Singapore Airlines plans lie-flat business class for Brisbane

By David Flynn, December 7 2015

Singapore Airlines will launch fully-flat business class beds onto the Brisbane-Singapore route from October 30, 2016, with the daily SQ245/246 service swapping from an Airbus A330 with its angled 'sloping sleepers' to a Boeing 777-200ER fitted with the same business class seats as you’d find on SQ’s flagship Airbus A380 aircraft.

Read more: Singapore Airlines brings fully-flat business class to Brisbane

PREVIOUS | Singapore Airlines expects to upgrade one of its Brisbane flights to feature the latest lie-flat business class seats in 2016 and adding a fifth daily flight between Sydney and Singapore.

The Star Alliance member and Virgin Australia partner is also considering adding a new flight into Melbourne.

But it’s Brisbane's business travellers who stand to gain the most from Singapore Airlines' focus on the Australian market, with the out-dated and uncomfortable angled beds of SQ’s Airbus A330s (below) being swapped for a Boeing 777 featuring fully-flat beds.

Out with the old: Singapore Airlines' Airbus A330s angled-flat beds...
Out with the old: Singapore Airlines' Airbus A330s angled-flat beds...

“We will progressively in 2016 change the aircraft type with lie-flat beds to Brisbane” Singapore Airlines Regional Vice-President for South West Pacific, Mr TK Tan, tells Australian Business Traveller.

In with the new: Singapore Airlines' latest fully-flat business class
In with the new: Singapore Airlines' latest fully-flat business class

“More and more airlines are flying (to Brisbane) with lie-flat product” Tan says, in a nod to Qantas’ A330 Business Suites, “so we also have to move towards that.”

There’s no firm timetable for the move, however, which hinges on Boeing 777s being made available by the rollout of the airline’s new Airbus A350 jets.

Read: Inside Singapore Airlines' all-new Airbus A350 

“The A350 will replace the Boeing 777 on some long-haul destinations, and those will be freed to do other things.” 

Sydney, Melbourne in the mix

Tan also reveals that the Sydney-Singapore flight SQ252, which usually runs three days a week except for the peak summer season, “should go daily from 2016.” 

And with high passenger numbers out of Melbourne, Tan adds that 2016 is “when we should look at adding another flight or upgrading the aircraft.”

“Of course Melbourne Airport is very keen to see our A380 come back” Tan admits, but cautions that the airline’s A380 fleet is currently fully committed, and with no new A380s due from 2017 “it’s all about how we could adjust our present aircraft resources.”

Qantas and Emirates both fly the A380 out of Melbourne, with Etihad starting its own superjumbo service in June.

However, it’s unlikely that Melbourne or any other Australian city will see a Singapore Airlines Airbus A350 in the near future.

“The first batch of our A350s for 2016 is actually long-haul” Tan says, with the advanced jets slated for routes to Europe and the US.

“There may be a possibility of one A350 to come to Australia” Tan allows, but says we “probably won’t see an A350” in 2016.

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David

David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

28 Feb 2014

Total posts 145

Can I have an Amen please :) .

Amen :)

Singapore Airlines - KrisFlyer

14 Jan 2014

Total posts 288

About time

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

09 Feb 2015

Total posts 272

Just imagine if QF had an alliance with SQ and not EK, it would be a perfect fit for both airlines. The sooner QF flies to LHR via Singapore the better!!

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

20 Nov 2011

Total posts 185

I have to disagree Mark. The benefits I assume that you would point out would be the superior business class beds on he newer SQ planes, and the 'Singapore' factor.  But Qantas specifically hose Emirates cause they needed a solution for Europe and Middle East, so that they could focus on sorting out their own Asian timetable. As per The Qantas press releases they are seeing good results from Asia, with the upgrading of MEL-HKG to a 747 3 days a week, the reintroduction of additional SYD-HKG flight this year and now they are flagging additional A330 capacity to Asia early next year. Perhaps a second MEL-SIN service? Or PER-SIN on A330? Or PER/MEL-NRT?  I think Emirates partnership has allowed QF to reinvent their Asian network to suit them, they would have played massive second fiddle to SQ had they partnered with them and their schedule on all fronts where as with EK they can do asia to suit them.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

09 Feb 2015

Total posts 272

Good explanation but Australians much prefer to transit Asia (Singapore in particular) then the Middle East. On the resent AUSBT survey, Singapore and Hong Kong were the clear winners on cities that travellers would prefer to transit through and stopover at. It won't happen anytime soon but I for one hope QF return to SIN and HK to London.

QFF

12 Apr 2013

Total posts 1446

Does not matter how good it sounds it will never happens. And yes I hate "marriage" with Emirates (more looks to me like master-slave relationship) and I solely missing times when QF was in great relationship with BA and Singapore was hub to Europe. I have not flown via Dubai and have no plans to do so anytime soon. QF lost me as a customer to Europe forever.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

09 Feb 2015

Total posts 272

I flew to Italy via Singapore and Dubai from BNE in the middle of the year and the stop over in Dubai just lacked sole and the enjoyment of a stopover as it seemed so chaotic and the lounge was just not as relaxing as Changi and HK. The main public space just seemed like a shopping mall. We fly next week to Europe and are going on the Star Alliance network.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

20 Nov 2012

Total posts 43

Are we talking refitted 77E's or 77W's?

Thai Airways International - Royal Orchid Plus

16 May 2011

Total posts 116

Will be refitted 77E, First will still be reserved for just SYD & MEL.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

25 Sep 2013

Total posts 1138

Are the A330 J seats really that uncomfortable? Have never flown in those before.

Everything's relative. Uncomfortable? Not at all.

But not a patch on their 77W offering. 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

25 Sep 2013

Total posts 1138

What I thought too.

06 Jun 2015

Total posts 11

First time I flew on the A330 with these seats was from Singapore to Perth and it was perfectly fine for a 'medium' range flight. Just flew on it again last week from Singapore to Kolkata which was just under 4 hours and it was all the seat you could ask for with that time. However I do actively choose NOT to fly on the A330 flights or 777 with these seats that fly to Sydney when there is the option for a better seat for the same price.

QFF

12 Apr 2013

Total posts 1446

There are two news to me in this article:

1. SQ flying A330 to Australia - I thought that there are only B777 and A380

2. SQ still have sloppy seats on long routes.

06 Jan 2015

Total posts 69

Perth and Brisbane get a mixture of 777 and A330.

Can't say I've ever seen a Singapore Airlines Boeing 777 in Brisbane – we always seem to get the A330s.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

06 Sep 2012

Total posts 213

I remembered flying 777-200ERs with Singapore Airlines back in 2007, they must have switched to the A330s around 2008-2010 as that was when the new economy class was being introduced.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

10 Jan 2012

Total posts 253

I think it was early 2009 that the A330 was put on the BNE route.

06 Jun 2015

Total posts 11

Sydney gets A330 flights as well.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

07 Dec 2015

Total posts 39

Down the back though I'd prefer the 333 with a 2-4-2 config out of BNE as opposed to any 777 any day!

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

06 Sep 2012

Total posts 213

My personal preference is the 777, it has more leg room and I find it more comfy (being a 6'2 build)

Singapore Airlines - KrisFlyer

17 Nov 2014

Total posts 95

I believe when David mentioned about deploying more B777 to Australia, I think this refers to B777-300ER, because only them offers lie flat seats.

Perhaps that also means Premium Economy is arriving for Brisbane and Melbourne?

06 Jun 2015

Total posts 11

There are also 777-200ERs with the 1-2-1 seating.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

10 Jan 2012

Total posts 253

If there will be 777's available due to A350 usage, then I'm going to guess that BNE will get the AMS 77W when it goes A350.

02 May 2017

Total posts 5

Unfortunately, the 777-200ER with the 1-2-1 life flat seats product on the BNE-SIN leg (SQ246) did not last long. I was booked on a this flight and a week out of my trip, SQ called to inform me that they have changed the metal to a 777-200R (Retrofitted) with the regional 2-2-2 angle flat seats. Needless to say, I was bitterly disappointed at SQ for downgrading the product for BNE. Why do airlines treat BNE like a second rate city and not worthy of quality products?

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

03 May 2017

Total posts 4

These seats are really showing their age now and are horrid for single business travellers. I had booked SQ as a gift for my parents, hoping they would get the newer business seats. Unfortunately they still got lumped with the A333, both in and out of Bris (APR 2017). At least they've redone the lounge in Brisbane but this 'regional business' product is way behind the times for long overnight flights like this. I'm going in June and normally like SIA but specifically changed my BNE-SIN from SQ to Cathay/QF combo to avoid these seats again.  

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