Saturday, 24 November 2018

Flying The Star Alliance Aircraft with Singapore Airlines (SIN-CGK)

Welcome to my Trip Report on Singapore Airlines' Boeing 777-300 


* Aircraft photos are credited to the respective photographers from Airliners.net 


Photo: Eeter Chen


Introduction 

It was a challenging period for me, both personal and work. I had to do a short getaway even for a few days. Considered a number of locations, Jakarta came into my mind. I had not been there for a few years and I would like to go back and see its progress in terms of development. So with that, I took a look at my options and Singapore Airlines got into my attention. I could fly the A350 and the Boeing 777-300. So picking the best option, I booked my ticket. I would do the Boeing 777-300 (long overdue) and the Airbus A350-900 on the return flight. Airfare was steep compared to the other airlines but that's what I want. The airline's Boeing 777-300 (Non-ER version) was in reduced number, I better fly on them now and not miss this chance especially with more Boeing 787-10 aircraft coming in. 


About the Boeing 777-300 (Non ER version) 

The Boeing 777 family was designed to bridge the gap between the Boeing 767 and Boeing 747. For capacity wise, the Boeing 777-300 was designed to fly on short-medium haul routes, making it a cheaper option to operate than the Boeing 747-400. Later on the Boeing 777-200LR and -300ER were launched. The -200LR was to fly on ultra long haul routes while the -300ER was more of the 747-400 replacement, as it was able to fly further than the -300 version. 

This version is launched by Cathay Pacific and up till today they are still operating it. Its a cash cow aircraft for the airline. This aircraft has 2 engine choices: Roll Royce Trent 800 and Pratt and Whitney engines. The General Electric GE90 engines has exclusive rights to power the Boeing 777-300ER. Which engine manufacturer has the last laugh? You know the answer. 

This is the Boeing 777-300


Photo: Ryan M.Salminen

This is the Boeing 777-300ER 


Can you spot the difference? The -300ER has a different wing and more powerful engine than the -300 version. 

SQ's mobile app

If you are flying on this aircraft, I recommend either row 43 or 44 for Economy Class seats. Its at the front economy class section just behind the wing. 



Flight route: SIN-CGK

Miles: 546 


On the day of departure (Sorry for the lack of photos)

Checking in was a breeze especially without a check-in baggage. I wanted to travel light especially it was just a 3 days trip. With a bag pack, I was at the air side within 10 minutes. Only issue I had was the immigration computerised system refusing to recognise my finger paints, but that got sorted out with the immigration officer. 

Once inside, I did a check on my what aircraft I would be flying on. 9V-SYI seemed more likely to operate on this flight as I checked the 777-300's schedule but later on when I walked towards my gate, 9V-SYL taxied to my gate. I struck gold at my first Boeing 777-300 attempt, didn't expect to get the star alliance livery aircraft. Apart from the exterior, interior of the aircraft is the same as the others. 

More photos of the Star Alliance aircraft 


Photo: Kouyagi


Photo : Bianjiang 

Even though this flight was a short 1 hour 20 minutes, the flight was full. That's why wide-bodies are used on this regional flight and first class is operated on this flight. 


Date: 12th October 2018
Airline: Singapore Airlines 
Flight: SQ958
Route: SIN-CGK
Aircraft: Boeing 777-300
Registration: 9V-SYL
Engines: 2 X Roll Royce Trent 892 
Delivered in May 2005
Configuration: F8 C50 Y226
Seat: 43A 
Flight departure: On time 
Flight arrival: Early
Load: 90% in Y class 
Duration: 1 hour 15 mins 
Departure runway: 20C 
Arrival runway: 07R


Boarding took place 20 minutes before departure and boarding process took place without any staff checking, fortunately it was a smooth process. 

Inside the Star Alliance livery aircraft, interior looks familiar with the old cabin screaming for a make over. However, this aircraft type is due for replacement in the near future so any chance of a make over to happen, will not take place. 

Economy Class Cabin 

Due to crowded flight, I wasn't able to take a decent photo of the economy class cabin. 


IFE Screen (Non AVOD system)


View from my seat 


Legroom space 



Window view is a must for me 


Window is not aligned for me, but I take it. 



My flight experience 

Boarding the aircraft with the usual 2 crew waiting to assist you to your seat.The inflight service was once again average in my opinion. Not much warmth or smiles from the crew. Nothing to shout about, in fact. 

Made my way to the end of the 1st cabin of Economy Class, I was delighted to see the window at my row. Ended up having the seat beside mine vacant, what more can I ask for! 

Pushed back commerced and the start up of the Roll Royce Trent engines seems underwhelming compared to the General Electric GE90. 

Once airborne, we encountered some minor bumps especially flying through the clouds and once seat belt sign was turned off, the crew had a challenge and that was to complete the meal service within an hour with a high load. In-flight service was normal, nothing spectacular. Meal service came, unfortunately I was the last row to receive my meal and the second to have the meal collected (I had to rush to finish my food). It shouldn't be like that, perhaps it was the timing. 

Flight for most parts was relatively smooth and we touched down smoothly. 

Business Class 

Together with Economy class, the product is the same as the A330. 



Should be more comfortable than the A330 since the fuselage is wider. 


First Class photos - Unfortunately I wasn't able to take photos if it due to the tight turnover by the crew, they were busy so I decided not to ask. 

Safety card 


In-flight meal 


I had a choice between this (beef) and I think it was chicken. Enjoyable especially for such a short flight, I wasn't expecting a hot meal for this short sector. 

Window shot photos

Flying in good weather for most parts of the journey.


On approach to CGK Airport



Lion Airlines' sole Boeing 747-400



My rating: 

Website experience: 7/10
Changi Airport: 9/10
Check-in experience: 9/10
In-flight service: 6/10 
Cabin interior: 6/10 
Cleanliness: 8/10
Aircraft condition: 10/10
Punctuality: 10/10
In-flight meal: 7/10
Seat comfort: 7/10
Overall rating: 79/100

Conclusion 

The Boeing 777-300 has been a superb work horse for the airline, serving millions of passengers since the start of commercial service for the airline. Some of the Boeing 777-300 have left the fleet leaving behind not many. While the age of the aircraft in SQ's standard is considered old, the aircraft will serve for a few more years before it will be phrased out, hopefully with another carrier. I am glad that I managed to fly at least once on this aircraft type. This aircraft type flies on regional routes such as Manila, Jakarta, Tokyo Haneda, Shanghai, Brunei and perhaps a few other cities I have missed out. 

At this time, I like to congratulate Singapore Airlines for winning the best cabin crew award for 2018. 

Thanks for reading this trip report! 

Returning home with SQ's A350 on the A350, click here for the trip report.

Charles 

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