KrisFlyer News Singapore Airlines

Seoul gets the Singapore Airlines A350 Regional from March

An A330 with older seats makes way for one of SIA's latest planes on the Seoul route from March. That's good news for Business Class travellers.

Seoul

In the latest schedule update Singapore Airlines has revealed another route will be getting the 2018 Regional Business Class product, with one of four daily services between Singapore and the South Korean capital Seoul switching from the A330 to the A350 Regional planes from 1st March 2019.

Update: Note that the Seoul route will become 100% flat-bed direct aisle access Business Class with all four daily Singapore Airlines flights offering either the 2018 RJ or 2013 J seats from 1st May 2019. See our article here.

This will come as welcome news to many of our readers – “when will they fly it to Seoul?” being one of the most common questions we’ve been asked since the new seats entered service in April 2018.

It marks the 17th confirmed destination on the SIA network for the latest Regional Business Class product, which is starting to become a common sight across the SIA network.

The schedule

Here’s how the current Singapore Airlines schedule looks to and from Seoul. All flights operate daily on this route.

Until 28th February 2019
Flight From / To Aircraft Seats
SQ608 SIN0010 – ICN0735 333 2009 RJ
SQ612 SIN0230 – ICN0950 77W 2013 J
SQ600 SIN0805 – ICN1530 333 2009 RJ
SQ602 SIN1435 – ICN2200 333 2009 RJ
SQ607 ICN0900 – SIN1450 333 2009 RJ
SQ611 ICN1240 – SIN1825 77W 2013 J
SQ609 ICN1635 – SIN2220 333 2009 RJ
SQ603 ICN2305 – SIN0455* 333 2009 RJ

* Next day

From 1st March 2019 onwards the SQ600 / SQ609 flight pairing is set to be operated by the Airbus A350 Regional variant.

From 1st March 2019
Flight From / To Aircraft Seats
SQ608 SIN0010 – ICN0735 333 2009 RJ
SQ612 SIN0230 – ICN0950 77W 2013 J
SQ600 SIN0805 – ICN1530 359 2018 RJ
SQ602 SIN1435 – ICN2200 333 2009 RJ
SQ607 ICN0900 – SIN1450 333 2009 RJ
SQ611 ICN1240 – SIN1825 77W 2013 J
SQ609 ICN1635 – SIN2220 359 2018 RJ
SQ603 ICN2305 – SIN0455* 333 2009 RJ

* Next day

Some minor timing changes then occur from 31st March 2019 for the northern winter season, however aircraft types and flight numbers remain valid through the end of the published schedule into 2020.

Seat 11A.jpg
The 2018 Regional Business Class seat, used by some airlines as a long-haul product, is widely seen as a big improvement on the older 2009 version installed on SIA’s A330s. (Photo: MainlyMiles)

The news means Seoul will continue to be served by the Airbus A330 twice per day with the older 2009 Regional Business Class seats, but the other two flights on the route will see newer cabin products not only in the form of the 2018 Regional Business Class but also the 2013 Business Class seat continuing to fly daily on the 777-300ER.

Note that the Boeing 777-300ER service on this route (SQ611 / SQ612) also offers the 2013 First Class and 2013 Premium Economy seats.

Overall capacity to and from Seoul will also increase slightly as part of the change, especially in Business Class where the A350 Regional offers 10 additional seats per day in each direction, which is potentially good news for award availability.

Redemption rates

Here are the KrisFlyer redemption rates you’ll pay by cabin on this route:

KF Logo trans

KrisFlyer Redemption Singapore – Seoul
Saver Advantage
Economy 25,000 45,000
Business 47,000 70,000

You can also use miles you have in other Star Alliance programs to book these flights, including in the Business Class cabin. Example rates are 20,000 miles in Economy and 36,000 miles in Business using Lifemiles or 20,000 miles in Economy and 35,000 miles in Business with Lufthansa Miles & More.

LM ICN.jpg
Lifemiles is a good option on this route, and shows availability on the A350 Regional flights

Where the 2018 Regional Business Class is flying

Our 2018 Regional Business Class Tracker page has been updated to reflect the cabin operating on this route from March, and shows that Seoul is the 17th route to be announced with this new Business Class seat.

Shorter routes include Singapore to Kuala Lumpur and Jakarta, with longer flights like Adelaide, Perth and Tokyo also featuring these new seats.

Bed4.jpg
The new seats convert into fully flat beds, and have improved privacy. (Photo: MainlyMiles)

Further routes are likely as additional A350 Regional aircraft and a new batch of 787-10s continue to arrive, replacing older aircraft in the fleet throughout 2019.

Award availability

The following tables show award availability during March 2019, the first month of A350 Regional operation on this route, for flights SQ600 and SQ609 respectively.

Remember award availability to frequent flyers in Star Alliance airline schemes (‘Star Awards’) is generally more restrictive than this.

March 2019 (SQ600 SIN-ICN)
M T W T F S S
1 2 3
2 1 WL
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
WL 1 4 3 3 3 2
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
WL 3 1 2 WL WL
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
WL 1 WL 2 3 WL WL
25 26 27 28 29 30 31
WL 3 2 3 4 WL 2
March 2019 (SQ609 ICN-SIN)
M T W T F S S
1 2 3
1 WL WL
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
2 2 1 WL WL 1
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
1 2 1 WL 2 WL WL
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
WL 2 WL WL WL WL
25 26 27 28 29 30 31
1 4 2 WL 2 WL WL

Up to 4 seats per flight are available on certain days, with Mondays pretty much ruled out for Singapore – Seoul redemptions (perfect Business timing with an 8am departure from Changi means high loads on these flights are likely). Weekends on the other hand are the least likely time to score an award back from Korea on these new aircraft.

Remember of course there are three other flights in each direction each day to choose from, including the 2013 J seat on the 777, whose award availability is reflected in the tables above.

Product review

If you haven’t read it yet – check out our comprehensive review of the Singapore Airlines Boeing 787-10 regional Business Class, the new ‘2018 RJ’ seat. There’s also a special mini-review detailing the couple middle seats and extra legroom bulkhead seats.

These are effectively identical to those installed on the A350 Regional, though the latter has wider aisles.

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You may also wish to read our A350 Regional fleet page, designed to help you decide which seat to select whichever class you’re travelling in on this new aircraft.

Summary

Another route set to receive the new Regional Business Class product, the relatively long Seoul route has been long awaited by many for a better seat in this cabin. It nicely complements flights to Japan, where the A330 has already largely been replaced with the Boeing 787-10 sporting the same 2018 RJ seats.

A350R Landing (Adelaide Airport).jpg
The A350 Regional is scheduled to be flown on the Seoul route. (Photo: Adelaide Airport)

Increased Business Class capacity to and from Seoul with 40 such seats on the A350 Regional jets should also bode well for award availability on the route going forward.

5 comments

  1. Andrew,

    Love reading the blog- what do you think the final route will be to get the 2018RJ seat?

    Thanks for all the information.

  2. Thanks for the update Andrew 🙂

    Finally!! As a frequent traveler to ICN, great to see they are bringing in A350 to this route!! always took B773 flights to avoid A330 old regional business seats.
    Looking forward to be on A350 new regional seats in my next trip in April!!

    1. Hi James, thanks I’m glad you found it useful.

      We know a lot of people were waiting for the ICN route to get this seat, so we wanted to make sure we mentioned this one.

      Enjoy the trip!

  3. Well, with more A350s being delivered, I think it is probable that Perth might be the next destination for the Regional variant, including Bangkok (Suvarnabhumi), Hanoi, or maybe even Taipei. I foresee that the Airbus A350 Regional will take over the remaining Seoul (Incheon) flights (SQ 602/603, SQ 607/608) by the end of fiscal 2019.

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