Flight test: Singapore Airlines business class

Airlines Singapore Airlines (SQ) and SilkAir (MI).

Route Sydney to Kochi, southern India.

Aircraft Sydney to Singapore on Boeing 777-300A. Singapore to Kochi on Airbus A320.

Class Business 19D and business 2C.

Seat pitch and width On the flight to Singapore, seat pitch is 60 inches and seat width 20 inches, reclining to a bed a couple of degrees off flat . On the flight to Kochi, seat pitch is 40 inches and seat width is 22 inches, a generous recliner but not flat.

Seat configuration On the Boeing, three rows of two seats make a total of 50 seats in business class; only the centre row offers unimpeded access. The smaller Airbus has two rows of two seats, 16 total, up the front.

Luggage allowance 30 kilograms of checked-in baggage and two carry-on pieces of 7kg.

Scheduled flight time Sydney to Singapore in 7hr 20min, then a 2hr 35min wait. Then to Kochi in 4hr 15 min. Performance is spot on, which means the Indian state of Kerala is 15 hours away.

Lounge access While Singapore Airlines' shared lounge in Sydney is nothing to write home about, its large, luxe lounge at Changi Airport Terminal 3 is superb, with prawn dumplings worth flying seven hours for. On the way back, the small business lounge in modern Kochi Airport is comfortable.


Comfort After flying in Singapore's A380 business class last year, anything else will seem second-best. This Boeing has been fitted with the same colour palette and leather and the seats are comfortable (pictured), though not as wide or as flat as the bigger A380. The SilkAir Airbus is old-style business class but comfortable for a short regional flight.

Service Professional, friendly and seamless. SilkAir staff appear to attend the same training school as their fellow SQ attendants, offering prompt, warm service.

Food A particularly good snapper red curry to Singapore; chicken biriyani to Kochi. Plenty of choice on the long-haul flight; two meal choices on the shorter flight.

Entertainment Oodles of choice on 15-inch private screens on the long-haul flight. Ceiling screens every four rows on the regional flight.

Amenities To minimise waste, Singapore Airlines limits its showbags to booties and eye masks, stocking business toilets with plenty of toiletries.

Flights Singapore Airlines flies four times daily between Sydney and Singapore; three times daily from Melbourne. SilkAir, owned by SQ, flies daily between Singapore and Kochi, one of 33 Asian destinations.

Online singaporeair.com and silkair.com.

Tested by Helen Anderson, who flew courtesy of Singapore Airlines and SilkAir.