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    I am flying to Syndney next year to pick up a cruise ship and am lucky enough to go First Class from Manchester. I want to avoid heathrow so have found the following options from manchester. Etihad (Man-AUH-SYD) although 1st leg is business, Emirates (Man-DXB-SYD) or SIN (MAN-SIN-SYD) which touches down at Munich. I have only flown SIN once at the front and that was 20 yrs ago. Can anyone advise which is best for 24+hrs in aircraft. Thanks Malcolm



    Are frequent flyer miles important to you? If you have a Star Alliance loyalty card you will get a bucket of miles on Singapore Airlines…in addition I think their business is better than BA First…



    No air miles not important on this trip although I do have a Lufthansa card. I have large number of BA miles and use them flying West but want to avoid heathrow and going East think that direct from Manchester is best and that all 3 have much better First than BA but never flown Emirates or Etihad



    Etihad on A380 Abu Dhabi to Sydney will be very good, but then Business only to AUH (which is still good). Otherwise Emirates 1st and Singapore Airlines are very good. It is a nice problem to have as 3 good airlines!



    If you are flying March onwards, perhaps think about QR? Don’t think there will be any first cabins but their business cabin is usually more than adequate… perhaps an opportunity to burn/earn avios too



    Does it depend on where you transfer flights ?

    I ask, because some readers prefer a plane change in Singapore rather than in the Gulf.

    However for comfort and speed I would suggest the automatic choice would be Emirates via Dubai and choosing A380 first class flights right through to Sydney.

    You didn’t say when you were planning to travel in 2016. But based on current schedules (valid until late March) the 1310hrs Emirates flight from Manchester will get you to Sydney at 2230hrs the following day after an overall flight duration of 22hrs and 20 mins.

    The later Emirates flight ex-Manchester at 2030hrs will get you to Sydney two days later at 0700hrs. Overall flight duration is 23hrs and 30 mins.

    Yes you are correct in saying that SIA’s MAN-SIN flight has an en route stop in Munich (this used to be a non-stop flight in previous times).

    But the airline business is constantly changing. If you were planning to travel late in 2016 (i.e. after two timetable changes) you might well find that SIA will resume non-stop flying but using an A350 (which currently are not configured with first class) compared with today’s larger B777-300ER.

    SIA’s Manchester-Singapore route is tailor-made for the A350 so expect to see this aircraft plying the route at some stage. But nobody knows when.



    In fact not actually flying till late Jan 2017 (afraid thought I was already in 2016!!!!!). Assume it is not worth booking when schedules open in 2 months time and better to wait till know if SIA have 1st on route or I fact if Etihad upgrade MAN-AUD to 1st?? If I booked SIA in first on Munich stopover and they changed to A350 would I get choice of refund or would they route me through LHR??? Think I would choose to layover on route for at least 1 day as 24hrs virtually non stop could be quite tiring or is it best to get it all over and done in one go??



    In answer to your questions:

    * Whether to stopover or not is a matter of personal taste. I myself would break up the journey but some other readers would prefer to get it over and done with.

    * There are two timetable changes before January 2017. One towards end March, the other towards end October.

    * Conventional airlines will allow passengers to book up to 12 months ahead. But schedules/plane types cannot be guaranteed so far in advance.

    * If an airline were to change an aircraft type and the class of travel was unavailable then it would provide the most convenient alternative or else offer a refund,

    * As I said above, Manchester-Singapore is tailor-made for SIA’s A350. I am sure SIA’s UK management wants to offer non-stop A350 flights but it’s a question of availability. Manchester is some way down the pecking order. SIA has already said the first European destinations to see the A350 (when it enters service in 2016) will be Amsterdam and Dusseldorf.

    Here’s the seating chart for SIA’s A350 via Business class is 1-2-1. At the present time SIA is not planning to provide first class seating for these A350 variants.



    If Etihad offered first MAN-AUH I would say it was a draw between them and Singapore Airlines, as they don’t Singapore Airlines win for me. I believe they are operating their newest 77Ws to Manchester with the slightly improved seating.

    Emirates is OK but the other two are better.



    MBJones. take a look at Cathay Pacific MAN-HKG-SYD. Not sure about First from MAN but it is definitely available from HKG-SYD



    …plus the first lounge in HKG is great as is the QF lounge in Sydney which CX uses. To me no contest



    Personally I would pick Emirates, although if you can get Singapore Airline’s A380 from SIN – SYD it would make them very tempting.

    Cathay Pacific don’t offer first class to either MAN or SYD.

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