KrisFlyer News Singapore Airlines

New seats to the Maldives: Malé gets the SIA 787 from September

Singapore Airlines' Maldives flights get an upgrade from September 2019 with the Boeing 787-10

Anantara Dhigu Maldives (Anantara)

With around a dozen older Airbus A330s and Boeing 777-200s leaving the Singapore Airlines fleet over the next nine months or so, and brand new Airbus A350s and Boeing 787s replacing them, we never have to wait long between announcements of the brand new Regional Business Class seats appearing on the airline’s routes for the first time.

Today the schedule update is for a much-anticipated one – Malé in the Maldives. From 1st September 2019 this daily Singapore Airlines flight will shift to the Boeing 787-10, sporting the latest seat products.

The schedule

Here’s how the daily Singapore Airlines Malé schedule is flown, with the 2009 Regional Business Class product.

Until 31st August 2019
Flight From / To Aircraft Seats
SQ452 SIN2045 – MLE2210 333 2009 RJ
SQ451 MLE2335 – SIN0710* 333 2009 RJ

* Next day

From 1st September 2019 the 787-10 takes over on this 4.5 hour flight, with the latest 2018 Regional Business Class seats.

From 1st September 2019
Flight From / To Aircraft Days
SQ452 SIN2045 – MLE2210 787 2018 RJ
SQ451 MLE2335 – SIN0710* 787 2018 RJ

* Next day

The Singapore Airlines group also currently flies nine times per week to and from Male under the SilkAir brand using Boeing 737-800s, and five times per week with low-cost subsidiary Scoot using the Airbus A320.

New Regional Business Class

In the eyes of most of our readers the new 2018 Regional Business Class is a vast improvement on the 2009 equivalent seats, which are gradually being replaced as new aircraft join the fleet over the next couple of years.

Benefits include direct aisle access, improved privacy and a fully-flat bed, assuming you need it on this relatively short flight.

We tested the new seats last year on the Boeing 787-10, so check out our full review of the product.

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At alternate middle pairs the seats are in ‘couple’ formation, no doubt an ideal setup for many on this ‘honeymoon’ route.

11F Bed Divider Down.jpg
Some couple middle pairs in Business Class on the 787 are directly alongside one another. (Photo: MainlyMiles)

We took a separate review flight on the 787 to specifically focus on these middle pairs, plus the pros and cons of the bulkhead row, and you can read that here.

KrisFlyer redemption

Here are the redemption rates you’ll pay by cabin class on this route using the KrisFlyer program.

KFtrans

KrisFlyer Redemption Singapore – Malé
Saver Advantage
Economy 18,500 37,000
Business 39,000 65,000

If you already hold or intend to book a firm ticket in an eligible Economy booking class, here’s how many miles it will then cost you to upgrade to Business Class, assuming saver upgrade award availability.

Upgrade using KrisFlyer miles
Upgrading to Seat 11A.jpg
Business
Existing booking
Economy Standard
(Class: M, H, W)
34,000
Economy Flexi
(Class: Y, B, E)
28,500

These are all quite steep rates for a flight of this length, it’s less miles for example to fly the longer Singapore – Perth flight, but they may be justifiable if awards are available and fares are high.

On the plus side, award availability on Malé flights is generally quite good, and we’ve also had waitlisted redemptions on this route clear many months in advance before.

Unfortunately Singapore Airlines flights to and from Malé have only ever appeared on Spontaneous Escapes three times, in Economy Class only (for travel in March 2019, April 2019 and June 2019), with Business Class never included to date (except on SilkAir).

Other FFPs

Rates with other Star Alliance frequent flyer programs aren’t much more competitive that KrisFlyer on this route, and in many cases are worse, but if you have Turkish or Lufthansa miles to use it is cheaper in Business Class.

Singapore Airlines is still offering these 2018 RJ seats as Star Alliance awards on the Malé route, though this usually changes later once the new seats are recognised in the system, so jump on one now if you need it.

Other FFP redemption rates Singapore – Malé
Economy Business
TKtrans.png 20,000 35,000
MMtrans.png 20,000 35,000
LMtrans.png 24,000 48,000
UAtrans.png 25,000 50,000
EVtrans.png 25,000 42,500
MBtrans.png 30,000 45,000

It’s cheap from Malé to Europe

There’s no obligation to get to the Maldives using the uncompetitive miles rates shown above, for example AirAsia will fly you there from Singapore via KL for less than S$150 even after Scoot stops the route.

Once you’re there though, don’t forget the excellent Star Alliance award rate in Business Class to Europe at just 54,500 KrisFlyer miles. This increased from 47,500 miles in the recent devaluation, but is still good value for over 12 hours of flying time and can give you an interesting ‘two centre’ holiday.

Turkish Airlines provides good options here, all the way from Malé to London for example.

MLELHR TK.jpg

More seats

This announcement not only means the new Regional Business Class seats on flights to the Maldives, but a big increase in capacity for Singapore Airlines too.

The 787-10 has 36 Business Class seats, six more than the A330 (+20%) not to mention 301 Economy Class seats, 46 more than the A330 (+18%), giving the airline nearly 600 additional weekly seats on the route in each direction from September.

SQ 787 Water Cannon (Singapore Airlines).jpg
Singapore Airlines will fly its Boeing 787-10 to the Maldives from September 2019. (Photo: Singapore Airlines)

This will be outweighed however by Scoot ceasing its Malé flights from late October 2019, a loss of 900 seats per week in each direction, so if anything there may actually be a negative effect on award space and fares going into the northern winter season this year.

Summary

Slumming it to or from your five star overwater villa in the older 2009 Regional Business Class seat wasn’t the most luxurious experience, so this aircraft type change on the route will come as welcome news to those wanting to fly to and from the Maldives in style.

Maldives from Above.jpg

Malé becomes the 20th permanent route featuring the 2018 Regional Business Class seats, and the 14th to be served using the Boeing 787-10.

In other news the daily SIA Guangzhou flight will also change to the 787-10 from 1st September 2019 and a second daily Manila flight sees the new aircraft from 1st October 2019. We don’t write an update article like this for every route / aircraft change, so make sure you check our full list of where on the network this latest cabin product is flying at our dedicated tracker page.

(Cover Photo: Anantara)

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