News Singapore Airlines

More SIA new Regional Business seats to Bali from October, but Malé loses out

Three out of four daily Singapore Airlines flights to and from Bali will offer the latest 2018 Regional Business Class from 25th October 2020

Bali Kelingking Beach (Dominic Krainer).jpg

Singapore Airlines has been making a few tweaks to next year’s northern winter schedule starting at the end of October 2020. Since they are so far off, and often still subject to change, we generally haven’t been writing about these. One exception is the A350 ULR shakeup, which will almost inevitably lead to a new non-stop route announcement for the airline in due course.

Another change did catch our eye though, and with so many of our readers being Bali fans we thought we should share the details of this one.

From 25th October 2020, another Airbus A330 is replaced by a Boeing 787-10 on the Bali route, meaning three out of four daily Singapore Airlines flights to and from the popular holiday island will offer the latest 2018 Regional Business Class from that date.

Unfortunately this seems to come at the expense of the Malé flight, which downgrades back to the Airbus A330 with 2009 Regional Business Class on the same date.

Bali schedule

Currently the Singapore Airlines Bali route is split between two Airbus A330s and two Boeing 787-10s each day. The new cabin products on the Boeing 787 fly on the later morning flight and the afternoon flight from Changi, bookended by the older seats on the early morning and evening departures served by the A330.

Until 24th October 2020
Flight From / To Aircraft Days
SQ940 SIN0820 – DPS1100 333 Daily
SQ942 SIN0915 – DPS1155 787 Daily
SQ946 SIN1610 – DPS1850 787 Daily
SQ948 SIN1820 – DPS2050 333 Daily
SQ941 DPS1210 – SIN1455 333 Daily
SQ943 DPS1305 – SIN1550 787 Daily
SQ947 DPS2000 – SIN2240 787 Daily
SQ949 DPS2145 – SIN0020* 333 Daily

* Next day
Summer season timings and flight numbers shown (SQ940/941 operates as SQ938/939 until 28th March 2020)

From the start of the winter 2020/21 schedule SQ948, the evening departure from Changi going wheels-up just after 6pm for those who can dash to the airport straight after work, will switch to the Boeing 787-10.

This equipment change not only provides the 2018 Regional Business Class seats on that flight, but also on the last flight of the day from Bali, to really maximise your trip. SQ949 sets off at 9.45pm and lands back in Changi after midnight, for those who don’t mind going into work slightly bleary-eyed the next (same?) morning.

From 25th October 2020
Flight From / To Aircraft Days
SQ940 SIN0820 – DPS1105 333 Daily
SQ942 SIN0905 – DPS1150 787 Daily
SQ946 SIN1620 – DPS1905 787 Daily
SQ948 SIN1805 – DPS2050 787 Daily
SQ941 DPS1205 – SIN1455 333 Daily
SQ943 DPS1300 – SIN1540 787 Daily
SQ947 DPS2015 – SIN2255 787 Daily
SQ949 DPS2145 – SIN0020* 787 Daily

* Next day

In addition to 28 weekly Bali flights operated by Singapore Airlines during the winter 2020/21 season, the group also flies 7 times per week to and from Bali under the SilkAir brand using Boeing 737-800s, and 21 times per week with low-cost subsidiary Scoot using the Boeing 787 and Airbus A320.

Capacity increases

This aircraft swap also increases SIA’s capacity on the Bali route significantly, from 1,140 seats per day in each direction in early 2018, when four Airbus A330s were flying the route, to 1,296 seats per day from late October 2020 with three Boeing 787s and a single Airbus A330 operating.

SQ B78X (Alex Wilson).jpg
SIA’s Boeing 787-10 aircraft boast an 18% capacity increase over the Airbus A330s they are progressively replacing on the Bali route. (Photo: Alex Wilson)

Presumably the final Airbus A330 flight pairing, the morning SQ940/941 service (which currently operates as SQ938/939), will also switch to the Boeing 787 in due course, for a full 18% capacity increase on the route including a 20% hike in Business Class.

KrisFlyer awards

Here are the one-way KrisFlyer redemption rates you’ll pay by cabin on the Singapore – Bali route:

KF Logo trans

KrisFlyer Redemption Singapore ⇄ Bali
Saver Advantage
Economy 7,500 15,000
Business 19,000 35,000

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 ⇄ Bali
Upgrading to Seat 11A.jpg
Business
Existing booking
Economy Standard
(Class: M, H, W)
16,500
Economy Flexi
(Class: Y, B, E)
15,000

Those upgrade rates are way too close to the cost of a full redemption to be of much interest to any of our readers.

Other FFPs

Once Singapore Airlines changes aircraft type from one with the 2009 Regional Business Class to their newer Business Class sats, they usually restrict that cabin for redemption by KrisFlyer members only.

It always takes them some time to do this, giving you a window of opportunity to use miles from another FFP if you wish even though the newer seats are offered. The Bali route is no exception, with this SQ948/949 service widely available in Business Class to members of other Star Alliance programmes.

One thing we did notice for the route though is that SIA never caught up with the previous aircraft swap either on the SQ946/947 rotation (departing Singapore at 4.20pm), which shifted to the Boeing 787-10 in May this year.

UA DPS Search.jpg
United MileagePlan members can still redeem in Business Class on two Singapore Airlines Boeing 787-10 flights to and from Bali

As it stands that means you can use miles or points in several other FFPs to redeem Singapore Airlines flightss to and from Bali on three flights per day, two of which have the new 2018 Regional Business Class from late October 2020. The second morning flight from Singapore (SQ942/943), which was first to switch to the 787-10, remains unavailable to partners.

It will cost the following number of miles or points to redeem to Bali from Singapore (or vice-versa) using miles from another Star Alliance programme:

Star Alliance redemption rates Singapore ⇄ Bali
Economy Business
LMtrans.png 14,000 30,000*
EVtrans.png 15,000 27,500*
MMtrans.png 17,500 30,000
AStrans.png 17,500 25,000
MBtrans.png 17,500 32,500*
UAtrans.png 17,500 25,000*
TKtrans.png 20,000 35,000*

* Usually only available on older cabin products, but still valid for SQ946/947/948/949 at the time of writing. Note that Lufthansa Miles & More and Alaska Mileage Plan always allow redemptions in Singapore Airlines newer Business Class cabins.

The downside? Award rates through these other FFPs are not competitive in Business Class, against Singapore Airlines’ own one-way 19,000 KrisFlyer miles for a saver award.

There might be a couple of good reasons to consider these options though, for example if you have miles you just want to get rid of there are probably worse ways to do it.

Many of these rates also come in less than SIA’s Business Advantage rate on this route, and while it’s rare for there to be Star Awards available on a Singapore Airlines flight with no KrisFlyer Saver awards showing, these are different redemption ‘buckets’ and it does happen occasionally.

Seat 11A.jpg
2018 Regional Business Class. (Photo: MainlyMiles)

If you do find a Star award and wish to use miles from another FFP on Business Class however we’d suggest booking it soon in case SIA catches up with the normal exclusion to partners on these SQ946/947 and SQ948/949 flights.

Spontaneous Escapes

Our regular readers will know that Singapore Airlines has a monthly Spontaneous Escapes promotion, offering seats it doesn’t think it will sell for a discounted miles rate if you have the flexibility to book around one month before your travel date.

Cover Nov19 2 (Menglong Bao).jpg

Bali does come up in the Spontaneous Escapes offer some months, including in the current offer for travel in January 2020.

At typical 30% discount levels, you can expect to see last-minute one-way saver awards on the Singapore – Bali route for:

  • 5,250 miles in Economy Class
  • 13,300 miles in Business Class

In our opinion, that’s a good deal even flying the 2009 Business Class cabin, even more so in the latest product.

New Regional Business Class

Most of our readers are now no stranger to the airline’s latest 2018 Regional Business Class seat, indeed there are now more of them flying around the network than the older ones they are replacing.

In case you missed it, 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.

$Promote.jpg

Most of our readers have a strong preference for these newer seats, which are definitely an improvement for solo travellers with increased privacy and direct aisle access.

If you’re flying this product you’ll also benefit from Wi-Fi access, with the first 100MB free for Business Class passengers.

Malé schedule

Unfortunately it’s bad news for many because it appears this equipment change to and from Bali is a result of an aircraft swap from the Malé route, currently operated daily using the Boeing 787-10 (since September 2019).

Until 24th October 2020
Flight From / To Aircraft Days
SQ452 SIN2045 – MLE2210 787 Daily
SQ451 MLE2325 – SIN0705* 787 Daily

* Next day

From 25th October 2020
Flight From / To Aircraft Days
SQ452 SIN2035 – MLE2210 333 Daily
SQ451 MLE2325 – SIN0715* 333 Daily

* Next day

From 25th October 2020, SIA’s flights to the Maldives will downgrade back to the Airbus A330, featuring older 2009 Regional Business Class seats.

We can only hope that this route has been allocated an A330 ‘flying line’ that will switch in due course to one of the newer aircraft deliveries next year (e.g. an A350 Regional or another 787-10). If that happens, the schedule would usually be updated at least two or three months in advance.

Summary

With only the morning flight to and from Bali remaining on the Airbus A330, it won’t be long before the route sees full 2018 Regional Business Class operation, most likely with four Boeing 787-10 aircraft each day.

From late October 2020 it’s only the SQ940/941 flight you need to avoid if, like most of our readers, you prefer the new seats in Business Class. You’ll also stay connected flying on these new aircraft, with 100MB free Wi-Fi in Business Class and data packages after that starting at US$3.99.

Bali 2.jpg

We think it’s probably the best way fly between Singapore and Bali, though the KLM option we reviewed recently is worth a look as it’s often competitively priced.

Unfortunately for those planning a Maldives trip later next year, it’s looking like a downgrade to the Airbus A330 is the plan, at least for now. That’s disappointing on this 4+ hour flight, so fingers crossed it changes again as a result of next year’s new aircraft deliveries.

Don’t forget our 2018 RJ Tracker page is continually updated with the routes and flight numbers set to be operated with this new product.

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