News Singapore Airlines

Singapore Airlines phasing out long-haul Business Class seats on Bangkok flights

PSA: You'll no longer be able to score long-haul Business Class comfort or Premium Economy seats on Singapore Airlines Bangkok flights from late March, with the route shifting to all-787 operation.

Singapore Airlines has been tweaking its schedules and aircraft type assignments on a variety of routes recently, most specifically in view of the upcoming IATA summer season schedule cutover on 26th March 2023, which then runs through to late October 2023.

ADVERTISEMENT

One of the more prominent changes affects the popular Singapore – Bangkok route, which will soon see five daily SIA flights in each direction, but there’s some bad news in store for those who’ve enjoyed the long-haul Business Class and Premium Economy cabins on these services over the last year or so.

Long-haul Business Class on the Bangkok route

Since Bangkok flights joined the Vaccinated Travel Lane (remember that?) back in December 2021, Singapore Airlines has offered a long-haul Business Class option each day on board the Airbus A350 Long Haul aircraft.

These jets include the popular and spacious 2013 Business Class seats in a 1-2-1 configuration (see our review).

Long-haul 2013 Business Class seats have been a daily feature on SIA’s Bangkok flights for over a year. (Photo: Sorbis / Shutterstock)

Initially this operated on SQ708/707 flights, but quickly expanded to twice daily also including SQ710/709 flights too from January 2022, in addition to other services on the route flown by the A350 Medium Haul.

Long-haul Business Class seats on the Bangkok route weren’t just a post-COVID feature though.

Prior to the pandemic, Singapore Airlines was regularly flying its Boeing 777-200ER aircraft with the 2006 Business Class product (now retired) on the city pair, most recently twice per day on the former SQ972/975 and SQ974/977 flights.

SIA’s Bangkok was no stranger to long-haul Business Class seats, with twice daily flights sporting the 2006 J product pre-pandemic. (Photo: MainlyMiles)

Many of our readers would target these services in Business Class to enjoy these super-wide 30″ across seats on the two-hour flight, as they have been doing over the last year or so with the A350 Long Haul services.

Bangkok goes all-regional Business Class

There has already been some retraction of long-haul cabin products on the Bangkok route recently, with occasional SQ708/707 flights already shifting to the Airbus A350 Medium Haul aircraft since early January.

The flight is now scheduled to switch to the Boeing 787-10, which only has regional seats, from 7th February 2023.

The Bangkok route will then unfortunately go all-regional Business Class from the start of the summer season on 26th March 2023, when SQ710/709 also switches to the Boeing 787-10.

All SIA Bangkok flights will have Boeing 787-10 Business Class this summer. (Photo: MainlyMiles)

The route’s fifth daily service, SQ706/705 from 26th March 2023, will initially use the Airbus A350 Medium Haul then the Boeing 787-10 from 1st July 2023, for all-787 operation on the route until at least 28th October 2023.

This fifth flight was already operating last summer, but surprisingly was culled in the recent winter schedule, despite other airlines increasing Bangkok capacity recently.

ADVERTISEMENT

Here’s how the aircraft and Business Class seat types look for the Bangkok route between now and the end of October 2023.

Singapore Airlines Business Class Seat Types
Singapore – Bangkok Route

Flights Now

6 Feb
7 Feb

25 Mar
26 Mar

28 Oct
SQ706/705 359 MH^
787*

2018 RJ
SQ708/707 359 LH
2013 J
787
2018 RJ
787
2018 RJ
SQ710/709 359 LH
2013 J
359 LH
2013 J
787
2018 RJ
SQ712/711 359 MH
2018 RJ
359 MH
2018 RJ
787
2018 RJ
SQ714/713 359 MH
2018 RJ
359 MH
2018 RJ
787
2018 RJ

^ Till 30 Jun
* From 1 Jul

You can always refer to our continually updated list of which Business Class seats to expect on your next Singapore Airlines flight, either for Bangkok or any other destination on the airline’s 70+ route network.

SIA’s Bangkok flights will be exclusively operated by Boeing 787-10s from 1st July 2023. (Photo: Plane’s Portrait Aviation Media / Malcolm Lu)

Prior to COVID-19, Singapore Airlines was operating six daily Bangkok flights in each direction, with the late 6.30pm service from Changi, returning from Bangkok at 9.10pm, still not restored in the schedule.

However, a shift to all-787 operation on the Bangkok route will increase the carrier’s seat capacity on the route, since that aircraft is its second-largest in terms of seat count after the A380. SIA will offer 11,795 seats per week to and from Bangkok from July 2023, compared to 7,784 seats per week currently, a 50% increase.

SIA flights to and from Bangkok are supplemented with those operated by:

  • Gulf Air
  • Jetstar
  • Scoot
  • Thai AirAsia
  • Thai Airways
  • Thai Lion Air
  • Thai VietJet

Cathay Pacific also operated “fifth freedom” services on this city pair prior to COVID-19, but has not yet announced any plans to restart this service.

2018 Regional Business Class

While the narrower 2018 Regional Business Class seat is seen by most of our readers as a downgrade from the long-haul 2013 product, it still has good storage options and also benefits from good privacy and direct aisle access, with a 1-2-1 configuration.

Indeed the seat is used on much longer routes than this, including between Singapore and both Brisbane and Sydney (though the latter goes all-long-haul J from mid-May).

ADVERTISEMENT

We have two comprehensive reviews from our firsthand experience of the SIA 2018 Regional Business Class on the Singapore – Bangkok route itself; one of the window seats and a shorter but still detailed look at the ‘couple’ middle pairs, which are available at alternate rows on aircraft with this product installed.

Premium Economy is also withdrawn

With the news that only regionally-configured aircraft will be plying the Bangkok route from late March, this also removes the useful option to score a Premium Economy seat on the Airbus A350 Long Haul, either for an additional fee or sometimes for free when online check-in opens 48 hours prior to departure time.

It’s still possible to select a seat in the Premium Economy cabin on selected SIA Singapore – Bangkok flights, but only until 25th March 2023

PPS Club members could always select a seat in this cabin for free at any time on this route, though in any event there was no service differentiation from Economy Class – just a bigger seat, more legroom and a larger IFE screen.

A larger 13.3″ HD in-flight entertainment screen is one of the benefits in SIA Premium Economy. (Photo: High Tech Flight)

For the summer 2023 season, Premium Economy seat selection on ‘non-PY’ routes looks set to be restricted to Jakarta and Kuala Lumpur.

For more details on selecting a Premium Economy seat on a ‘non-PY’ route like this, see our most recent guide here.

Bangkok redemption rates

These are the KrisFlyer miles needed for the Singapore – Bangkok route, based on the latest award rates since the 2022 devaluation became effective in the middle of last year.

KrisFlyer Redemption
(one-way)
Singapore ⇄ Bangkok
  Saver Advantage
Economy 13,500 25,000
Business 24,000 40,000

Bangkok’s SilverKris lounge has reopened

As we reported in September last year, Singapore Airlines has reopened its dedicated SilverKris lounge at Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport.

Bangkok SilverKris lounge. (Photo: Singapore Airlines)

The lounge features the ‘home away from home’ design concept by Ong&Ong, and is now available once again for all those departing on SIA’s services linking the Thai capital with Singapore, including a tended bar but unfortunately no shower facilities.