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The Best-Value Asian Airlines To Fly Business To Europe From Australia

Ballin’ on a budget.

Yes: business class is a luxury. Superfluous. Comfortable. First-world indulgence. The only way to travel. Call it what you will; tapping into the lower end of the business class market provides value for money. For veterans and newbies alike—this article is a must read, as these 5 airlines will introduce you to a world of luxury you didn’t know you could afford.

Malaysia Airlines

Seat

On its most recent layout, Malaysia Airlines’ business class seats alternate between a 1-2-1 and 1-2-2 configuration, giving almost everyone direct access to the aisle. More importantly, unlike the older Malaysia Airlines’ Airbus business class seats, each extends into a 52.3cm wide, 193cm long fully-flat, not ‘angled-flat’ (as it used to be) bed.

The seats have controls on the side panel for lumbar support, leg-rest adjustment, mood lighting and an in-chair massage: another welcome new introduction. The only disappointment for seasoned business travellers is, unlike many other Airlines’ business experiences, at Malaysia Airlines you don’t get offered pyjamas.

Food & Drink

The flight begins with a selection of juices pre-take-off, progressing to a full bar after wheels-up, including a strong Aussie wine menu of Sauvignon Blanc Semillon, Chardonnay, Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon. Breakfast is fresh fruit, yoghurt, and a bread basket including warmed croissants with jam.

Lunch and Dinner is a choice between dishes like marinated chicken breast, seafood red curry and calamarata—but if you plan ahead, the Chef On Call service lets you pre-select from an additional 17 dishes. Dessert is a whole other kettle of candy; the choice between ice cream or a decadent dark-chocolate cake with cherry compote, strawberry and vanilla sauce.

Lounge

In Sydney, Malaysia Airline business customers have the choice of using either the Qantas or Emirates lounge. In Kuala Lumpur you will find Malaysia Airlines’ flagship Satellite Golden Lounge, which features an array of food (buffet and made to order), a sports bar, dining tables, couches, power-points, a workspace, wi-fi, kids entertainment options and newspapers.

Aircraft

From Sydney (or Melbourne) to Kuala Lumpur you’ll be on an Airbus A330-300, and from KL to London Heathrow you’ll be on a A380-800—a larger, (allegedly) quieter aircraft (although it takes slightly longer to board than the smaller A30-300).

Safety Rating:

6/7

Price

$6,000 for a return Sydney-London flight (depending on day, availability, time of year etc.).

Alliance

Oneworld

China Airlines

Seat

China Airlines’ business class has really improved in recent years. Just like Malaysia Airlines, the main way they have upped their game is by replacing ‘sloping sleepers’ with fully-flat beds. When flying over mainland China you won’t be able to use mobile phones, even in airplane mode, due to a security policy. Seat configuration will depend on which aircraft you fly on (see Aircraft section).

Food & Drink

With a quality French wine list and comprehensive inflight dining menus, you will be treated to an eclectic mix of both Chinese foods and distinctive culinary specialties from around the world. Also: the menu is changed on a regular basis to meet the expectations of those who travel frequently.

Lounge

China Airlines’ Taipei lounge’s interior entrance features large stones and dimmed lighting, whilst the artwork and artifacts of Taiwan’s history on display demonstrate the designers desire to integrate elements of Taiwanese culture into the lounge. In terms of food, there are both oriental and western options including pastries, desserts, a full, self-serve liquor bar. Facilities include shower rooms, a sleeping room, a nursing room, a locker area and reading materials.

Aircraft

Airbus A350 (1-2-1 configuration), Airbus A330-200 (2-2-2 configuration) or Boeing 777-300/300ER’s (1-2-1 configuration).

Safety rating

7/7

Price

$4,800

Alliance

Skyteam

 

China Eastern

Seat

190cm long and 60cm wide, China Eastern’s Boeing 777-300ER’s seats can accommodate the longest legs and fattest beer-guts. The electrically-powered seat folds down to make a hugely comfortable lie-flat bed. Storage in the overhead bins is ample and you get both pyjamas and slippers, plus Clarins amenities with a dental kit, eye mask, ear plugs, moisturiser and lip balm. Not bad at all. Oh and the 41cm video touch-screen comes with ~quality~ headphones and there’s a USB port as well as an in-seat power point, plus a reading light.

Food & Drink

The business class menu contains a selection of premium red and white wines, while meals are created by an international panel of chefs. The airline aims to offer gourmet cuisine from around the world.

Lounge

China Eastern passengers have access to the Qantas lounge in Sydney, and ‘Skyteam’ lounges in PVG and SHA, which boast a wide array of amenities, including an open buffet, complimentary Wi-Fi, and shower facilities.

Aircraft

Boeing 777-300/300ER (1-2-1 configuration), Airbus A330 (2-2-2 configuration).

Safety Rating

7/7

Alliance

Skyteam

Price

$6,800

Bonus

China Eastern Airlines offers a limousine service to business class passengers at Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Shanghai and Beijing (limited to MU728/MU712 direct service).

Garuda Indonesia

Seat

The new Garuda Indonesia Boeing 777-300ER has 26 staggered, spacious and ergonomic seats, providing each guest with direct aisle access. The seats are at a 43″ pitch & 21.2″ wide, reclining into a flat bed, making your trip that bit more comfortable. Extra features include an ottoman, personal storage, USB & power outlet and a 15″ touchscreen LCD with an innovative eX2 Panasonic inflight entertainment system.

Food & Drink

Indulge in world’s favourite menus, served by the energetic cabin crew.
If you fancy a snack there’s also the lighter menu, all prepared by qualified chefs from 5 star establishments.

Lounge

Garuda business passengers have access to the Skyteam lounge, by all means a decent place to rest and relax, but if the reviews are anything to go by: it’s definitely not the best business class lounge in Asia. Common complaints seem to be lack of air-con and underwhelming cuisine.

Aircraft

From Sydney to Denpasar airport you will take the Airbus A30-300, from Denpasar to Jakarta the Boeing 777-300, from there to London the Boeing 777-200/300.

Safety Rating

6/7

Price

$5,500

Alliance

Skyteam

 

Vietnam Airlines

Seat

Sit back or lay flat to relax in Vietnam Airlines’ seats, to make the most of the 42” seat pitch and 180 degrees flat-bed. You will also have a private entertainment 15.4’ screen, personal reading light, noise-cancelling head-phones, extra large windows with light balance control and an overhead bin for added comfort and practical convenience.

Food & Drink

Vietnam airlines offer a finely crafted menu of food from all around the world. Or—enjoy the taste of Vietnam—with mouth-watering local dishes. Fresh ingredients,
bold and fragrant flavors: what more can you ask for.

Lounge

Vietnam airlines’ Lotus Lounge is a luxurious and elegant space where you can find restaurant quality meals and beverages, amenities for business and entertainment, internet connected computers, power outlets, high-speed wi-fi, wide-screen televisions, various Vietnamese and international publications, a smoking area, a baggage/pets area and a bathroom with high-end sanitary equipment, cosmetics and perfume oil.

Aircraft

Boeing 787 Dreamliner

Safety Rating

6/7

Price

$5,000

Alliance

Skyteam

RELATED: We’ve Ranked The Best Business Class Experiences For Your Next Trans-Pacific Flight

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