Jetting from Brisbane to Singapore in business class provides a choice between four distinct types of seats aboard three different airlines including Qantas, Singapore Airlines and also Emirates.
Depending on which flight you choose, you could find yourself in a fully-flat bed with all the expected mod cons and direct aisle access, or in a middle seat lying back on a bed that doesn’t go fully-flat.
Australian Business Traveller explores your various options at the pointy end on this popular route.
1. Qantas Airbus A330 Business Suite
Taking out first place on flights to The Lion City: Qantas and its Airbus A330 business class Business Suites.
Upsides: Begin your journey in the fabulous new Qantas international business class lounge in Brisbane with freshly-made barista coffee and a big focus on breakfast with a dedicated Breakfast Hatch serving up healthy breakfast bowls (or plates) and other treats:
Then it’s time to board, where you’ll find business class seats in a 1-2-1 layout, providing each passenger with direct and uninterrupted access to the aisles, and a seat that can be partially reclined during take-off and landing and transformed into a fully-flat bed in between.
Storage space is more than ample with room for your laptop, tablet, smartphone, reading material, amenity kit and glasses, if worn, with both AC and USB power as standard.
Before the trip home, you’ll also receive access to the Qantas Singapore Lounge with a choice of dine-on-demand plates which change frequently, along with a cocktail bar and a wing of private shower suites to use before the flight home.
And, once settling in for that overnight flight, you’ll receive a pair of Qantas-branded pyjamas which are yours to keep – Qantas being the only airline to offer these on flights between Singapore and Brisbane.
Downsides: The only major negative we find with these seats is that there’s no ideal pair for couples travelling together, as those in the centre feature a fixed barrier in between that can’t be lowered, moved or retracted, making it difficult to have a conversation mid-flight.
Schedule: Qantas flies daily between Brisbane and Singapore with flights leaving the Queensland capital just before lunch to reach Singapore in time for dinner – while on the return, flights depart mid-evening for an early morning touchdown in Brisbane.
AusBT review: Qantas Airbus A330 Business Suite business class
2. Singapore Airlines Boeing 777-200ER business class
Earning the Silver: the Singapore Airlines experience aboard its Boeing 777-200ER jets, which come with business class seats very similar to those found aboard SQ’s flagship Airbus A380 aircraft.
Upsides: Like Qantas, Singapore Airlines offers fully-flat beds on these flights and direct aisle access from every seat, courtesy of the cabin’s 1-2-1 layout, and boasts particularly wide seats when in the upright position:
Passengers seated by the windows in the front row are particularly spoiled, with added space that brings the seat closer to first class than business:
Singapore Airlines too has a brand new lounge at Brisbane Airport with high-quality buffet dining options available prior to your departure, while the SilverKris business class lounge in Singapore also awaits, with buffet dining and also self-pour Champagne.
Downsides: While these seats may be wide upright, the space around your feet is considerably decreased when in bed mode, owing to a smaller ‘foot cubby’ rather than the more open space around your feet in Qantas’ Business Suites.
You also won’t find these seats on every flight, as Singapore Airlines also flies Airbus A330 aircraft to Brisbane which feature angled-flat beds in a 2-2-2 layout as opposed to fully-flat 1-2-1 sleepers.
Schedule: Singapore Airlines currently uses its Boeing 777 on the overnight flights from Brisbane to Singapore (SQ246), and on the mid-morning flights from Singapore to Brisbane (SQ245).
3. Singapore Airlines Airbus A330 business class
If you can’t get yourself onto a flight with a fully-flat bed, Singapore Airlines’ Airbus A330 business class is your next-best option.
Also regardless of your aircraft type, on flights departing Singapore, passengers can also pre-order their main course via Book The Cook: including many dishes which aren’t on the regular inflight menu such as the scrumptious Lobster Thermidor.
Singapore Airlines also offers the most flights between Brisbane and Singapore of any airline, with up to four flights a day versus one daily service with each of Qantas and Emirates.
Downsides: Seats aboard these Airbus A330s come in a 2-2-2 configuration, which means most passengers either have to step over their seatmate to access the aisle, or are stepped over themselves.
These seats also don’t recline fully-flat – instead transforming into an angled-flat bed, similar to that found aboard Virgin Australia’s Airbus A330 aircraft, prior to being refitted with The Business.
Schedule: Singapore Airlines offers morning, mid-afternoon and early evening Airbus A330 flights from Brisbane, and early morning, mid-evening and midnight A330 services home from Singapore, in addition to the airline’s daily Boeing 777 flights.
4. Emirates Boeing 777-300ER business class
Your final option: Emirates’ flights from Brisbane to Singapore. These continue onwards from Singapore to Dubai, although travellers can book journeys purely between Australia and The Lion City.
Upsides: Beginning the journey, Emirates runs a dedicated lounge for its passengers at Brisbane Airport, and as in Dubai, travellers can board their flight directly from within the lounge, without having to re-enter the terminal concourse.
The lounge is also well-stocked with Veuve Clicquot Champagne, with Emirates the only airline to provide inflight Internet on the popular Brisbane-Singapore route: and charges only US$1 for up to 500MB of data, after enjoying 10MB completely free.
Downsides: Emirates’ flight schedule is very much geared towards travellers heading onwards to Dubai and Europe, rather than those purely Singapore-bound, with daily flights departing Brisbane at an eye-watering 2:30am, reaching Singapore at 8:10am.
As with Singapore Airlines’ Airbus A330s, Emirates’ business class seats on these flights are also angled-flat rather than fully-flat, but in a less-pleasing 2-3-2 layout. Yes, even in business class, you could wind up in a dreaded middle seat!
That means there are no completely ideal seats for solo flyers: either choose a seat with easy aisle access and your neighbour will be stepping over you, or plonk yourself by the windows (or in the centre) and you’ll be stepping over others.
Emirates’ own lounge in Singapore is also closed for refurbishment until April 2017, with travellers directed to various other lounges as capacity allows – and while Emirates has a small number of Boeing 777s with fully-flat beds, even if you are lucky enough to snag one, those beds still come in a 2-3-2 layout.
Schedule: Emirates’ Singapore flights depart Brisbane in the middle of the night to reach Singapore on the same calendar day, with flights home slightly better-timed: pushing back mid-afternoon for a near-1am arrival into Brisbane the next morning.