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More new Emirates First Class Suites from Singapore, including award space

More of Emirates' latest First Class Suites will ply the Singapore - Dubai route for the next two months, with plenty of award seats on offer this time

EK New F Dining (Emirates)

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last two years, you’ll no doubt have seen or heard of Emirates’ newest First Class product – the world’s first fully enclosed Suite installed on a passenger aircraft, measuring a generous 40 square feet.

With separate climate control, virtual windows in the middle seats, a video room service function and a luxury finish inspired by Mercedes-Benz, it’s one of the most sought-after experiences among luxury travel enthusiasts.

You’re probably also aware that this is still a relatively rare product. Only the airline’s nine newest Boeing 777-300ERs have it installed, less than 4% of the total fleet and 6% of the 777 fleet.

There’s still no sign of a retrofit programme in place, and though there were plans for 11 of these Suites to make their way onto the upper decks of the carrier’s Airbus A380s from 2020, replacing the current arrangement of 14 older Suites, it now looks unlikely that will happen.

The new Suites are flying to Singapore

Back in early June when Emirates announced it was returning to Singapore two weeks earlier than planned, we noticed that the airline was sending its newest Boeing 777-300ERs to the Lion City with these brand new First Class Suites installed for the last two weeks of June.

Better still, the airline then extended the use of the new product between Singapore and Dubai all the way through the month of July 2020, increasing services to twice daily.

Today the airline has loaded its August schedule update and it’s a pair of Boeing 777-300ERs each day continuing to serve the Singapore – Dubai route throughout the month, with 12 of these 14 weekly services featuring the new First Class Suites.

Obviously we’re hoping this becomes a more permanent arrangement, and that rather than returning to Airbus A380 flights from September 2020 the Gulf carrier will hopefully keep these new Boeing 777s on the route instead.

Such a move will hopefully give our readers the opportunity to experience this excellent new product as travel restrictions are potentially relaxed in the months ahead.

The schedule

Here’s how Emirates flights between Singapore and Dubai are scheduled during July and August 2020 using Boeing 777-300ER aircraft.

We’ve indicated which flights have the new First Class Suites operating as follows:

New First Class
Old First Class
No flight
Singapore ⇄ Dubai
1 – 14 July 2020
Days Acft
M T W T F S S
SIN ➔ DXB
EK353
77W
DXB ➔ SIN
EK352
77W
SIN ➔ DXB
EK355
77W
DXB ➔ SIN
EK354
77W

Service increases to twice daily from 15th July 2020.

Singapore ⇄ Dubai
15 – 30 July 2020
Days Acft
M T W T F S S
SIN ➔ DXB
EK353
77W
DXB ➔ SIN
EK352
77W
SIN ➔ DXB
EK355
77W
DXB ➔ SIN
EK354
77W

In August 2020 twice daily service continues, though you need to be careful as two flights per week in each direction revert to aircraft with the older First Class Suites.

Singapore ⇄ Dubai
1 – 31 August 2020
Days Acft
M T W T F S S
SIN ➔ DXB
EK353
77W
DXB ➔ SIN
EK352
77W
SIN ➔ DXB
EK355
77W
DXB ➔ SIN
EK354
77W

Provisionally once again from September 2020 these flights are scheduled on the Airbus A380, though that was the original plan for both July and August 2020, so we expect further changes to be announced next month.

Travelling anyway? Award space is loaded

For the few of you travelling at the moment regardless of international travel restrictions across many destinations, and potentially against Singapore government advice, there’s some good news.

Emirates is now loading up to two award seats in First Class on its flights between Singapore and Dubai through July and August 2020.

Fun fact: Emirates used to restrict award space in its latest First Class Suites until around 3 days prior to departure, when up to two seats would then sometimes be offered to Skywards members, subject to availability. That is no longer the case, with Emirates now loading new First Class awards weeks and months ahead in some cases. There are plenty of dates next year on Dubai – London for example.

Here’s how award space looks in July 2020 from Singapore to Dubai, with availability showing on 16 dates.

SINDXB F Jul v2
(click to enlarge)

The first two weeks of August have award space loaded every day, though it then disappears from 15th August onwards. Do be careful to avoid Monday and Saturday EK353 flights as these are planned with the old First Class during that month.

SINDXB F Aug
(click to enlarge)

Finally here is how it looks from Dubai to Singapore.

DXBSIN F Jul
(click to enlarge)
DXBSIN F Aug
(click to enlarge)

Remember in August 2020 to avoid EK352 on Fridays and Sundays, since these are planned with the old First Class.

While the dates shown above reflect availability for at least one First Class seat, we noticed that on several dates there are two award seats available.

SIN-DXB

  • 2 Jul
  • 8 Jul
  • 9 Jul
  • 11 Jul
  • 12 Jul

Plus most of August

DXB-SIN

  • 1 Jul
  • 3 Jul
  • 4 Jul
  • 7 Jul
  • 8 Jul
  • 10 Jul
  • 11 Jul

Plus most of August

Award rates

Emirates significantly cut its fuel surcharge recently, making the cash component paid on top of your miles far less. On some routes, like Singapore to Melbourne, the fuel surcharge has been completely removed.

EKtrans

Emirates loads two types of Business Class and First Class awards on its flights:

  • Business Class: Saver and Flex
  • First Class: Flex and Flex Plus

If you’re booking a one-way award using Skywards miles, you’ll always pay the more expensive rate (Flex in Business Class or Flex Plus in First Class).

If you’re booking a round-trip award using Skywards miles, you’ll pay the cheaper Saver rate in Business Class or the Flex rate in First Class if there is availability, otherwise you’ll pay the more expensive rates for one or both of the sectors.

There must be availability in the Saver award bucket in Business Class or the Flex bucket in First Class for award space to be available through partner airlines, like Qantas.

SINDXB F Aug QF
As you can see from a search using Qantas Frequent Flyer, many of these award seats are loaded as Flex awards and are available to Emirates partners (click to enlarge)

You can redeem Emirates First and Business Class award seats using Emirates Skywards miles and the following partner airline frequent flyer programmes:

FFP Restrictions
QFF
AStrans To/from USA only
JALMBtrans
KEskypasstrans Round-trip awards only
MHtrans Excluding First Class. Round-trip awards cheaper than 2 x one-way.

You can transfer Singapore credit card points into miles with some of these partners:

  • Emirates Skywards: Amex, Standard Chartered
  • Qantas Frequent Flyer: Citi, DBS, Standard Chartered
  • Malaysia Enrich: Amex, Citi, Maybank

For the other schemes you’ll have to earn miles through alternative means, such as revenue flying, hotel loyalty points transfers or non-Singapore credit card points.

Here’s how much a First Class award from Singapore will set you back with the various programmes to Dubai. We also looked at Frankfurt (via Dubai) as a European example, since there are also award seats in the new First Class Suites on that route, giving you the latest product ‘door-to-door’.

For Frankfurt pick EK45/46 for the new Suites, also available in August.

First Class (one-way)
Dubai Frankfurt
EKtrans 98,750
+S$149
141,250
+S$266
QFF(booked by 31 Aug) 102,600
+S$149
142,300
+S$266
QFF(booked fm. 1 Sep) 107,700
+S$149
149,800
+S$266
JALMBtrans 65,000
+S$149
120,000
+S$266
First Class (round-trip)
FFP Dubai Frankfurt
EKtrans 157,500
+S$300
225,000
+S$651
QFF(booked by 31 Aug) 205,200
+S$300
284,600
+S$651
QFF(booked fm. 1 Sep) 215,400
+S$300
299,600
+S$651
JALMBtrans 130,000
+S$300
240,000
+S$651
KEskypasstrans 150,000
+S$300
270,000
+S$651

Note: Emirates Skywards rates assume Flex award availability for round-trip.

As you can see JAL Mileage Bank is a great programme to use for many Emirates redemptions, though unfortunately it is not possible to transfer any points from Singapore credit cards into the scheme.

Note how Qantas award rates increase for Emirates bookings made from 1st September 2020.

FRA new F rtn
Singapore to Frankfurt return in Emirates’ new First Class on all four flights is 225,000 miles

If you’re interested in Business Class, all Emirates Boeing 777-300ERs with the new First Class Suites also have the airline’s latest Business Class seats installed, in a 2-3-2 layout.

EK New Business Small (Emirates)
The new Emirates Boeing 777 Business Class. (Photo: Emirates)

Here you’re looking at 90,000 miles return to Dubai or 150,000 miles return to Frankfurt, provided a Saver award is available on all flights which is not much of an issue at the moment.

DXB new J rtn
Singapore to Dubai return in Emirates’ new Business Class is 105,000 miles

Our review

We were lucky to try out the new Emirates First Class Suite product on a flight from Geneva to Dubai in September 2018. It’s safe to say we had few complaints, and rate this as our favourite First Class experience.

In light of the COVID-19 situation, Emirates has cut back a little on in-flight service, though in First Class you should still expect a similar food and drink selection, with reduced crew interaction.

Free Wi-Fi has been temporarily suspended, so you’ll have to pay for access, while the Live TV service is also deactivated, though the extensive pre-recorded selection remains available.

The ground experience is also lacking, with no Qantas First Class lounge or Emirates lounge to enjoy in Singapore, for example.

Hennessy Paradis 2
Hennessy Paradis on Emirates First Class. (Photo: MainlyMiles)

Still the suite itself is the main draw here, and you’ll be able to sip away on 2008 vintage Dom Perignon or S$1,000-a-bottle Hennessy Paradis Cognac to your heart’s content.

Dubai is open to transit passengers

If you need to travel elsewhere in the world to or from Singapore, to return back home for example, you can now transit through Dubai International Airport without restriction.

Of course you will still be subject to the entry restrictions of your final destination in order to check in at your point of origin.

Dubai is opening to tourists

As you may have seen reported recently, Dubai is opening to foreign tourists again from 7th July 2020.

DXB Open 7 Jul
(Image: Emirates)

This is subject to:

  • Completing a Health Declaration Form.
  • Holding international travel insurance.
  • A negative COVID-19 test completed within 4 days (96 hours) of departure, or a negative COVID-19 test on arrival in Dubai.

Temperature screening will be conducted on arrival in Dubai and even those arriving with a negative COVID-19 test result certificate may be required to undergo a test on arrival if they have any symptoms.

A 14-day quarantine will be imposed if tested positive for COVID-19 on arrival, at an institutional facility provided by the government, at your own expense.

Atlantis Dubai
Dubai’s economy is heavily reliant on tourism and retail, so being one of the first to open up to foreign visitors is not surprising. (Photo: Christoph Schulz)

Remember, for our Singapore readers, government advice is still not to travel overseas unless it is necessary. At the time of writing, a compulsory 14-day quarantine period at a designated facility awaits you when you return home and you will be charged at unsubsidised rates for inpatient hospital stays if you are admitted for suspected COVID-19 and have onset of symptoms within 14 days of returning to Singapore.

Sadly, this is not a simple holiday in Dubai at this stage.

Summary

It’s a good sign that Emirates is continuing to deploy its latest First Class Suites cabin on nearly all its Singapore – Dubai flights for at least the next two months.

We have our fingers crossed that these month-by-month extensions are potentially a sign that this will become a longer-term deployment for the route, allowing more of you to experience this fantastic new cabin once travel restrictions are lifted.

Seat 1A Overview 2
(Photo: MainlyMiles)

What’s even better for those of you who are still travelling, or want to make a speculative booking in anticipation of some relaxation of restrictions, is that award space in this fantastic cabin is no longer restricted to departures within a few days and has been made widely available to and from Singapore.

(Cover Photo: Emirates)

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