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Singapore Airlines adds First Class on its Frankfurt VTL flights

Those travelling on designated VTL flights from Germany to Singapore now have a First Class option with Lufthansa and Singapore Airlines.

Next month Singapore is launching its first Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL), allowing those who’ve been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and spent at least 21 days in either Singapore or Germany to travel between the two countries without quarantine, provided they take designated ‘VTL flights’ in the Germany to Singapore direction.

Seven flights per week are on offer, five from Frankfurt operated by Singapore Airlines and Lufthansa and two from Munich, operated by Singapore Airlines.

One of the features of SIA’s Frankfurt VTL flights is that they are operated by Boeing 777-300ERs, meaning the single-row four-seat First Class cabin is also installed.

SIA’s Boeing 777-300ERs will be used on Frankfurt – Singapore VTL flights. (Photo: Alex Beltyukov)

Initially First Class availability was not loaded on these services, limiting selection to Business Class, Premium Economy and Economy Class, but that has now changed.


 

 

First Class is now available

In SIA’s latest schedule update, First Class is now available for booking and redemption on Boeing 777-300ERs flights in both directions between Singapore and Frankfurt.

Frankfurt will be the seventh city to have the First Class cabin restored since COVID-19, with selected flights to and from Jakarta, Sydney, Hong Kong, London, Los Angeles and Tokyo already offering the option.

Singapore    Frankfurt

7th September – 29th October 2021
First Class available on listed flights

  Days
M T W T F S S
SQ326
777-300ER
SIN
13:55
FRA
20:40

31st October 2021 – 26th March 2022
First Class available on listed flights

  Days
M T W T F S S
SQ326
777-300ER
SIN
13:55
FRA
20:30

Note that these SIA Singapore – Frankfurt flights are operated in addition to daily SQ26 services, using three-class Airbus A350 Long Haul aircraft, without a First Class cabin installed.

There are also five weekly Singapore – Munich flights using three-class Airbus A350 Long Haul aircraft.

Remember you can take any non-stop flight from Singapore to Germany and still be eligible for a VTL flight on your return to Singapore, if you fulfil the VTL eligibility criteria.

For the full VTL flight schedule, click here.

Frankfurt    Singapore

7th September – 29th October 2021
First Class available on listed flights
VTL designated flights highlighted

  Days
M T W T F S S
SQ325
777-300ER
FRA
22:00
SIN
16:25*

* Next day

31st October – 26th March 2022
First Class available on listed flights
VTL designated flights highlighted

  Days
M T W T F S S
SQ325
777-300ER
FRA
21:55
SIN
17:00*

* Next day

There are also two weekly Munich – Singapore VTL designated flights on Singapore Airlines without a First Class cabin, and two weekly Frankfurt – Singapore VTL designated flights on Lufthansa with a First Class cabin from 2nd October 2021.

For the full VTL flight schedule, click here.

Singapore Airlines Boeing 777-300ER First Class. (Photo: MainlyMiles)

With only four First Class seats available on each flight, and significant pent-up demand for travel from residents of both countries, it’s not surprising that Singapore Airlines is primarily making Advantage rates available to KrisFlyer members for immediate redemption.

The airline is generally making three First Class seats available for immediate redemption at Advantage rates on VTL flights, with the ability to waitlist for four seats (the whole cabin), based on our initial searches.

It’s possible to waitlist for Saver redemptions in both directions on the route from mid-September 2021.

This of course is a much more attractive proposition, provided the waitlist clears, coming in only 5,000 miles more than the currently available Business Advantage rates on the same flights.

KrisFlyer award pricing

Here are the one-way redemption rates payable for both Saver and Advantage awards, assuming the former category will come back for immediate redemption at some stage.

  This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Seats-1CD-2-Small-MM.jpgFirst Class
SIN > FRA FRA > SIN
Saver 125,000
(+S$42)
125,000
(+S$170)
Advantage 220,000
(+S$42)
220,000
(+S$170)

Note that taxes from Frankfurt are charged in Euros and will fluctuate slightly due to exchange rates.

Not using miles? Cash pricing is of course not cheap, at around S$11,600 one-way from Frankfurt to Singapore or S$10,300 for a round-trip in this cabin (yes, two-way is cheaper!).

In the other direction, from Singapore to Frankfurt, fares start at S$8,200 one-way or S$13,800 for a round-trip.

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 still mothballed for the time being, this remains the most premium cabin SIA is offering right now.

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!

On board service

Singapore Airlines is offering a modified tray service in First Class and Business Class (note: it is no longer a single tray service, where all your courses are presented at once).

You can check out this YouTube video covering a recent Los Angeles – Tokyo flight for an example of what to expect on board.

Note that ‘Book The Cook’ is available on SIN-FRA flights, and also now on the FRA-SIN leg.

Lufthansa First Class

Flying First Class on VTL flights from Germany to Singapore doesn’t limit you just to Singapore Airlines.

From 2nd October 2021, Lufthansa is upgauging its Frankfurt – Singapore service to Boeing 747-8 aircraft with eight First Class seats on offer, twice as many as SIA has on the Boeing 777-300ERs.

You can therefore take this cabin on the airline’s Thursday and Saturday VTL flights from October 2021.

Lufthansa also offers the only non-VTL First Class option from Frankfurt to Singapore, on its Tuesday flights from 5th October 2021, for Singapore residents who prefer to take the ‘Category II’ lane and serve 7 days self-isolation at home on return.

Lufthansa has eight First Class seats in the nose section of its Boeing 747-8s. (Photo: Lufthansa Group)

Pricing is of course not cheap, at around S$8,200 one-way from Singapore to Frankfurt or S$11,500 for a round-trip in this cabin.

In the other direction it’s even more expensive, from Frankfurt to Singapore starting at S$11,600 one-way or S$13,500 for a round-trip.

KrisFlyer redemptions for Lufthansa First Class will set you back 140,500 miles each way, plus a hefty S$430 in taxes (SIN-FRA) or S$555 in taxes (FRA-SIN), due to the airline’s high fuel surcharge.

A booking in this cabin between Frankfurt and Singapore will also get you access to Lufthansa’s amazing First Class Terminal at Frankfurt Airport, which re-opens next month (SIA First Class passengers are unfortunately not eligible for access).

The Lufthansa First Class Terminal at Frankfurt Airport. (Photo: Lufthansa Group)

Bear in mind, however, that Lufthansa only releases First Class award space (if any) to partner frequent flyer programmes like KrisFlyer 14 days before departure. You may need to have a backup plan you can easily cancel if award space in First Class then comes up.

Lufthansa has restored full pre-COVID service levels in its First Class cabins.

More about the VTL

If you’re still undecided about travelling on the VTL, it’s sadly not quite as simple as dishing out a heap of miles and turning up at the airport on the right day at the right time!

At least four COVID-19 tests are required, plus a short self-isolation period after arrival in Singapore, and there are some implications if the scheme is suspended or cancelled while you’re away from home, or if you test positive for COVID-19.

Don’t miss our comprehensive article covering everything you need to know about the arrangement, to help you decide if it’s worth the hassle for what might be your first overseas trip in 18 months or more.


 

 

Summary

While not a cheap option, either using cash or miles, it’s great to see a First Class cabin on Singapore Airlines’ designated VTL flights from the get-go, allowing you the option to spoil yourself to one of the carrier’s most exclusive seats as part of the journey, in either or both directions.

Hopefully some Saver award rates will start to appear in both this and the Business Class cabin on Germany – Singapore VTL flights in due course.

This will supplement Lufthansa’s First Class option from October 2021, the second month of the VTL, which would also give you access to the carrier’s First Class Terminal in Frankfurt – if you can snag an elusive award seat on one of its Boeing 747-8 flights.

After 18 months of miles accumulation with few travel opportunities, is it worth redeeming Advantage rates for First Class on the VTL? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.

(Cover Photo: MainlyMiles)

7 comments

  1. Thanks for spotting this! Check ystdy but nothing. I have waitlisted for first saver FRA- SIN in Oct. got to cross fingers now. adv too ex!

    1. Yes it will be interesting to see how the F cabin fills up with those willing to part with 220k miles!

      If they upgraded to the A380 with new Suites then perhaps that would generate more interest.

  2. From what we’re seeing, SQ First Class is probably among the worst in the world at the moment with severe limitations on service required by CAAS/internal cost cutting. The ground experience in SIN is not up and running, in-flight catering is stripped back and last I saw, they’re not even bothering to use F serviceware.

    1. Had a chance to look and remains as expected. Very poor. SQ should be embarrassed. Take a look at what LH, AF, QR, EK, NH and JL are capable of doing during the pandemic.

  3. Does LH have any non VTL flight with F? Because I prefer to travel Cat 2 as opposed to VTL for benefits already prior discussed.

    1. Great question. Yes, Lufthansa’s Tuesday LH778 FRA-SIN flight is non-VTL, including a First Class cabin from 5th October 2021. Will add to article.

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