A popular strategy amongst AFF members to get to Europe in business class cheaply is to book separate tickets from Australia-Asia and Asia-Europe. A number of low-cost airlines can be used to get from Australia to Asia for minimal cost. From there, a business class ticket to Europe can be picked up from numerous points in Asia for between $2,000 and $3,000 return. Overall, this strategy saves several thousand dollars on the typical cost of a business class ticket from Australia to Europe.
The trick is to know which airlines offer discounted business class, and which cities the fares are available from. Until recently, Sri Lankan Airlines offered return flights from Singapore to Europe in business class for around $2,000. Plus, as a member of oneworld, a haul of Qantas points and status credits could be earned for this trip. Unfortunately this no longer seems to be available at these prices – though there still seems to be some good deals for travel originating in Thailand.
Qatar Airways, also a member of the oneworld alliance, is too known to offer good deals on business class tickets from Asia to Europe. In particular, Bangkok is a popular starting point for good fares. Qatar is also known to provide a very good business class product. So, while a stop in Doha would be necessary in each direction, this is potentially a very good option.
Vietnam Airlines is another popular choice. The airline often has good deals available from Australia, but the deals are often even better for travel between Vietnam and Europe. For example, a return business class fare from Asia to Europe often goes for around $2,100. Plus, if heading to Paris, travellers can even opt to fly on Air France “metal” for the same price. Reviews of Vietnam Airlines are mixed, but largely positive according to reviews on THIS THREAD.
The major issue for VN is the seating – they’re not even angled lie flats, but rather angled-angled seats (the sleeping surface is not flat). But all that will change for Europe flights with the introduction of the 787 and A350 – both of which will be full flat.
I sent some friends on VN and they said it was just fine. The food was ok, the service good. The trip reports for long haul VN business class actually look good food wise – combine that with full flat beds and it’ll be a good product.
Royal Jordanian and Cathay Pacific are also known to offer some very good prices on various different routes.
Finally, for those who would prefer to minimise connections and travel on one ticket, Finnair often has good deals to Europe for travel originating in Australia. On a single Finnair business class ticket, it can be possible to travel with Qantas to Singapore or Hong Kong, then onwards to Helsinki and a final destination in Europe with Finnair for under $5,000. Plus, it is even possible to add a stopover in Helsinki for free.
Follow the full discussion on cheap business class fares HERE.