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Qantas will fly Finnair’s new AirLounge Business Class seats from Singapore to Sydney

Finnair's new AirLounge Business Class seat is coming to another Singapore route, with Qantas using the product on six of its 14 weekly Sydney flights from 29th October 2023.

In a surprise announcement today, Australian national carrier and Oneworld member Qantas has revealed that it will operate a new Business Class product between Singapore and Sydney from October this year, as the airline leases in Finnair Airbus A330s to operate some of its services.


From 29th October 2023, selected Qantas flights between Singapore and Sydney will use recently-refitted Finnair Airbus A330s with 28 of the latest AirLounge Business Class seats installed.

This will also see the regular QF82/81 service renumbered QF292/291 on days where a Finnair aircraft is rostered for the service.

That’s exciting news for many of our Singapore-based readers eager to try out this innovative new product, which until now has meant taking a long 14-hour flight to Helsinki.

The Finnair AirLounge Business Class seat. (Photo: Finnair)

From October it will also be possible by taking an 8-hour flight to Sydney, including award space via programmes like Asia Miles, British Airways Avios and Qantas Frequent Flyer, though it’s the Qantas soft product you’ll be getting on board (think Chicken Schnitzel, not Reindeer Burger, on this route!).

However, Qantas does deliver a decent service in Business Class, as we recently found on a Perth – Singapore A330 flight.

The schedule

Here’s how the schedule looks with operation of the Finnair A330 on Qantas flights between Singapore and Sydney during the upcoming northern winter season from late October 2023 to late March 2024.


Qantas aircraft
Finnair aircraft

Singapore – Sydney
29 Oct 2023 – 30 Mar 2024


* Next day

Sydney – Singapore
29 Oct 2023 – 30 Mar 2024


The existing QF2/1 Airbus A380 flights, which also serve London from Singapore as well as Sydney, will continue to operate alongside these Finnair aircraft until at least the end of the northern winter season on 30th March 2023, as will a Qantas A330-300 on a single day of the week (QF82/81).


Operation of the Finnair A330 is subject to change, since initially there will only be one leased aircraft, which will have a single day off per week in Singapore to catch up with maintenance, so any other operational disruptions in the meantime may result in a temporary shuffle.

Qantas will apparently revert to QF82/81 flight numbers on any days it is operating this flight with its own aircraft, so you should know in advance.

The seat map confirms the aircraft

With both the Qantas A330 and the Finnair A330 having 28 Business Class seats in a 1-2-1 configuration across seven rows, it’s not immediately obvious when you book which aircraft will be operating your flight, apart from the flight number distinction mentioned above.

One way is the seat lettering.

Qantas uses A, E, F and K on its A330, for the left window, middle pair, and right window seat respectively at each row.

Finnair uses A, D, H and L on its A330, and Qantas isn’t going to the hassle of changing that during the lease of these aircraft – so if your seat map has these “funny” letters in it – you’ve got the AirLounge!

This flight has the AirLounge seats, which you can tell from the seat lettering as well as the flight number

Another way to tell is that Finnair A330s have two forward toilets, whereas Qantas A330s only have one, at the front left.

Of course, there’s a better seat map if you’re wondering more precisely how the cabin is laid out.


We wax lyrical about aeroLOPA, and for good reason – the team there produces the best seat maps going for close to 100 airlines – including SIA.

Here’s aeroLOPA’s to-scale representation of the Finnair A330 with AirLounge Business Class.

(Source: aeroLOPA)

Qantas has also uploaded its own seat map for the Finnair leased A330s.

(Source: Qantas)

Why is this happening?

While Qantas has been rebounding at a fast pace since post-pandemic border reopening, the same can’t be said for Finnair, which has been constrained by the closure of Russian airspace.

That’s particularly true in respect of its shorter-range aircraft like the A330s, which were already stretching their legs to reach Asia when they could fly in more or less a straight line!

“The agreement with Qantas is a part of Finnair’s determined efforts to ensure the optimal use of its A330 fleet, which is range-limited in its deployment in Finnair’s own long-haul operations due to the closure of Russian airspace. The agreement with Qantas concludes the optimisation of Finnair’s fleet following the Russian airspace closure.”

Finnair’s A330 fleet can’t currently fly between Helsinki and Asia, due to Russian airspace closures. (Photo: Markus Mainka / Shutterstock)

For Qantas, this lease will allow the carrier to deploy its own aircraft to other parts of the network to support recovery back to pre-COVID flying levels.

Some of the airline’s aircraft were disposed of during the pandemic, while new Boeing 787-9 deliveries have been delayed, which is now causing a capacity constraint.

“The Finnair A330 aircraft will operate selected Qantas flights between Sydney and Singapore from late October and all flights between Sydney and Bangkok from late March 2024, freeing up Qantas aircraft and crew to boost flying elsewhere.”


Here’s how the two aircraft look alongside one another capacity-wise.

Qantas vs. Finnair
Airbus A330-300 Configurations

Cabin This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Qantas_Small.pngQantas
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Finnair_Small.pngFinnair
Business Class
28 seats 28 seats
Premium Economy
21 seats
Economy Class
269 seats 230 seats
297 seats 279 seats

As you can see, Qantas is taking a 6% capacity hit by using Finnair’s Airbus A330-300s on this route in place of its own jets, since they have 18 fewer seats in total.

However, Business Class capacity is identical and Qantas will benefit from achieving higher fares in the Premium Economy cabin, not installed on its own A330s.

Qantas will initially take these aircraft on a “wet lease” arrangement from Finnair, meaning Finnair’s own pilots and cabin crew will operate the flights, but will offer the Qantas service product, meals and amenities.

“For the first two-and-a-half years of this agreement, flights will be operated by Finnair pilots and cabin crew, with customers continuing to receive Qantas’ inflight food and beverage service, amenities, inflight entertainment and baggage allowance.”


Finnair already has its own cabin crew based in Singapore, who will also operate the Sydney flights, while the airline’s Helsinki-based pilots will operate mammoth HEL-SIN-SYD-SIN-HEL rosters, with plenty of days off along the way of course!


From late 2025 for a period of up to three further years, the aircraft will switch to a “dry lease”, with Qantas pilots and cabin crew operating the aircraft.

“From late 2025, two Finnair A330s will be dry leased, operating for up to three years with Qantas pilots and cabin crew, creating new jobs and further promotional opportunities within Qantas.”


From next year, the addition of these jets will help Qantas increase its frequencies on the Singapore – Melbourne route to pre-pandemic levels (14 per week) and on Singapore – Sydney flights in excess of that (to 15 per week).

The AirLounge seat

Finnair was the launch customer for the Collins AirLounge product, which doesn’t have a traditional reclining seat like you see in most Business Class cabins, but instead is effectively a contoured padded shell, designed to allow you to position yourself at a wide variety of different angles.

The seat has received broadly excellent reviews so far, since entering service.

In this new seating concept, soon to appear on the Qantas Singapore – Sydney route, you can rest your feet on the ottoman or use extendable infill panels to create a large flat surface. Pillows are provided to offer support in various seating positions.

Make yourself comfortable in a variety of seating positions in the AirLounge seat. (Photo: Finnair)

The fully flat surface also has a mattress, with duvet and pillows provided for a flat-bed experience – something Qantas is almost certain to replicate since it already uses mattress pads on its long-haul Business Class seats.


Modern features also include wireless charging and an 18-inch touchscreen in-flight entertainment system, a nice improvement on the older 16-inch version on the Qantas A330.

There is also Wi-Fi connectivity, something Qantas long-haul aircraft don’t have, but it’s not known at this stage whether this will be made available for these Singapore – Sydney flights.

The new Finnair Business Class side table includes a handy wireless mobile charging point. (Photo: Finnair)

Universal AC, USB-A and USB-C power sockets are also fitted at each seat.

It’s certainly a unique product, and this unexpected rollout on the Singapore – Sydney route from late October 2023 will make it even easier for our readers to try it out themselves to find out how comfortable it really is.


Here’s our more comprehensive summary of the new seat, from its launch announcement in early 2022.

You can also refer to some recent A350 AirLounge Business Class flight reviews, for more information, though of course these relate to Finnair flights with Finnair service, not Qantas service:

The reconfigured Finnair A330s also have a 21-seat Premium Economy cabin, something not found on the Qantas A330s they will be replacing on these Singapore – Sydney flights.

Finnair Premium Economy. (Photo: Finnair)

Qantas is therefore selling Premium Economy on these A330 Sydney services, an option currently only available with the carrier on its QF1/2 A380 flights on the route.

Award tickets

Here are the one-way redemption rates applicable for you to experience this Finnair AirLounge product in Business Class on the Singapore – Sydney route from late October 2023, when travelling on a Qantas service.

Business Class
Asia 61,000
QFF 68,400

As you can see, Asia Miles provides the best value in Business Class for Qantas redemptions on this route, but Avios levies the lowest taxes and fees for only 1,000 more miles.

You can transfer Qatar Avios 1:1 free into the BA Avios programme, which is why we have listed that scheme in the same category.


For comparison, a one-way Singapore to Sydney award flight in Singapore Airlines Business Class costs 68,500 miles + S$91 one-way.

Bangkok – Sydney also gets the AirLounge from 2024

From 31st March 2024 a second leased A330 will join Qantas from Finnair, allowing the daily Qantas Bangkok – Sydney flight QF24/23 to also switch flight numbers to QF296/295, with the AirLounge-equipped aircraft operating.

Unlike the Singapore operation, Bangkok – Sydney flights will use the Finnair A330 with AirLounge Business Class seats every day of the week according to schedules currently loaded.

AirLounge Business Class will be available on all Qantas Bangkok – Sydney flights from late March 2024. (Photo: Finnair)

This will also add a Premium Economy option on this route for the first time since Qantas withdrew 747s from the Thai capital many years ago.

As we recently reported, Finnair itself is also expanding AirLounge operation on the A350 to a range of Asian destinations, for those interested in trying the product (with a Reindeer burger this time!) to or from Europe, with all Singapore – Helsinki flights still part of the mix.




This is one we didn’t see coming – Qantas will lease in one (and later two) Airbus A330s from Finnair as it ramps up capacity post-COVID.

Not only will those aircraft have the latest AirLounge product in Business Class, they will also begin service for the Aussie national carrier on the Singapore – Sydney route, with six times weekly service starting in late October 2023.

That will provide a nice option to try out this product on an 8-hour flight using a variety of miles programmes, without having to commit to a Europe trip.

(Cover Photo: Finnair)


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