Singapore Airlines will bring a new batch of Airbus A350s to Brisbane from next year, introducing its latest regional business class seat to the Queensland capital.
But with four daily flights between Brisbane and Singapore – three already served by A350s with the airline’s longer-range business class seats, and one by a Boeing 777-200ER with A380-like seating – the airline is yet to determine which of these flights will be taken over by the new regional jets.
As these ‘medium-range’ planes also come without premium economy, there’ll potentially be fewer Singapore Airlines flights offering this service for Brisbane travellers, which could also impact onward flight connections across Asia or onward to Europe.
Until a final decision is made, Singapore Airlines is currently blocking new premium economy ticket sales on selected Brisbane flights throughout 2019. For now, passengers already holding premium economy reservations are unaffected, but should ensure their contact details are kept up-to-date on those bookings so that any alerts and updates are received, should there be any changes.
Philip Goh, Singapore Airlines’ Regional Vice President South West Pacific, confirms that the “aircraft change will happen once we receive the second of our A350 aircraft fitted with the medium-haul product … next year,” with the first of those A350s heading to Adelaide from December 18 2018.
For Brisbane-based flyers, here’s what the new regional Airbus A350 means for your travels.
Business class on Singapore Airlines' Brisbane-Singapore flights
Queensland travellers are currently spoiled, enjoying Singapore Airlines’ near-flagship international business class seating on today’s Airbus A350 flights, providing a wide seat that folds forward into a fully-flat bed…
… second only to the airline’s new Airbus A380 business class experience as currently appears in Sydney’s skies. However, Brisbane’s fourth daily flight, served by the Boeing 777-200ER, features the same business class seats as on SQ’s older-generation Airbus A380s, still wide and still fully-flat, albeit with an older design.
Singapore Airlines’ new regional Airbus A350s – which feature the same business class seating as the airline’s Boeing 787-10 flights to Perth – don’t take away that all-important fully-flat bed…
… but as these jets adopt a staggered layout – where one passenger is closer to the aisle, then the next is closer to the window or centre, and so on – the seats are more traditionally-sized and have a little less storage space…
… particularly in front near the inflight entertainment screen, where the current A350s and Boeing 777s offer a cupboard or shelf:
However, it’s fair to say that whichever aircraft you end up flying, all three are a significant step above the airline’s angled-flat Airbus A330 business class seats, which appeared on every Singapore Airlines flight to Brisbane until just two years ago.
Premium economy on Singapore Airlines' Brisbane-Singapore flights
Singapore Airlines introduced premium economy service onto three of its four daily Brisbane flights through late 2017 and early 2018, being those flights operated by the carrier’s regular, three-class Airbus A350s.
Should one or more of those departures be chosen for Singapore Airlines’ new ‘regional’, two-class A350s – which come with only business class and economy, without premium economy – passengers may need to change their flights, or seek out specific flight numbers, to ensure they can still travel in premium economy.
However, until the airline cements its plans for Brisbane and its regional A350s, it’s not yet known which flights will sport premium economy, and which won’t.
Should Singapore Airlines replace its Boeing 777 flight to Brisbane with the regional A350, there’d be no impact for premium economy travellers as this service is already a two-class operation, with only business class and economy seating, just as found aboard the regional Airbus A350s.