Once again this year Singapore Airlines is flying its largest plane, the Airbus A380, on seasonal services during the winter between Singapore and Osaka. Schedules for these flights were loaded today, but it’s a much shorter period than last winter when the aircraft was used on the route from October right through to March.
In 2019/20 it’s just an 11-day window of operation at this stage, from 27th December 2019 to 6th January 2020 inclusive.
As usual, since the Osaka route doesn’t normally feature a First Class or Suites option, the airline is being very generous with award space in this elusive cabin, currently offering four saver Suites award seats on every day of operation.
First thing to note is that this isn’t the new 2017 Suites product installed on the latest A380 aircraft. Those are flying daily between Singapore and Sydney, London, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Zurich. Soon Delhi gets a quick look, before Mumbai becomes a regular route from September then Tokyo from January.
These Osaka flights will get the 2006 Suites but don’t let the age put you off. If you haven’t tried Singapore Airlines in Suites this is still a fantastic product, refreshed with new seat covers and other fittings only a few years ago.
It remains our personal favourite between the two Suites options.
Here’s the daily flight you’ll have to pick to experience the A380 with the Suites product on Osaka flights during this short 11-day window.
From 27th December 2019 to 6th January 2020
|Flight||From / To||Aircraft||Days|
|SQ618||SIN0130 – KIX0845||787||Daily|
|SQ619||KIX1100 – SIN1700||787||Daily|
|SQ620||SIN0825 – KIX1540||333||Daily|
|SQ621||KIX1655 – SIN2305||333||Daily|
|SQ622||SIN1405 – KIX2120||388||Daily|
|SQ623||KIX2330 – SIN0530*||388||Daily|
* Next day
Temporary A380 operation on the Osaka route for this period requires the existing SQ802/807 service between Singapore and Beijing to revert to 777-300ER operation on the same dates.
Unlike last winter when the SQ618/619 switched to the A380, this year it’s the later SQ622/623 pairing switching from the regular 787-10 service for these 11 days.
That means an afternoon A380 service up to Osaka, landing late evening, with an overnight flight in the other direction from Osaka to Singapore landing at 5.30am.
Singapore Airlines doesn’t normally operate a First Class cabin to Osaka, let alone a Suites cabin. The only other Japan flight with Suites is a daily option to Tokyo-Narita, which gets the latest 2017 product from 1st January 2020.
That makes it very difficult for SIA to capture a market for these seats on this particular route, so it makes sense for them to open up large volumes of the capacity to award bookings.
Here are the KrisFlyer redemption rates you’ll pay by cabin on this route:
|KrisFlyer Redemption Singapore – Osaka|
Note that there is not usually a Premium Economy cabin offered on the Osaka route either, but this class of travel is being offered for both sale and redemption during the A380 operating period.
Advantage rates in Suites on these flights are mostly irrelevant – you almost never have to pay them. Here is how the Suites saver award space looks.
Edit: Availability updated 21st July 2019 @ 12:50 SGT
Singapore to Osaka
|December 2019 (SQ622 SIN-KIX)|
|January 2020 (SQ622 SIN-KIX)|
Osaka to Singapore
|December 2019 (SQ623 KIX-SIN)|
|January 2020 (SQ623 KIX-SIN)|
Edit: Availability updated 21st July 2019 @ 12:50 SGT
There are four immediately confirmable saver Suites redemptions on this route in both directions every single day from 27th December to 6th January 2020. That’s a total of 88 saver award Suites on the route, and enough for a family booking almost every day. Update: Now 79 available on 21st July 2019 @ 12:50 SGT.
Remember there are two pairs in the 2006 Suites cabin where you have the opportunity for the double bed arrangement – at 2 C/D and 3 C/D.
In the past Singapore Airlines blocked bassinet positions (2 C/D in this case) for pre-selection, but the policy has changed and all available Suites can now be allocated at booking or redemption stage.
Even in the 2017 Suites, the bassinet position can now be preselected.
That saves a phone call so SIA to secure this forward seat pair, but you do still risk being moved to other seats if a booking including an infant is then made on your flight in this cabin. While that’s a small chance you should always aim for 3 C/D as a couple first and only pick 2 C/D if those are already taken.
Is it good value?
Osaka doesn’t demand Tokyo-style fares in First Class or Suites with Singapore Airlines, but it will still set you back at least S$4,760 one-way or S$6,900 return to book a firm ticket in Suites on these flights.
That makes the miles rates relatively attractive, plus as our KrisFlyer miles per minute analysis shows it’s a better rate on this route at 174 miles per minute than either Sydney (179 per min.) or Melbourne (188 per min.) in this cabin.
Would we do it?
Absolutely, but our advice would actually be to split a return journey – redeem to Osaka in Suites on the afternoon A380 flight (SQ622) for 70,000 miles but try out the new 2018 Regional Business Class on the way back on SQ619 (daytime), or the 2006 Business Class on the overnight A380 flight SQ623, for 47,000 miles in either case.
This will allow you to make the most of the soft product in Suites, as we don’t think you’ll take full advantage of the experience on a 6-hour overnight flight from Osaka to Singapore where sleep will be the priority.
You could also redeem a saver award for the same cost from Tokyo to Singapore on the A350, A380 or 777-300ER. Our First Class seats by route and Business Class seats by route pages will help you determine which flights have the seat types you need.
Don’t forget that apart from your own enclosed suite and the fine dining options you’ll also be getting six hours of free-flow Dom Perignon and Krug 2004 Champagne in Suites – probably not your everyday drop.
The usual seasonal upgrade on the Osaka route to the A380 (at the expense of the same plane flying to and from Beijing) means a large number of saver Suites awards again this winter, though the operating window is relatively small.
If you are looking to travel to and from Japan over the new year period though, this is a great opportunity to secure multiple seats in the Suites cabin for one or both legs of the journey.
If you have sufficient miles then currently a family of four can book into these Suites on each flight, a very rare opportunity for quite a unique experience. If you’ve never flown Suites before, our opinion is that this version certainly won’t disappoint.
Our advice is to book soon as this award space probably isn’t going to last.
(Cover Photo: MainlyMiles)