KrisFlyer News Other FFPs Singapore Airlines

SIA’s Wellington route switching to 3-class A350 from 31 October

The Singapore Airlines Wellington route finally gets a flat-bed Business Class seat, which also gives Melbourne passengers a flight they no longer need to avoid

Wellington

Good news for Singapore Airlines’ Wellington regulars, with confirmation that the existing Boeing 777-200 aircraft will be replaced by an Airbus A350 model from 31st October 2019. Flight frequency and capacity will also increase with a 5th weekly service added from 1st January 2020.

The schedule

This service is currently operated four days per week by the Boeing 777-200.

Until 28th October 2019 (departing SIN)
Flight From / To Aircraft Days
SQ247 SIN2005 – MEL0630* 772 1··456·
SQ247 MEL0750 – WLG1310 772 ·2··567
SQ248 WLG1430 – MEL1630 772 ·2··567
SQ248 MEL1755 – SIN2245 772 ·2··567

* Next day

From 31st October 2019 the service changes to the 3-class A350, with long-haul cabin products installed.

From 31st October 2019 (departing SIN)
Flight From / To Aircraft Days
SQ247 SIN2005 – MEL0630* 359 1··456·
SQ247 MEL0750 – WLG1310 359 ·2··567
SQ248 WLG1430 – MEL1630 359 ·2··567
SQ248 MEL1755 – SIN2245 359 ·2··567

* Next day

Finally an additional weekly flight departing Singapore on Wednesdays, and operating the continuing Melbourne-Wellington-Melbourne-Singapore flights on Thursdays, kicks off from 1st January 2020.

From 1st January 2020 (departing SIN)
Flight From / To Aircraft Days
SQ247 SIN2005 – MEL0630* 359 1·3456·
SQ247 MEL0750 – WLG1310 359 ·2·4567
SQ248 WLG1430 – MEL1630 359 ·2·4567
SQ248 MEL1755 – SIN2245 359 ·2·4567

* Next day

The 3-class A350 has four more seats in Business Class than the existing 777-200, while the current 245 seats in Economy Class are cut to 187 per flight, supplemented by a 24-seat Premium Economy cabin.

Overall once the extra flight begins in early 2020, there will be a total weekly capacity increase of 19% on the route.

2013 Business Class

The biggest news for the Wellington route is the withdrawal of the angled bed 2009 Regional Business Class seats currently used.

2009 RJ (MM).jpg
The older 2009 Regional Business Class seats. (Photo: MainlyMiles)

These will be replaced by the long-haul 2013 Business Class product boasting 28″ wide seats with direct aisle access in a 1-2-1 configuration.

11A 2.jpg
The Singapore Airlines 2013 Business Class seat. (Photo: MainlyMiles)

It’s a popular seat and one we’ve happily flown many times.

The A350s also benefit from an 18″ HD in-flight entertainment system in Business Class, with much more content than the older systems, plus Wi-Fi is available on board with a new 100MB allowance per flight for Business Class passengers and PPS Club members.

That means for example on a flight from Singapore to Wellington in Business Class you’ll get 100MB data allowance on the first sector to Melbourne and a fresh 100MB allowance once you take off for the second leg Wellington. That should be enough to stay well connected throughout the journey.

Check out our full review from last year covering the 2013 long-haul Business Class seat on a flight from Singapore to Cape Town and back.

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Melbourne benefits too

One key advantage of this change is that the Singapore – Melbourne route can finally do away with its four times weekly 2009 Regional Business Class configured aircraft (also SQ247/248).

With the Perth route fully shifting to the latest Regional Business Class seats in October this year, that means no more of the older 2009 seats on any of SIA’s Australia / New Zealand routes from late October onwards.

KrisFlyer redemptions

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

KF Logo trans

KrisFlyer Redemption Singapore – Wellington
Saver Advantage
Economy 28,000 55,000
Premium Economy 47,000 n/a
Business 62,000 90,000

Note that the above rates also apply if you fly on this flight from Singapore to Melbourne or vice-versa, or if you fly to Wellington with a stopover in Melbourne (a US$100 fee is payable on a one-way saver award for a stopover – see our guide for full details).

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

Upgrade using KrisFlyer miles
Singapore – Wellington
Upgrading to 2013 W (Singapore Airlines).jpg
Premium
11A 2
Business
Existing booking
Economy Standard
(Class: M, H, W)
34,000 57,000
Economy Flexi
(Class: Y, B, E)
22,500 47,000
Premium Economy Standard
(Class: P)
42,500
Premium Economy Flexi
(Class: S, T)
32,000

These rates are probably only of interest if your company is paying for your Economy or Premium Economy ticket, otherwise they don’t usually represent good value.

Other FFPs

Once Singapore Airlines changes aircraft type from one with the 2009 Regional Business Class to their newer Business Class sats, they eventually restrict that cabin for redemption by KrisFlyer members only. The good thing is that, for whatever reason, it takes them some time to do this.

As usual we are seeing good award availability for Star Alliance partners in Business Class on these flights, even though the new product is flying from 31st October 2019.

SINMEL Lifemiles.jpg
Lifemiles is an option on this route, including the 2013 Business Class seats… for now. This search is for March 2020.

That includes the Singapore to Melbourne route in isolation, where Star Alliance miles holders are usually excluded from any of the flat-bed options.

It will set you back the following number of miles or points to redeem to Wellington from Singapore using miles from another Star Alliance program:

Star Alliance redemption rates Singapore – Wellington
Economy Business
UAtrans.png 25,000 50,000
MMtrans.png 30,000 56,000
LMtrans.png 35,000 65,000
MBtrans.png 40,000 55,000
TKtrans.png 52,500 75,000
EVtrans.png 52,500 77,500

There are some more competitive rates than KrisFlyer offers in both cabins here, but if you see a Business award available you’ll have to jump on it soon before the cabin becomes excluded from partners on this route.

The Trans-Tasman option

If you want to redeem purely between Melbourne and Wellington on this flight, which as we pointed out in our guide to Singapore Airlines’ fifth freedom routes isn’t great value due to the low cash fares usually offered, the miles rates are as follows:

KF Logo trans

KrisFlyer Redemption Melbourne – Wellington
Saver Advantage
Economy 12,500 15,000
Business 31,000 35,000

The only benefit is that if you do find a date where the value works well, an Advantage award is very close to the Saver award rate so availability should be no issue with a step up to Advantage (if necessary) not really hitting your miles stash as significantly as usual.

Note that Singapore Airlines is not selling the Premium Economy cabin on these Trans Tasman sectors in isolation, and no award availability has been loaded for that cabin on these shorter flights. The award chart also does not quote a mileage rate for them.

It seems that the Premium Economy cabin will be held back for those travelling all the way through from Singapore to Wellington and vice-versa. It is also available from Singapore to Melbourne and vice-versa.

Summary

Fantastic news here on a few fronts.

Firstly the Wellington route, currently the longest flight on the network with the old 2009 Regional Business Class seats, finally gets a flat-bed in the form of the popular long-haul 2013 version.

Secondly the frequency and capacity will be increased from next year, which not only makes Wellington more accessible using Singapore Airlines but also means award availability should improve.

12DF.jpg
A much more comfortable journey in Business Class. (Photo: MainlyMiles)

Thirdly the Singapore – Melbourne route finally waves farewell to its last remaining angled bed Business Class option – which is currently one to avoid with the other flights between these cities sporting long-haul flat-bed seats for some time now.

Good news all round and yet more confirmed plans for the newest five A350s in long-haul configuration joining the fleet this year, after Seattle starts in two weeks and Istanbul switches across in December.

You can still pick up Business Class saver awards on these flights to and from both Wellington and Melbourne using partner frequent flyer programs, with some good rates on offer, but this loophole won’t last long so act now if you want to take advantage.

2 comments

  1. I flew SQ247 in 2009 regional product in may19 and on other routes a350 2013 Business class product. No comparision! Hugh improvement seems to come up and super happy of SQ decision to do so. Looking Forward to fly new product on this route.

    1. It’s a great upgrade, especially as most people were expecting the A350 Regional with the narrower seats to be deployed on this route.

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