Singapore is one of Perth’s busiest international destinations, being an easy 5½ hour dash away and opening up the WA city to many others worldwide through the hub that is Changi Airport.
There are three competitors on this route, including the stalwart Singapore Airlines, its budget offshoot Scoot, and our flag carrier Qantas.
The Perth-Singapore route used to be the domain of business class recliners, but that trend is slowly turning with both major airlines starting to introduce their newer seats and suites.
Australian Business Traveller looks at the ground experience, the lounges and inflight service to see how the business class offering compares between each airline.
Perth-Singapore business class: the best schedules
It’s no surprise that Singapore Airlines offers the most flights from Perth – four per day. There are departures in the early morning (6:25am), early afternoon (2:05pm), early evening (5:10pm), and one overnight (1:10am).
Qantas is next with a daily 11:50am departure from Perth, reaching Singapore in the evening, then returning back to Perth just before midnight.
Starting from June 2019, Scoot will have eight flights a week. There's a 9:20pm departure daily which gets into Singapore at 2:30am, while Saturdays will see extra 9:00pm service which also lands in Singapore at 2:30am. This additional flight is operated by an Airbus A320 without ScootBiz seats.
These schedules may fluctuate slightly during different parts of the year but are otherwise fairly steady.
Perth-Singapore business class: the best lounges
Since Qantas moved all its Perth international flights to its domestic terminals T3 and T4, business class guests are directed to the Domestic Business Lounge instead, which functions as its quasi-international lounge.
Qantas Club members and Gold frequent flyers are welcome here as well, instead of the Qantas Club where they would normally head to if travelling domestically.
While this lounge features freshly-cooked pizza, it’s located before international security and immigration clearance, and the bar isn’t open prior to the departure to Singapore.
Despite these shortcomings, it’s still a decent place to relax before the flight.
Singapore Airlines passengers have access to a small SilverKris lounge in Perth International T1, which is open three hours prior to each flight.
For something a little less lacklustre, lounge lizards can also roost in the nearby Air New Zealand lounge, if it’s open.
Singapore Airlines’ business class guests plus Star Alliance Gold members travelling in economy will find it to be a far more vibrant space, offering a decent buffet spread and shower suites as well.
From The Lion City itself, Qantas has its own dedicated Singapore Lounge, including a new separate first class lounge opening in late 2019, while Singapore Airlines has its large SilverKris Lounges in Terminal 3.
Scoot doesn’t offer lounge access in Perth, but a ‘Scoot-in-Style’ package can be purchased for flights departing Singapore, which offers three hours access to the SATS Premier Lounge in Changi T2.
Perth-Singapore business class: the best seats
Both Qantas and Singapore Airlines have gradually swapped in their newer business class products.
At the time of writing, Qantas now has the Airbus A330 permanently rostered on the QF71/72 daily trek to Singapore.
These feature lie-flat seats in a 1-2-1 arrangement, affording everyone some space, privacy and easy aisle access.
Meanwhile, Singapore Airlines’ newest regional business class seats will soon be found on two of the four daily flights – operated by a Boeing 787-10 and factory-fresh Airbus A350s.
While a bit narrower than their Qantas counterparts, these seats are a big improvement over the older variants still flying.
Singapore Airlines’ remaining two flights will usually have the ‘sloping sleepers’ of the Airbus A330 and Boeing 777-200…
… although sometimes these wider fully-flat seats will also make an appearance on the Boeing 777-200ERs.
Lastly, ScootBiz offers recliners in a 2-3-2 layout. While it doesn’t compare to Qantas or Singapore Airlines at all, it’s still more comfortable than economy and is priced reasonably.
Perth to Singapore business class: the best inflight experience
While these factors are unlikely to make a huge difference in choosing an airline, it’s good to know what each one is offering.
Singapore Airlines’s ‘Book the Cook’ service gives you 15 choices out of Perth and more than 50 options when flying back from Singapore, making it easier for you to order what you want.
However, the airline does not offer amenity kits or pyjamas for overnight flights. Instead, it stocks essential items in the lavatories.
Although Qantas previously offered pyjamas on the evening Singapore-Perth leg when it re-started the route in 2015 with a Boeing 737, it appears that this is no longer the case either.
Here’s a summary of the different services offered by each airline.
|Pre-book dining||Yes - ‘Book the Cook’ from Perth has fifteen dishes to choose from||Yes - Menu Select allows you to pre-book your choice off the inflight menu or an online exclusive||Yes – one meal of your choice included with ScootBiz|
|Amenity kits||No - but essentials are stocked in the lavatories||Yes||No|
|Pyjamas||No||Previously yes, but not anymore||No|
|Inflight WiFi||Yes, on Boeing 787-10 and Airbus A350. 30MB free for business class.||No - not yet on the Airbus A330s.||Yes - US$29.99 for 20MB|
What’s your favourite way to travel between Perth and Singapore?