KrisFlyer News Singapore Airlines

SIA’s Beijing and Tokyo flights get new Regional Business Class from early 2020

Singapore Airlines Airbus A350 Regionals are making their first foray into China and Japan in early 2020, and that means new seats to Beijing and Tokyo

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There are two new cities joining the roster for Singapore Airlines’ 2018 Regional Business Class seat in early 2020 – Beijing from 1st February and Tokyo Haneda from 29th March. It’s the first time the A350 Regional model has been used by the airline to serve either China or Japan.

Previously new Regional Business Class has been introduced to cities like Guangzhou and Fukuoka using higher capacity Boeing 787-10 aircraft instead.

Beijing schedule

This is the current daily Singapore Airlines flight schedule to and from Beijing, with aircraft and seat types in First and Business Class shown.

Until 31st January 2020
Flight From / To Aircraft Seats
SQ800 SIN0110 – PEK0715 77W 2013 F / 2013 J
SQ802 SIN0845 – PEK1450 388 2006 R / 2006 J
SQ806 SIN1655 – PEK2300 77W 2013 F / 2013 J
SQ801 PEK0010 – SIN0645 77W 2013 F / 2013 J
SQ805 PEK0845 – SIN1530 77W 2013 F / 2013 J
SQ807 PEK1640 – SIN2320 388 2006 R / 2006 J

On the Beijing route it’s the sole overnight option from Singapore (SQ800) and the morning Beijing to Singapore flight (SQ805) that swaps out from the 4-class Boeing 777-300ER aircraft to the 2-class Airbus A350 Regional from 1st February 2020.

Beijing (Zhang-Kaiyv).jpg
Beijing will lose some First Class and Premium Economy capacity as a result of the change

That removes a First Class and Premium Economy option on the route, which will then be confined to the other two daily rotations on the route.

This was always the case however, with the SQ800/805 flight pairing originally slated to switch to the Boeing 777-200 with 2009 Regional Business Class seats from 1st February 2020 anyway.

From 1st February 2020
Flight From / To Aircraft Seats
SQ800 SIN0110 – PEK0715 359 R 2018 RJ
SQ802 SIN0845 – PEK1450 388 2006 R / 2006 J
SQ806 SIN1655 – PEK2300 77W 2013 F / 2013 J
SQ801 PEK0010 – SIN0645 77W 2013 F / 2013 J
SQ805 PEK0845 – SIN1530 359 R 2018 RJ
SQ807 PEK1640 – SIN2320 388 2006 R / 2006 J

The news on the Beijing route means there are now no scheduled Boeing 777-200 flights operated by Singapore Airlines on any route from 29th March 2020 onwards, the same day the last of the carrier’s Boeing 777-200ER services is slated for.

That doesn’t mean this is the final plan for the Boeing 777-200 series aircraft, which could still continue to be used assist SilkAir with its capacity shortage depending on the Boeing 737 MAX situation, for example.

Tokyo Haneda schedule

The current four-times daily SIA schedule between Singapore and Tokyo Haneda remains effective for the rest of the northern winter season, ending on 28th March 2020.

Until 28th March 2020
Flight From / To Aircraft Seats
SQ632 SIN0805 – HND1535 359 2013 J
SQ634 SIN1405 – HND2140 77W 2013 F / 2013 J
SQ630 SIN1725 – HND0100* 773 2006 F / 2009 RJ
SQ636 SIN2245 – HND0620* 77W 2013 F / 2013 J
SQ639 HND0205 – SIN0820 773 2006 F / 2009 RJ
SQ631 HND0850 – SIN1525 77W 2013 F / 2013 J
SQ633 HND1640 – SIN2320 359 2013 J
SQ635 HND2250 – SIN0525* 77W 2013 F / 2013 J

* Next day

From 29th March 2020 the Airbus A350 Regional replaces an evening Boeing 777-300 northbound service to Haneda, and the same aircraft type on the painfully antisocial 2am overnight departure back to Changi.

From 29th March 2020
Flight From / To Aircraft Seats
SQ632 SIN0800 – HND1555 359 2013 J
SQ634 SIN1355 – HND2150 77W 2013 F / 2013 J
SQ630 SIN1705 – HND0100* 359 R 2018 RJ
SQ636 SIN2250 – HND0645* 77W 2013 F / 2013 J
SQ639 HND0205 – SIN0805 359 R 2018 RJ
SQ631 HND0915 – SIN1515 77W 2013 F / 2013 J
SQ633 HND1705 – SIN2305 359 2013 J
SQ635 HND2255 – SIN0455* 77W 2013 F / 2013 J

* Next day

The SQ639 equipment shift is a welcome change, with customers currently suffering an angle-flat bed in the form of the 2009 Regional Business Class seat on this red-eye flight. Soon they will be able to bed down for a better sleep on this service.

Tokyo Skyline (Morio).jpg
After a long day’s work in Tokyo, the late overnight SIA option to Singapore will finally get rid of angle-flat beds in Business Class

It does however mean one less First Class option to and from Tokyo, as this SQ630/639 flight pairing was originally slated to switch to the 4-class Boeing 777-300ER from 29th March 2020 before this swap to the A350 Regional was programmed.

KrisFlyer redemption

If you avoid peak holidays and the Chinese New Year period, the Beijing route is a very easy one to pick up saver award space, especially in Business Class.

This equipment swap to the A350 Regional from February will slightly improve premium cabin capacity compared with the originally proposed Boeing 777-200, with a large 45 seats per day increase on the SQ800/805 pairing in Economy Class.

That should be good news for award availability, not to mention a new opportunity to try out the latest Regional Business Class seat on a longer flight. Here’s a reminder of the KrisFlyer redemption rates you’ll pay by cabin on this route.

KF Logo trans

KrisFlyer Redemption Singapore ⇄ Beijing
Saver Advantage
Economy 20,000 40,000
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
Singapore ⇄ Beijing
Upgrading to Seat 11A.jpg
Business
Existing booking
Economy Standard
(Class: M, H, W)
34,000
Economy Flexi
(Class: Y, B, E)
28,500

Here are the same redemption rates for upcoming A350 Regional flights to and from Tokyo Haneda:

KF Logo trans

KrisFlyer Redemption Singapore ⇄ Tokyo
Saver Advantage
Economy 25,000 45,000
Business 47,000 70,000
Upgrade using KrisFlyer miles
Singapore ⇄ Tokyo
Upgrading to Seat 11A.jpg
Business
Existing booking
Economy Standard
(Class: M, H, W)
41,000
Economy Flexi
(Class: Y, B, E)
31,000

New Regional Business Class

This will be the first time Singapore Airlines has flown the new 2018 Regional Business Class seats to and from Beijing, though Tokyo did see the new seats for around a year on the Narita route from May 2018 to April 2019.

We checked out the new seats from a passenger perspective last year on the Boeing 787-10. Check out our full review of the product.

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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, they are especially welcome on the overnight flights where flat beds replace angled versions.

Spontaneous Escapes

Cover Dec19 (Jonathan Palombo)

Beijing almost always features on the monthly Spontaneous Escapes offer. It was included in last month’s list for travel in December.

At typical 30% discounts in Business Class it means you can usually access this route for 27,300 miles each way, provided you are able to make short-term travel plans. Keep an eye out for the upcoming January 2020 Spontaneous Escapes deal, as 27,300 miles for up to 6 hours 45 minutes on this route is fantastic value in our book.

Tokyo appears less frequently on Spontaneous Escapes, though it’s not unheard of, with Business Class saver awards coming in at 32,900 miles each way when that route is included in the deal.

Summary

It’s starting to look like the ‘home straight’ for the new 2018 Regional Business Class seat on the Singapore Airlines network for flights up to around 7 hours, with less than 40% of regional routes even featuring a single flight with the old 2009 seat by March next year.

Indeed just eight Singapore Airlines routes offer only the 2009 RJ seats in Business Class from March 2020, with all other destinations providing at least one ‘better’ option on at least one alternative flight.

Longer overnight flights switching across are especially welcome, since the older angled beds are well past their prime for a comfortable sleep.

For the Beijing route this means a welcome escape from the planned Boeing 777-200 with older angled Business Class beds, while for Tokyo the removal of the Boeing 777-300 marks the advent of all-flat-bed operation for Singapore Airlines in Business Class to and from Japan.

Don’t forget our 2018 Regional Business Class Seat Tracker is always updated with the latest schedules for this new product. With over two dozen routes soon available, it’s increasingly easy to try out these seats on sectors as close as Kuala Lumpur and Jakarta right through to longer flights such as Adelaide, Brisbane and Seoul.

(Cover Photo: MainlyMiles)

2 comments

  1. Thanks Andrew for the update. I think the timings for SQ802 and SQ806 for your 1st Feb table may be incorrect – just thought to highlight.

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