News in brief:
Last chance to fly a 777 from Manchester to Munich
Singapore Airlines is restructuring its European routes and is about to launch a direct flight from Singapore to Manchester. This flight will carry on to Houston, creating a new Manchester – Houston route.
From the end of October, the current Singapore – Munich – Manchester service will end.
This means that you have just a few weeks left, if you live near Manchester, to experience the novelty of flying a long-haul aircraft from Manchester to Munich.
The cheapest return fare I can currently see is £163 return which is not ludicrously cheap but also not entirely extortionate. However, the return flight from Munich is a painful 6.35am.
If you have any Star Alliance miles, redemption flights in Business Class are very easy to get on this route – and you get a flat bed. The tax is around £80 return. A cash return is business is around £400.
Qatar and Vueling announce codeshares
The relationship between Qatar Airways and IAG, the parent of British Airways, Aer Lingus, Iberia and Vueling, continues to deepen after Qatar recently increased its IAG shareholding.
Qatar Airways flight codes will be placed on 67 Vueling routes which pass through Barcelona or Rome, allowing Qatar to sell connecting flights to those destinations. Qatar business class passengers will be booked into Vueling ‘Excellence Class’ with fast-track security, lounge access and priority boarding and seating.
£1,660 business class to Melbourne
Finally, Vietnam Airlines is selling a VERY aggressive £1,660 business class return fare from Heathrow to Melbourne at the moment.
Vietnam Airlines is a serious business, if you were thinking otherwise. They are a member of the SkyTeam alliance. More importantly, they have eight new Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft either on order or in service.
I had no problem finding this fare in January. You are looking for a £640 pre-tax fare each way as Business Saver.
In theory free stopovers are allowed in Vietnam under the fare rules. There is a long lay-over in Vietnam (15 hours on the outbound) if you don’t stopover and it seems you would need a visa to leave the airport. (EDIT: no longer, see comments)
You will be on a new Boeing 787 all the way. The impressive fully flat seating looks similar to Finnair / Qatar / Cathay with a herringbone layout.