Turkish Airlines is the latest carrier announcing its designated Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) flights into Singapore, with the carrier operating a slightly sporadic series of quarantine-free services in December 2021 and January 2022, followed by a regular weekly VTL service from February 2022 onwards.
With Turkish offering competitive fares and excellent award rates for travel between Singapore and Europe, the limited schedule is a little on the disappointing side, since it will restrict trips for most of our readers to quite specific dates, for the return leg to Changi at least.
Travelers who are fully vaccinated against Covid-19 and travelling to Singapore from Turkey and from all other VTL countries via Turkey [will] no longer need to quarantine on arrival.Turkish Airlines
Here’s how the Turkish Airlines designated VTL flight schedule looks from 18th December 2021:
- TK54 (01:45-17:10): Saturday 18th December (A330-300)
- TK54 (01:45-17:10): Monday 27th December (777-300ER)
- TK54 (01:45-17:10): Sunday 1st January (787-9)
- TK54 (01:45-17:10): Thursday 13th January (787-9)
- TK54 (01:45-17:10): Monday 17th January (777-300ER)
- TK54 (01:45-17:10): Sunday 23rd January (787-9)
- TK54 (01:45-17:10): Sunday 30th January (787-9)
- TK54 (01:45-17:10): Monday 31st January (777-300ER)
From February 2022, the designated VTL flight schedule becomes more regular and predictable, with service from Istanbul in the early hours every Sunday (remember you’ll probably need to leave Europe on Saturday afternoon / evening to connect with this one!).
Turkish Airlines VTL flights
From 6th February 2022
On the plus side, a Sunday evening quarantine-free arrival in Changi gives Singapore residents a good opportunity to maximise leave days and be back at work on Monday morning.
Despite being a relatively limited selection of flights, the good news for most VTL dates in January and for all VTL flights from February onwards is that Turkish will use its Boeing 787-9 for VTL services, which have the airline’s latest direct aisle Business Class seats.
These are the same Stelia Symphony seats first introduced by Singapore Airlines as its 2018 Regional Business Class product.
Turkish Airlines award sale
Last week we wrote about a fantastic 30% discount when you redeem using the Turkish Miles&Smiles programme between now and the end of December 2021, for outbound travel until 15th May 2022.
This unlocks fantastic award rates from Singapore, such as Europe for 31,500 miles each way (63,000 miles return) in Business Class.
Turkish applies relatively steep fuel surcharges on award tickets, but in most cases this is more than outweighed by the mileage discount.
Here’s an example of how you can travel to and from a range of countries, including many on the VTL list in Europe and North America, using this offer.
Turkish Airlines has an extensive network, so options here include a few ‘more difficult’ places to get to:
- Europe: Manchester, Dublin, Lisbon, Malaga
- Middle East: Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Muscat
- North America: Miami, Washington D.C., Toronto
- South Africa: Cape Town, Durban, Johannesburg
- North Africa: Cairo, Algiers, Marrakesh
- South America: Sao Paulo, Buenos Aires
Just in case you were worried that Turkish may have axed award space on its VTL flights, don’t worry – it hasn’t. Here’s an example in February 2022.
Singapore Airlines VTL flights
Don’t forget Singapore Airlines is offering three weekly designated VTL flights on the Istanbul – Singapore route, using its long-haul Airbus A350s with Business Class, Premium Economy and Economy Class.
Singapore Airlines VTL flights
16th December 2021 – 26th March 2022
* Next day
There’s no special offer available for those redeeming KrisFlyer miles sadly, but this one is already a great value redemption, with Business Class saver award tickets at just 49,000 miles one-way – a cheap way to get to and from Europe in style with no fuel surcharges.
Singapore – Turkey entry requirements
If your final destination is in Turkey, you can take any flight there, since there are no designated VTL services in this direction (the VTL is for returning to Singapore).
To travel to Turkey without quarantine, tourists must adhere to the following requirements:
- Complete the “Traveler Entry” form at most 72 hours before departure, and present it at check-in and upon arrival. The form can be obtained here.
- Have a COVID-19 vaccination certificate showing that you were fully vaccinated at least 14 days before arrival (those aged below 12 are exempt).
- No pre-departure or on-arrival testing applies.
We were very eager to learn about the Turkish Airlines designated VTL flight schedule from Istanbul to Singapore, with the quarantine-free lane opening on 16th December 2021, but we have to say we’re a little disappointed with what is effectively just one flight per week joining the programme.
Hopefully this will improve in time with some additional options, but for now you’ll need to avoid the other five weekly non-VTL Turkish Airlines services for a quarantine-free arrival in Singapore, and stick to the Sunday TK54 flight from February (or on selected dates in December and January).
For many of our readers, that will mean picking a Saturday afternoon / evening departure from Europe to connect with this service to Singapore.
The good news is almost all flights will use the airline’s Boeing 787-9 aircraft, which has the latest all-aisle-access Business Class seats installed, a superior experience compared to the airline’s 2-3-2 layout on its Boeing 777s.
There’s also the great ongoing 30% Miles&Smiles discount, which may give you a great value redemption if you’re travelling between now and mid-May 2022 and can lock in one of these VTL flights for your last sector to Singapore, even having been in another VTL country.
(Cover Image: Adam Moreria)