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Lufthansa postpones First Class on the Singapore – Germany VTL till November

Lufthansa starts its Frankfurt - Singapore VTL flights on 16th September, but will stick to using its smaller three-class Airbus A340-300s for the foreseeable future, removing a much-anticipated First Class option.

We’ve had good news this week from Singapore Airlines when it comes to premium cabin options on the upcoming Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) between Singapore and Germany, with confirmation not only that the airline will offer a First Class option, but also that it will reinstate the popular ‘Book the Cook’ menu for departures from Frankfurt.

SIA’s First Class was also set to complement Lufthansa’s top cabin offering on two VTL flights per week (and one non-VTL service), when the German carrier switched its operation on the Frankfurt – Singapore route to Boeing 747-8s from October 2021, but unfortunately there’s bad news on that front.

A340-300s will operate for longer

This week Lufthansa tweaked its flight schedules through to the end of the northern winter season on 30th October 2021, and it’s not good news for those hoping for a First Class experience on the Frankfurt – Singapore route.

Instead of the planned shift to four-class jumbos, the airline will retain its three-class Airbus A340-300s on the three times weekly service for at least the first two months of the VTL.

A Lufthansa Airbus A340-300. (Photo: Suparat Chairatprasert / Shutterstock)

Provisionally, the airline is loading daily Boeing 747-8 service on the route again from November 2021, and is selling First Class, though this is subject to change closer to the time (First Class was originally for sale in October 2021, before being removed).

That’s a shame because some of our readers were hoping to snag a Lufthansa First Class award using KrisFlyer miles, which can become available around 14 days in advance of the departure date.

Lufthansa First Class is a sought-after redemption, but unfortunately is not available on the airline’s A340-300s. (Photo: Travelling the World)

Though it’s not cheap at 140,500 miles, Lufthansa has restored full pre-COVID service in its First Class cabins, and its amazing First Class Terminal at Frankfurt Airport opens its doors again next week, so for some the experience would definitely have been be worth paying for.

The airline’s Tuesday Frankfurt – Singapore flight was also set to be the sole non-VTL service with a First Class cabin, for those preferring to return to Singapore via the Category 2 lane and self-isolate at home for 7 days on arrival.

With this latest extension of A340-300 operation on the route, service on Lufthansa will top out at Business Class, which features a pretty average 2-2-2 layout, and doesn’t exactly ooze privacy.

It’s redeemable for 92,000 KrisFlyer miles one-way, the same as Singapore Airlines at Saver award rates, though the taxes and fees are significantly higher (S$555 vs. S$170), due to Lufthansa’s hefty fuel surcharge.

Lufthansa Airbus A340 Business Class. (Photo: Lufthansa Group)

For most of our readers, this would only be a consideration if Singapore Airlines has no Saver award space available in Business Class, or you need to leave Frankfurt on a Thursday or Saturday (the latter allowing you to maximise your time in Germany and still go to work on Monday).

Here’s a reminder of the KrisFlyer award rates for redemption on both Singapore Airlines and Lufthansa for VTL flights from Germany to Singapore.

KrisFlyer Rates
Germany to Singapore

 
Saver

(SQ)

Advantage

(SQ)
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is LH-icon.png
Star Award
(LH)
Economy 38,000 70,000 45,000
Premium Economy 64,500 n/a n/a
Business 92,000 120,000 92,000
First / Suites 125,000 220,000 140,500

Lufthansa VTL flights start on 16th September

Another point to note if you’re planning to take Lufthansa on the Frankfurt – Singapore route and wish to follow the VTL process is that the airline’s eligible flights will commence on Thursday 16th September 2021.

Lufthansa will offer two VTL flights per week from Frankfurt to Singapore, starting on 16 September 2021. Eligible passengers who wish to travel to Singapore via the VTL must ensure that they are booked on designated VTL flights only.

Lufthansa

That’s over a week after Singapore Airlines’ inaugural services depart from Frankfurt (7th September) and Munich (8th September).

Pro Tip: Remember you can take any non-stop flight from Singapore to Germany and qualify for the VTL on your return. If you take a flight with a transit stop on your way to Germany (e.g. via Hong Kong or Dubai), you’ll have to spend at least 21 consecutive days in the country before being eligible to return on a VTL flight.

Here’s the latest designated VTL flight list from Germany to Singapore.

Initially, five Germany – Singapore services per week will qualify for the VTL process, three from Frankfurt and two from Munich, operated by Singapore Airlines.

Germany to Singapore
VTL flights
(7th – 15th September 2021)

  Days
M T W T F S S
SQ331
A350-900
     
MUC
13:15
SIN

07:05*
SQ325
777-300ER
       
FRA

22:00
SIN

16:25*

* Next day (e.g. if you depart on Monday, the local day when you arrive will be Tuesday)

Once Lufthansa joins the VTL on 16th September 2021, there will be daily service with seven designated Germany – Singapore services per week, five from Frankfurt and two from Munich.

Germany to Singapore
VTL flights
(from 16th September 2021)

  Days
M T W T F S S
SQ331
A350-900
         
MUC
13:15
SIN

07:05*
LH778
A340-300
         
FRA

21:55
SIN

16:45*
SQ325
777-300ER
       
FRA

22:00
SIN

16:25*

* Next day (e.g. if you depart on Monday, the local day when you arrive will be Tuesday)

Unlisted non-stop flights from Germany to Singapore, including any Lufthansa services on or before 15th September 2021, are non-VTL flights.

There are some minor timing adjustments to these services in the northern winter schedule from November 2021, however flight numbers and days of operation remain the same.


 

 

Economy ‘sleeper row’

Don’t forget there’s a potential added bonus when you take Lufthansa flights in Economy Class between Singapore and Frankfurt, with the new option of paying extra at check-in for a row of three or four seats to yourself, including a mattress topper, pillow and blanket, from an additional S$255.

That’s great value for a long overnight flight, but there’s a catch! You can’t secure these rows in advance – they are based on availability and you won’t find out if the option is available until you check in.

Summary

Much like Singapore Airlines, Lufthansa is loading its firm schedules and aircraft types on an ad-hoc basis a month or two in advance during the COVID-19 pandemic.

While daily Boeing 747-8 service now kicks off on the Frankfurt – Singapore route in November according to the schedules, whether we actually see the 364-seat aircraft join the route is still questionable, especially at such an ambitious frequency.

Lufthansa’s proposed deployment of Boeing 747-8s to Singapore remains subject to change. (Photo: Lufthansa Group)

Unfortunately that means an excellent First Class option remains on ice for now, though there’s still Singapore Airlines’ version on the Boeing 777-300ER available.

We’ve updated our comprehensive article covering everything you need to know about the VTL, to help you decide if it’s worth the hassle for what might be your first overseas trip in some time.

(Cover Photo: Lufthansa)

2 comments

  1. Picture above is Business Class on the A380: the cabin is wider and there are side bins under the windows. The A340 cabin is much more cramped.

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