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Jetstar's Beijing-Melbourne flight adds 11 hours in Singapore

By John Walton     Filed under: qantas, Melbourne, Singapore, Jetstar, Beijing, layovers

Jetstar's new daily Melbourne to Beijing via Singapore service, which will be codeshared by Qantas when it debuts in November, has one big catch: a massive 11 hour stopover in Singapore on the way back home.

While passengers on the northbound Melbourne-Singapore-Beijing flight JQ007 will spend only two hours in Singapore's Changi airport before arriving in Beijing at shortly after midnight, the return flight JQ008 stops in Singapore for an insane layover of 11 hours 20 minutes.

And it doesn't leave Beijing until 2.50am in the morning, although this means that Beijing's notoriously gridlocked roads will be clearer and also gives you ample time for a late and very long dinner with plenty of toasts to the health of your hosts and success of your business together.

But it's hard to argue that the return schedule could be a nail in the flight's coffin for the business traveller. 

Leisure travellers may be happy to leave Beijing at almost 3am, arrive in Singapore at 9.30am, take advantage of a Singapore bus tour and some shopping, and return to the airport to board an 8.50pm flight which arrives in Melbourne at 7am the next day.

But business travellers? We don't think so, unless they can engineer some meetings and a lunch in Singapore during the day-long stopover. And Jetstar's Star Class 'business class' offering, which is more of a premium economy seat, isn't going to do their airline any favours in attracting corporate travellers.

With no way to get a proper night's sleep on that kind of schedule (and only a Qantas/BA shared business class lounge with some serious flaws in Singapore for Jetstar's premium passengers and Qantas high-tier Frequent Flyers), we'd suggest that direct flights or even better connections on other airlines sounds more appealing.

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About John Walton

Aviation journalist and travel columnist John took his first long-haul flight when he was eight weeks old and hasn't looked back since. Well, except when facing rearwards in business class.

 

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1 on 14/7/11 by aklrunway

I agree that an 11:20 stop on the way back is far too long. However with a shorter stop in SIN on the way up is a good option. You could use JQ to Bejing and then another carrier with better suited times on the way back. Still a good way to keep costs down. You could use SQ/CX/MH/TG for the return flight perhaps.

 

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