KrisFlyer News Singapore Airlines

Singapore Airlines adds daily First Class option to and from London

Singapore Airlines has beefed up Boeing 777-300ER London flights to daily from June, meaning First Class fares and award space on the route for the first time in over a year.

Singapore Airlines has eked out another route with a First Class cabin available, between Singapore and London from June 2021, after upping the frequency of Boeing 777-300ER operation from three per week to daily, a general prerequisite for the airline to offer its top cabin class on a route.

This will make the UK capital the fourth confirmed route seeing the return of First Class, since the cabin stopped being offered across the network close to a year ago, on 8th June 2020.

London calling! SIA’s First Class cabin will return to the UK capital on 1st June 2021. (Photo: Iris Vallejo)

SIA has not operated a First Class cabin to or from London for even longer than that – since March 2020 – when the route’s passenger services shifted solely to the Airbus A350.

The Singapore – Jakarta route will also see both its daily Boeing 777-300ER flights offer First Class in June, the airline having initially only loaded the option on the morning flight.

First Class routes

Here’s the latest list of Singapore Airlines flights offering a First Class cabin during June 2021, with the new addition of London and additional Jakarta flights now confirmed:

  • Jakarta (SQ950/953/964/965)
  • Sydney (SQ231/222)
  • Hong Kong (SQ882/883)
  • London (SQ322/317)

The Boeing 777-300ER returns on London flights from tomorrow, 23rd April 2021, operating three times weekly as SQ306/305, though as we predicted First Class is not available until the aircraft type is deployed daily on the route, from 1st June 2021.

Flight schedule

London maintains 17 Singapore Airlines flights per week in each direction in June 2021, however Boeing 777-300ER operation has been shifted onto the daily SQ322/317 flights, with the First Class cabin now open for booking.

Originally the Boeing 777-300ER was scheduled for the three times weekly SQ306/305 flights, the same ones it operates in late April and throughout May, though these are without First Class and will transfer to the Airbus A350 in June.

Singapore    London

From 1st June 2021
First Class available on highlighted flights

  Days
M T W T F S S
SQ306
A350-900
       
SIN
01:10
LHR
07:45
SQ308
A350-900
SIN
09:00
LHR
15:40
SQ322
777-300ER
SIN
23:30
LHR
05:55*

* Next day

London    Singapore

From 2nd June 2021
First Class available on highlighted flights

  Days
M T W T F S S
SQ305
A350-900
       
LHR
09:25
SIN
05:30*
SQ317
777-300ER
LHR
11:25
SIN
07:30*
SQ319
A350-900
LHR
20:50
SIN
16:55*

* Next day

The flight schedule is currently loaded through 30th June 2021, with further monthly updates expected from Singapore Airlines for July onwards in due course, so it’s not currently possible to book First Class for subsequent months yet, though this should progressively change.

Advantage awards are loaded

In common with other routes, currently you can pick up one or two Advantage awards on these newly added London Boeing 777-300ER flights.

Sadly, Advantage awards don’t come cheap!

These are the one-way KrisFlyer miles redemption rates to or from Singapore for these flights in First Class.

KrisFlyer Redemption Rates
First Class
  Saver Advantage
Hong Kong 40,500 73,000
Jakarta 27,500 52,500
London 125,000 220,000
Sydney 85,000 155,000

As you can see, the lack of Saver awards a this stage means it’s a very pricey option to redeem a First Class seat, for now at least, with Advantage awards coming in 76% more expensive in miles terms than the more ideal Saver option on the Singapore – London route.

SIA passengers can originate in London again

In what’s sure to be a sigh of relief for Singapore Airlines, the government has lifted its ban on passengers originating in London heading to Singapore or in transit to other destinations, first imposed in late 2020 due to a significant COVID-19 outbreak in the UK.

First Class is installed on SIA’s Boeing 777-300ER aircraft. (Photo: Thiago B. Trevisan / Shutterstock)

Those arriving in Singapore from the UK after 23:59 Singapore Time tonight (22nd April 2021) will now need to serve 14 days Stay-Home Notice (SHN) in a dedicated facility, followed by 7 days self-isolation at home.

In particular, this will open up one of the airline’s most lucrative transit routings on the network – from the UK to Australia and New Zealand.

With selected Sydney flights also using Boeing 777-300ERs, this even presents a First Class option all the way between the two continents again.

SIA First Class is back on the ‘kangaroo route’

Singapore Airlines was so eager to maintain transit connectivity on some of these city pairs, like London to Sydney via Singapore, it has been offering ‘through-flights’ using the same aircraft while the ban on passengers originating in the UK was enforced.

City pairs for these arrangements included London to Sydney, Adelaide, Perth and Auckland.

In these cases transit passengers were forced to remain on board during transit at Changi, meaning some epically-long periods without disembarking!

Our review

SIA’s 2013 First Class seat may not live up to ‘Suite Standards’, but it remains one of our favourite products and we’ve always really enjoyed our trips in this cabin.

Furthermore, with Airbus A380s probably mothballed for another 12+ months, this is likely to be the most premium cabin SIA offers for the foreseeable future.

The intimate single-row section has only four seats in a 1-2-1 layout, including a large void behind the middle pair for the cabin crew to pass between the two aisles while remaining out of sight.

Singapore Airlines’ 2013 First Class cabin. (Photo: MainlyMiles)

In mid-2018 we concluded our round-the-world trip in First Class on SQ1 from San Francisco to Singapore via Hong Kong in this excellent cabin, and had the chance to thoroughly review it including both a long-haul and short-haul experience across the two stages of the journey.

If you haven’t tried the product, while we can’t recommend parting with Advantage award rates, we don’t think you’d be disappointed.

Aside from Suites on the A380, this First Class product is now the only one fitted to Singapore Airlines aircraft, following the retirement of older 2006 First Class seats on the Boeing 777-300 (non-ERs).

It’s also worth bearing in mind that SIA’s Boeing 777-300ERs have slightly roomier versions of the popular 2013 Business Class seats, meaning some passengers prefer the 777 over the A350, even when travelling in the ‘second best’ cabin!

Summary

It’s great to see more long-haul First Class options gradually opening up on Singapore Airlines, especially on the popular London connection, which is one of the carrier’s flagship routes.

A First Class Champagne Breakfast on board Singapore Airlines from Hong Kong to Singapore. (Photo: MainlyMiles)

As with other routes offering this cabin, the airline has not loaded its confirmed schedule from 1st July 2021 onwards at this stage, so the First Class option disappears again until 1st April 2022.

That’s not too concerning though – we expect this will be progressively updated as SIA finalises its timetables on a month-by-month basis due to the pandemic.

(Cover Photo: Singapore Airlines)

3 comments

  1. You should change the label for SQ’s B777-300ER First Class to “Premium Business Class”. Lacks many stuff compared to Garuda Indonesia, Etihad Airways, Qatar Airways and Emirates. No sliding doors, chauffeur, mediocre lounges, vintage wines and whiskies like Emirates, spas, massages….the list goes on….

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