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Continuing our comparison reports on some of the most popular and competitive routes in the world, we have taken a look at our Asian super-highway between Singapore and Tokyo-Narita. There are 5 main competitors (plus low-cost Scoot) that run the city pair, including ANA, Japan Airlines, Singapore Airlines, Delta and United. To make it easy we have highlighted our winners from each category in bold.

The Breakdown

Seat Layout 42 seats in a 2 x 2 x 2 format, but don’t be under the illusion this is the new international seat, instead, their cradle type seat. 42 seats in a 2 x 2 x 2 format, much like ANA, split in two mini cabins. Perfect for travelling with someone, but window seats need to climb over their neighbour A whopping 86 seats, 1 x 2 x 1 each with direct aisle access. Middle seats are great for flying with a companion. Mix of 40 forward and rear facing seats in a 2 x 4 x 2 format. 45 seats in a 1 x 2 x 1 herringbone format, all offering aisle access
Seat Comfort
Whilst these are recliner style seats, they offer a decent amount of comfort for short flights, but are the most inferior product on the route. Angle lie flat seats are great for comfort when awake, but it doesn’t lend itself to sleeping comfortably. Still, for a medium-haul flight like this it’s perfect. No surprises that the HUGE and well proportioned seats are some of the most comfortable in the world. The older generation seats are still highly coveted above their rivals. Slightly unorthadox seating arrangement with rows of forward and backward facing seats seperated by walls. Seats recline into a fully flat bed. Middle seats are fairly isolated from the aisle Recliner seat with tray table, storage compartments and ottoman. Slightly narrower than Virgin Atlantic or ANZ, but still comfortable for solo travellers.
Seat Specs
Not a bed! But 59″ seat pitch and 19.5″ wide. Angle lie flat seats with 60″ seat pitch, just over 22″ wide 6ft 6in long and 34in seat width. Massive. 6ft 4in long and 20in seat width 6ft 6in long and 21in seat width (a bit wider when reclined)
Inflight Entertainment
AVOD on a 12in touchscreen, with constantly updated films and TV programs. In seat power and USB connections at all seats. AVOD on a 15.4in screen, with a good selection of tv shows and movies. In seat power at all seats. A whopping 15.4in widescreen with hundreds of hours of AVOD entertainment and in seat power to and usb connection ports. A lowly 150 hours of AVOD entertainment on a 15.4in touchscreen, so in seat power, which is provided, might be needed to keep you occupied AVOD on roughly a 12in (TBC) touchscreen, good international selection. In seat power at all seats
Best of Asian cuisine, including local specialities from Kumamoto and Yugaware ‘Sekiyou’ and deserts from Pierre Hermé. Featuring Gotochi Gozen and Western menus. A wonderful fusion of Japanese and Western meals on the menu including their Japanese cheese board. Amazing food on Givenchy tableware, this is a fine-dining experience with the finest wines from around the world. This is an experience, rather than a meal. A changing menu, with a few good options, but this is definitely airline food and isn’t the best element of the flight. (But it is nice to have a coffee in a mug!) As well as some Japanese elements, expect a full American ‘international bistro’ menu, of course with a steak option.
Shower facilities in the lounges, arrival lounges, and a 787 service makes up for the cradle seats. Great lounges at Narita, and a 787 service on the city pair means for an excellent and modern experience This is the home of Singapore Airlines, meaning amazing lounges in Singapore and with A380 service, a whopping 160+ seats on the route every day. Not much to mention, expect a regular business class experience, with lounges and premium check in, but that’s pretty much it. Although an american carrier, they offer a great network in Asia, with great connections on to America and their lounges worldwide are undergoing a refurb.
Based on flights 3 days apart booked one week in advance, staying a Saturday night.
SGD3,200 SGD3,603 SGD3,473 SGD4,030 SGD3,744
Two flights per day Two flights per day Two flights per day One flight per day One flight per day
TheDesignair Score
7/10 8/10 9/10 6/10 8/10

Picture 66

Unsurprisingly the Asian carriers rule the roost here, with Singapore Airlines, one of the world’s best carriers up against stiff competition with ANA and JAL both offering 787 services. But Singapore Airlines (lounge pictured above), with their A380 are able to provide more seats, more comfort and more space for the journey. Delta though, are well worth a look, especially if you travel a lot in the States. If a bed is an absolute must, than ANA won’t be for you, and if Aisle access is important, with a 50/50 split of seats with access in United, they would be one to avoid. Scoot, which we haven’t included is due to the fact their ‘ScootBiz’ fits closer into the premium economy product, than the business class product.

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Posted by:Jonny Clark

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