Singapore Airlines plans regional Airbus A350s for Brisbane

By Chris C., September 13 2018
Singapore Airlines plans regional Airbus A350s for Brisbane

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.

Read: Singapore Airlines brings Airbus A350s onto Adelaide-Singapore flights

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.

Read: The best seats in business class aboard Singapore Airlines’ Boeing 777-200ERs

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.

Chris C.

Chris is a a former contributor to Executive Traveller.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

04 Nov 2017

Total posts 312

My guess: The A350 regional flights for BNE will be SQ265/266 rotation (currently operated by the 772) and the SQ235 (2130 ex-SIN)/SQ256 (0910 ex BNE) rotation.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

16 Jan 2018

Total posts 118

Yes but only slightly. The seats are all forward facing so think along the lines of Etihad 787/380 or Emirates 380.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

17 Jun 2015

Total posts 13

Since the sating is staggered does that mean the foot wells are wider than the current A350's?

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

17 Jun 2015

Total posts 13

Also having a look at Premium Economy availability in 2019 it is still showing SQ236 and SQ246 available to book but not the other 2. Maybe a sign the other 2 will be the ones replaced?

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

06 Nov 2014

Total posts 364

Not necessarily both will go. According to the article it has been blocked cuz they haven't decided which one will be the regional one. But agree 265/266 pair the most likely and probably make most sense as neither direction is red eye so you don't really premium economy.

I guess the final decision would depend on the load factor of PE on that remaining flight.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

13 Jan 2015

Total posts 595

it was be good if they swapped out the 777 and moved the BNE 777 to replace the current sin-mel-wel 777 which has the crappy A330 style regional seats, but i wouldn't hold my breath.

26 Feb 2015

Total posts 8

Just flew on A350 regional last night. Business seats are dreadful. They are obviously sized for small people. I am 1.92 metres tall and the width was impossibly tight. As I fly into and out of Brisbane that will restrict my choices. If I can I will never fly that regional Business again. I actually think that they are inferior to the angled lie flat on the A330s.

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