Which airline has the best business class for Perth-Singapore flights?

Which airline has the best business class for Perth-Singapore flights?

Singapore is one of Perth’s busiest international destinations, being an easy 5½ hour dash away and opening up the WA city to many others worldwide through the hub that is Changi Airport.

There are three competitors on this route, including the stalwart Singapore Airlines, its budget offshoot Scoot, and our flag carrier Qantas.

The Perth-Singapore route used to be the domain of business class recliners, but that trend is slowly turning with both major airlines starting to introduce their newer seats and suites.

Australian Business Traveller looks at the ground experience, the lounges and inflight service to see how the business class offering compares between each airline.

Perth-Singapore business class: the best schedules

It’s no surprise that Singapore Airlines offers the most flights from Perth – four per day. There are departures in the early morning (6:25am), early afternoon (2:05pm), early evening (5:10pm), and one overnight (1:10am).

Qantas is next with a daily 11:50am departure from Perth, reaching Singapore in the evening, then returning back to Perth just before midnight.

Starting from June 2019, Scoot will have eight flights a week. There's a 9:20pm departure daily which gets into Singapore at 2:30am, while Saturdays will see extra 9:00pm service which also lands in Singapore at 2:30am. This additional flight is operated by an Airbus A320 without ScootBiz seats.

These schedules may fluctuate slightly during different parts of the year but are otherwise fairly steady.

Perth-Singapore business class: the best lounges

Since Qantas moved all its Perth international flights to its domestic terminals T3 and T4, business class guests are directed to the Domestic Business Lounge instead, which functions as its quasi-international lounge.

Qantas Club members and Gold frequent flyers are welcome here as well, instead of the Qantas Club where they would normally head to if travelling domestically.

While this lounge features freshly-cooked pizza, it’s located before international security and immigration clearance, and the bar isn’t open prior to the departure to Singapore.

AusBT Review: Qantas domestic business lounge, Perth Airport

Despite these shortcomings, it’s still a decent place to relax before the flight.

Singapore Airlines passengers have access to a small SilverKris lounge in Perth International T1, which is open three hours prior to each flight.

For something a little less lacklustre, lounge lizards can also roost in the nearby Air New Zealand lounge, if it’s open.

Singapore Airlines’ business class guests plus Star Alliance Gold members travelling in economy will find it to be a far more vibrant space, offering a decent buffet spread and shower suites as well.

From The Lion City itself, Qantas has its own dedicated Singapore Lounge, including a new separate first class lounge opening in late 2019, while Singapore Airlines has its large SilverKris Lounges in Terminal 3.

Scoot doesn’t offer lounge access in Perth, but a ‘Scoot-in-Style’ package can be purchased for flights departing Singapore, which offers three hours access to the SATS Premier Lounge in Changi T2.

Perth-Singapore business class: the best seats

Both Qantas and Singapore Airlines have gradually swapped in their newer business class products.

At the time of writing, Qantas now has the Airbus A330 permanently rostered on the QF71/72 daily trek to Singapore.

These feature lie-flat seats in a 1-2-1 arrangement, affording everyone some space, privacy and easy aisle access.

Meanwhile, Singapore Airlines’ newest regional business class seats will soon be found on two of the four daily flights – operated by a Boeing 787-10 and factory-fresh Airbus A350s.

While a bit narrower than their Qantas counterparts, these seats are a big improvement over the older variants still flying.

Singapore Airlines’ remaining two flights will usually have the ‘sloping sleepers’ of the Airbus A330 and Boeing 777-200…

… although sometimes these wider fully-flat seats will also make an appearance on the Boeing 777-200ERs.

Lastly, ScootBiz offers recliners in a 2-3-2 layout. While it doesn’t compare to Qantas or Singapore Airlines at all, it’s still more comfortable than economy and is priced reasonably.

Perth to Singapore business class: the best inflight experience

While these factors are unlikely to make a huge difference in choosing an airline, it’s good to know what each one is offering.

Singapore Airlines’s ‘Book the Cook’ service gives you 15 choices out of Perth and more than 50 options when flying back from Singapore, making it easier for you to order what you want.

Book the new Japanese Ramen on flights from Singapore back to Australia

However, the airline does not offer amenity kits or pyjamas for overnight flights. Instead, it stocks essential items in the lavatories.

Although Qantas previously offered pyjamas on the evening Singapore-Perth leg when it re-started the route in 2015 with a Boeing 737, it appears that this is no longer the case either.

Here’s a summary of the different services offered by each airline.

  Singapore Airlines Qantas Scoot
Pre-book dining Yes - ‘Book the Cook’ from Perth has fifteen dishes to choose from Yes - Menu Select allows you to pre-book your choice off the inflight menu or an online exclusive Yes – one meal of your choice included with ScootBiz
Amenity kits No - but essentials are stocked in the lavatories Yes No
Pyjamas No Previously yes, but not anymore No
Inflight WiFi Yes, on Boeing 787-10 and Airbus A350. 30MB free for business class. No - not yet on the Airbus A330s. Yes - US$29.99 for 20MB

What’s your favourite way to travel between Perth and Singapore?

Brandon Loo

Brandon Loo

Brandon divides his time between Perth and Launceston, with ample hours spent in airport lounges in between. He recently picked up photography and tries to capture the beauty of Tasmanian landscapes, aeroplane cabins and in-flight food, to varying degrees of success.
 

26 comments

  • fxdxdy

    fxdxdy

    10 May, 2019 12:09 am

    Love the table at the end - it summaries the article in a really easy to understand and compare way.
    If you just added in the seat type (flat, recliner, etc) then it would be perfect
    Member who gave thanks

    spudseamus

  • John Goss

    Travelwell

    10 May, 2019 12:16 am

    SQ four times a day, QF once a day I think says it all.!!
    Member who gave thanks

    spudseamus

  • PERflyer

    PERflyer

    10 May, 2019 01:18 am

    Great update thanks with the newer products from QF/SQ on the route. The SQ 4 daily flights as you say are interestingly on 4 different aircraft types! I don't think PJ's / seat matress are offered on the QF return flight though as technically its not a overnight service arriving around midnight back to Perth after the 5 hour hop. (Well I didn't get any recently on QF72 anyhow).

    No member give thanks

  • Brandon Loo

    Brandon Loo

    10 May, 2019 07:32 am

    Hi PERflyer, I've been given PJs on QF72 before even when it was a 737 recliner!

    I also note in Qantas' 2015 press release about the route, they mention 'The popular Qantas pyjamas will also be provided on the evening service from Singapore to Perth in the Business Class cabin.'

    However, I can also see recent posts on other forums that these haven't been offered lately, so I'll try follow this up to see if it's been permanently changed.

    No member give thanks

  • PERflyer

    PERflyer

    10 May, 2019 07:36 am

    Great if so Brandon! Hopefully my recent journey was just a one off!.
    No member give thanks

  • ZQN Fan

    ZQN Fan

    10 May, 2019 08:38 am

    Another feature of the QF flight is landing at T3. Due to it being the only international flight landing at that time, as a business class passenger (i.e. first out of the plane) you can be in a taxi/Uber within 5 mins of arriving if travelling only with hand luggage - this is definitely not possible at T1. And for me the journey home is 10 mins quicker too from that side of the airfield, so do like the Qantas domestic terminal arrangement.

    BTW, I have never received pyjamas on the return flight in J.
    No member give thanks

  • Graham BLAMEX

    BLAMEX

    10 May, 2019 08:56 am

    SQ of course. Perhaps QF EXECS could fly SQ J to see how it should be done. Even on a bad day SQ far exceeds QF
    No member give thanks

  • Matt J

    MattJelonek

    10 May, 2019 04:46 pm

    And on a 5 hour flight!
    No member give thanks

  • AsiaBizTraveller

    AsiaBizTraveller

    10 May, 2019 09:02 am

    SQ generally ticks the boxes in business class but for Singapore-Perth you really have to choose your flights strategically so you get the best seat, which works against the 'frequency' argument. I'm very glad to see Qantas bedding down the A330 on this route and the use of PER T3 is a time-saver. Qantas also has the best lounge by far. So this really comes down to SQ vs QF, each airline has its loyalists often based on personal preference and status.
    No member give thanks

  • Tony Boyd

    Tony Boyd

    10 May, 2019 10:29 am

    I'm going to be very contrary here and vote for Scoot. Why? Start with Scoot Biz being less than $500 each way, so for under $1,000 I can do 'business class' return. Now PER-SIN isn't a long flight, around five hours, and most of the Scoot flights there and back are daytime or evening but not an overnight 'red-eye'. I can easily enjoy the Scoot Biz seat without it being lie-flat or not having direct aisle access. The inflight meals are okay, I'm just having one meal. All that I really miss out on is lounge access, as there's no AMEX Priority Pass access at Perth, although I can use the card for this at Singapore. For $1,000 return I reckon this overall is very good value.
    Member who gave thanks

    MattJelonek

  • Fonga

    Fonga

    10 May, 2019 10:32 am

    I really enjoy your reviews Brandon. You focus on the practical aspects of flying business class in an honest and insightful way. Keep up the good work mate.
    No member give thanks

  • eminere

    eminere

    11 May, 2019 10:10 pm

    Agreed. I like his writing style the most. So refreshing to read his articles without the annoying use of italics.
    No member give thanks

  • johnaboxall

    johnaboxall

    10 May, 2019 11:20 am

    For a 5.5 hour J flight, frequency wins. SQ all the way.
    No member give thanks

  • JBH

    JBH

    10 May, 2019 11:57 am

    Thanks Brandon - Not sure we should have to use Domestic Business Lounge for an International flight. If I'm not wrong QF only has two international flights daily PER-LHR and PER-SIN? So why doesnt QF open up the QF Int'l lounge after immigration? (as I understand it is currently used for only the PER-LHR flight) - is there a capacity issue?
    Member who gave thanks

    Frank

  • GoPies

    GoPies

    10 May, 2019 02:53 pm

    When travelling to London Bus Class a few weeks ago, we used the QF Bus Class Lounge which, as article says, is located before Border Force etc. When we got to International Bus Class it was quite crowded especially when transit pax arrived. My advise, based on this, would be to linger in Dom Bus Class Lounge for as long as possible. For the lucky few there is also Chairman’s Lounge.
    No member give thanks

  • Davedownunder

    Davedownunder

    10 May, 2019 03:01 pm

    flown PER SIN a couple of times this year and really disappointed that directed to Domestic lounge rather than the new International lounge. Given that you have to clear immigration security and GST refund after leaving the lounge its hard to time the run and not have to wait at the gate.

    I had hoped that with the introduction of the A330 there would be enough business class passengers to justify opening the lounge. Clearly Qantas not thinking ahead

    Member who gave thanks

    Frank

  • 11sjw

    11sjw

    10 May, 2019 12:11 pm

    Great article. The only addition to the comparison could be cost and points/status credits earned.

    No member give thanks

  • Tony Boyd

    Tony Boyd

    10 May, 2019 03:05 pm

    I don't see why this is needed. Nobody is going to be choosing their airline based on points and status credits, you are more likely to choose your airline because you are already a frequent flyer with them, so the points and status credits doesn't factor into this.

    I agree that the cost would be good to note, especially because Scoot is so different to SQ and QF, but prices vary so much based on peak vs shoulder vs off-peak, day of the week and of course what fares are available, that almost any price chosen would be wrong in some way. It's probably easier for people to look that up themselves based on whenever they are flying.
    No member give thanks

  • Davedownunder

    Davedownunder

    10 May, 2019 03:10 pm

    My advice is collect Qantas status credits rather than fly Singapore.
    Whilst Singapore is a fantastic airline they don't give PPS status for life. Qantas allows you to earn lifetime status for Silver and Gold which for me in retirement allows me to enjoy Gold status even when flying economy. Means I'm more likely to fly Qantas knowing I can access the lounges. Costs Qantas about four glasses of red. Think it is a win win.
    Member who gave thanks

    Frank

  • Merry

    Merry

    10 May, 2019 02:49 pm

    Thank you Brandon Loo for a factual article. Please would you clarify which SQ flight or aircraft have the 1-2-1 configuration which I really prefer (don't we all!) SQ is definitely my preference. One flight a day from QF ia pathetic given that Changi is now QF's hub (thanks be!).
    Member who gave thanks

    Frank

  • Tony Boyd

    Tony Boyd

    10 May, 2019 03:02 pm

    Changi is only Qantas' hub for flights to London and the daily SIN-PER service fits into that QF1/QF2 schedule, so I don't see why you feel there need to be more flights a day. Don't forget that QF pulled out of PER, then came back with a 737 and has now moved to a larger A330 , which shows the airline keeps its eye on demand. If there's more demand than the A330 can cope for then maybe we will see a second service but probably only on a 737. By comparison, SQ has flights from Singapore to all over the world, leaving at all sorts of times, so it makes sense for SQ to have multiple daily flights.
    No member give thanks

  • Matt J

    MattJelonek

    10 May, 2019 04:47 pm

    Now SQ need to update/upgrade their PER Lounge... perhaps 2x or 3x the size would be ideal!
    No member give thanks

  • squeeowl

    squeeowl

    10 May, 2019 06:33 pm

    Be wary that Scoot has begun to occasionally swap PER-SIN services to their ex-Tiger A320s with no business class during off peak periods. Recently this has happened with TR16 on Saturdays and TR8 on Tuesdays, but could occur more often in the future.
    No member give thanks

  • Stephen Thomas

    SteveTee

    11 May, 2019 10:42 am

    In 2015, trying to find a flight to London via Singapore was limited to a single airline, Singapore International. Now Qantas sees fit to join in, with a non-stop offering......still too late. I will continue with Singapore International....happy with their offering.
    No member give thanks

  • RTWFF

    RTWFF

    11 May, 2019 01:45 pm

    I’ve always held that the most appropriate comparison for ScootBiz is SQ or QF Premium Economy on the basis of no free lounge access except maybe at Changi
    No member give thanks

  • moa999

    moa999

    12 May, 2019 12:15 am

    On Qantas WiFi I'd just say No.. They haven't announced anything for the international 330s and the ViaSat3 solution is still years away
    No member give thanks

Guest

21 May, 2019 08:57 am

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