Airline: Singapore Airlines
Flight Number: SQ451
Route: MLE-SIN; Malé, Maldives (Velana International Airport)to Singapore (Changi International Airport Terminal 2)
Aircraft: Airbus A330-300
Delivered: September 2013
Flight Duration: 4 hours 50 minutes
Distance: 2113 Miles
After a nice 4 days in the Maldives, it was time to head out. This time, we are flying Singapore Airlines Business Class to Singapore on their regional Airbus A330.
Singapore Airlines is a Skytrax 5-star rated airlines and they operate a 2-cabin regional configured Airbus A330-300 between Singapore and Malé. Business Class consists of 30 angled flat seats in a 2-2-2 configuration. This was a late night flight, so most people would want to get some shut eye during the flight. Sadly, SQ still uses the previous generation regional business class seats in this route, which is fine for sitting, lounging, and dining, but less than ideal for sleeping because of the angle. In spite of the seats, the crew were very charming, polished, and delivered excellent service. Catering was also nicely presented and delicious. I also liked that the lavatories were well stocked with amenities and spotless.
What I liked:
The Food – Sadly, the “Book the Cook” pre-order option was not available for this flight, but the onboard catering on this flight was excellent.The supper meal service started with a beverage service along with some prepackaged nuts. The starter tray consisted of cold smoked duck breast salad, and a choice of warm breads. For the main, I ordered the seared beef fillet with beef jus which was nicely presented and was delicious! For dessert, I had the blueberry cheesecake which was light and not too sweet. The meal service ended with another round of hot towels. All in all a great and satisfying meal.
The IFE – SQ uses the Krisworld in-flight entertainment system which is pretty good. There were dozens of Western and Asian movies, TV programs, music, and games available. The moving map isn’t my favorite, but at least it was working.
Onboard amenities – A full size pillow and a light blanket were waiting at our seats along with slippers, eye shades, and shoe bag. Bottled waters were also distributed during boarding.There were no amenity kits for business class passengers, but the lavatories were fully stocked with toothbrushes, shaving kits, and combs/hairbrushes along with bottles of moisturizer/lotion, facial mist, mouthwash, etc. The lavatories were also spotless, and regularly cleaned by the crew.
The service – The business class crew was very polished and service was done in typical SQ fashion. Pre-departure beverage as well as hot were proactively offered upon boarding. The flight attendant working our aisle was engaging and eager to please, without being overbearing.
It was OK:
The Lounge – The Leeli lounge seems to be the only lounge available past security and immigration at Velana International. Given the lack of lounge choices, I thought the lounge is a good size with plenty of seating to relax. There were a good amount of food and beverage options, including some hot food items. There was also a nap room with reclining chairs for those who want to rest while waiting for their flight.
What I didn’t like:
The seats – Singapore Airlines’ regional angled flat business class seats aren’t the best. The seats were comfortable for sitting and dining, but not so much for sleeping. The seat turns into a flat bed, but because of the slight angle of the bed, my body tends to slide down to the bottom of the seat after a while.
Singapore Airlines has an excellent soft product even in regional business class. The crew and level of service given are mostly topnotch and very polished. Although this flight did not offer the new regional business class seats offered in SQ’s 787 planes, the onboard amenities, food, and amazing service made up for what was lacking.