a day. Running early or late, OK lah next flight.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

09 Feb 2015

Total posts 371

It’s a shame the rumours of a second daily QF flight (on there own aircraft) did not eventuate especially considering the growth of the market and reintroduction of QF1 via Singapore.


17 Jan 2018

Total posts 84

Easily QF for me. Better seat, better food and wine and better in flight entertainment content. Although SQ obviously has best schedule and more people flying the route which i put down to the old QF service attitude which i am pleased to say is increasingly a thing of the past. Go Qantas!

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

21 Apr 2019

Total posts 1

Am flying sq256 returning sq235 at the start of June. $1500 cheaper than Qantas... might have been those dates but couldn’t justify the extra cash for the roo and glad to see this review supports the notion! To me, I feel like the sq regional business class seat is on par with the QF business seat (albeit slightly smaller). Would love to hear if anyone has done both and can comment?

Singapore Airlines - The PPS Club

03 Jul 2017

Total posts 17

I take SQ 256 5 times a year and it is the best option especialy now they have A350 as a part of their team.As a business man flying every 2 weeks i find SQ streets ahead of all the other airlines including QF CX and Emirates.


17 Jan 2018

Total posts 84

Hi Just to add i would estimate 90% of Singaporeans fly SQ regarless. Its a loyalty thing. Probably less than 50% of Australians fly QF. Not only on this route but everywhere. This is challenge that QF needs to address.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

24 Aug 2011

Total posts 783

A lot of people have been burned by QF in the past... poor service, skybed failures, average frequency and the social justice bs from the top. They have a long way to go to get people back.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

06 Sep 2012

Total posts 229

Actually I feel that on the contrary a lot of Australians fly QF, mostly incentivised by the frequent flyer program and patriotism. Also they seem to have good load factors on their long haul flights. Loyalty isn't the issue. It's convenience and delivering consistently high standards of service that differentiates SQ from the other carriers.

23 Jul 2017

Total posts 96

Those large long haul beds as per SQ246 at 11:50pm business class seats also found on the Boeing 777-300ERs are the best. The QF 'beds' may lie flat, but when you're down, the area is so claustrophobic.

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