Flight check: Canberra to Wellington with Singapore Airlines

By Stephen Howard

Stephen Howard flies SQ291 on the Capital Express Route from Canberra to Wellington.
Photo / 123RF
Photo / 123RF

The plane: Boeing 777-200.

Class: Business Class - all the normal Business-Class advantages are available, such as priority check-in and priority baggage, however given there is no Singapore Airlines lounge, Business Class passengers are able to use the domestic Virgin Australia lounge.

Price: Wellington to Canberra return in Business Class is on sale until April 3 for $1138.

Flight time: At 3hrs 15m, we were 30 minutes early.

My seat: 14K - however this aircraft had the previous-generation Singapore Airlines Business Class seats (categorised as regional Business Class), which is only an incline flat seat, they do not go fully flat but recline to 8 degrees, which allows for a very restful sleep. The cabin has a 2-2-2 configuration (as opposed to 1-2-1 on the new generation).

For business travellers in particular, there is in-seat power with a universal 110V AC (supports Australian, Japanese, and US 2/3-pin and European 2-pin plugs) to charge laptops and other devices.

Fellow passengers: Singaporean, Aussie and Kiwi business/government travellers, as well as leisure travellers wanting to soak up the cultural sights of Canberra and Wellington.

How full: Business Class was three-quarters full and Economy was full to the brim.

The service: Very polished and friendly from the moment we arrived on board being offered a newspaper and a drink, to the meal service and the attentiveness during the flight.

Toilets: Clean and tidy with high-end Miller Harris amenities and various complementary toiletries such as toothbrushes and razors.

Food and drink: The meal service was impressive and well curated by Australian chef Matt Moran, offering an extensive wine list, three-course meal and refined service. This flight's meal options consisted of tuna nicoise for entree, three options for main course (I chose the grilled chicken with grainy mustard sauce), and a strawberry tiramisu for dessert. The meal was also accompanied by a selection of breads, fruits and cheeses.

Luggage: We each had two priority checked bags and two carry-on pieces (7kg max).

The airport experience: Canberra Airport is brand new and purpose-built. Premium Check-in, E-Passports and empty security lines made our experience fast and efficient.

Once through Customs and security, the small, public international area was very nice, with cafes and duty-free options and a comfortable lounge area.

Would I fly this again? Yes. The level of service, food, wine and amenities on board were impressive. For those looking to visit two of Australasia's most culturally charged cities, this is the perfect flight option. For Wellingtonians, this service is also a great option to fly onwards to European cities.

- NZ Herald

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