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Our friends over at InsideFlyer Denmark were invited to be on-board Singapore Airlines’ first departure from Copenhagen to Rome. It is not every day that a long-haul equipped wide body aircraft (in this case an Airbus A350) from a premium carrier is used on an intra-European route, so we thought it would be fun to share the experience with UK readers too…
For context, here is the current route schedule:
Departures from Copenhagen are Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays. From Rome there are departures on Fridays, Saturdays and Mondays.
Return fares from Copenhagen start at the following:
Economy: From ~£125 (1,099 DKK) incl. 25 kg of luggage, refreshments and entertainment.
Premium Economy: From ~£275 (2,399 DKK) incl. 35 kg of luggage, refreshments and entertainment.
Business Class: From ~£400 (3,499 DKK) incl. 40 kg of luggage, refreshments and entertainment.
Here is their review of Singapore Airlines Business Class on the route:
On Friday 16 July 2021, Singapore Airlines flew for the first time between Copenhagen and Rome, using a long haul configured wide body aircraft – an Airbus A350.
The plane had arrived earlier in the morning from Singapore and had only a short stop in Copenhagen to get the plane cleaned, and so that the passengers who arrived from Singapore could clear immigration. When the plane leaves Copenhagen, it is like a normal EU departure within the Schengen area.
The plane had a departure time of 08:15 from Copenhagen Airport. To be sure that we had time to have our documents checked, including our corona status (either PCR test, immune or proof of fully vaccinated), we arrived at the airport at 06:30.
Check-in was simple and relatively painless, without too much queuing required.
As we were travelling in Business Class, it was possible to use the Fast Track option at Copenhagen Airport. This was useful, as it was clear that Copenhagen Airport can not quite keep up with the number of passengers who need to use the security check right now. In the regular queue we were told that the wait time was about 15 -20 minutes and we spent no more than 5 minutes getting through.
It was nice to see a more lively airport than on previous visits and a good sign that some normality is on the way back.
As we had plenty of time, we visited the SAS (Singapore’s Star Alliance partner) lounge on the way to the gate. Here, too, it is great to see that the supply of food and drink is back to pretty much the normal level. However, it was also clear here that there was a certain shortage of staff, as several tables had not been cleaned up.
Normally you would continue to the C-pier to fly with Singapore Airlines. The plane is also parked there, but since it is considered a normal EU flight, we had to go to a bus gate.
This was then in the new E-pier, so bear that in mind if this procedure continues.
As we got closer to the gate it was easy to see where we were going to board. It was decorated with, among other things, Italian flags.
There were quite a few people in the gate area. We were told that 150 had chosen to travel to Rome on this first departure and 25 of them had come from Singapore.
Boarding was as previously mentioned by bus and it provided a good opportunity to see the large Airbus A350 aircraft from the outside. There was boarding via stairs at the rear left entrance.
The Business Class cabin is the best in Europe
There are not many airlines that have a “real” Business Class cabin on their European flights. Now that Singapore Airlines has started this new route, it’s surely the best Business Class cabin you can fly intra-Europe.
I had chosen seat 17A on the trip – mostly because I wanted to be close to the galley to talk to the crew and hear from them about their experiences. In fact, those crew members who had flown from Singapore to Copenhagen and on to Rome would have to stay in their hotel room for 3 days before flying back to Singapore. That’s a long isolation on this trip – if the number of weekly departures increases, then they will “only” have to wait 1 or 2 days.
Departure from Copenhagen and the service on board
As it was a new route, the 150 passengers could also experience a water salute during the departure from Copenhagen.
This is a tradition for new routes and always a great experience to see.
The crew and service on board was classic Singapore Airlines style – and there are few greater compliments than that! Although the crew on board had already flown from Singapore to Copenhagen and had prepared the cabin for the trip to Rome, there was no sense of fatigue or letting standards slip.
The level of service was excellent – with a flight time of just over 2 hours, we were made to wish that we could have continued to Singapore and not just to Rome.
The only weakness of the overall experience was the food. There were two kinds of sandwiches to choose from. One was a focaccia with salmon and the other was a vegetarian ciabatta with grilled portobello mushrooms.
They seemed to have been made in Singapore and refrigerated for a long time, making the bread soggy. The taste of the salmon and portobello mushrooms was quite good, so it was probably not bad quality to begin with, but not great by the time it was served.
This is not at the level you expect from Singapore Airlines and we recommend that they upgrade this part as it needs to – and can – be done better. The European airlines that sell Business Class in Europe often have better food options on their flights.
However, there is nothing bad to say about the drinks! You can enjoy exactly the same as on the long-haul routes. So, among other things, champagne from Laurent-Perrier, or a signature Singapore Sling cocktail.
Business Class seat
This is by far the most luxurious Business Class seat available for travellers between the Nordics and Italy.
Enjoying Singapore Airlines’ large and wide Business Class seats from their long-haul routes on a short flight between Copenhagen and Rome is a luxury experience.
The seat is 100% lie flat and you could, if you want, get a good sleep on the trip if this is important to you.
The toilet had plenty of space and there were also the amenities that you would expect.
Singapore Airlines does not give out an amenity kit to their passengers in Business Class, but you can request anything you might need.
After a little over two hours of flying, we had arrived in Rome. It was the most comfortable flight we have had in Europe and it evoked happy memories of luxury long haul flying pre-covid.