How To Get To Asia With Points From Australia

by Zac George

In this post, I’ll be talking about how you can get from Australia to Asia using points in Business Class. This is a continuance from the posts listed below: In the post, I’ll only be listing the carriers that are easiest to redeem points for. There are a lot of Asian based carriers that fly to Australia but some are very hard to redeem points for.

Cathay Pacific

Cathay Pacific is the flag carrier of Hong Kong and they are often referred to as one of the easier airlines to redeem your points on.

Departure Ports:

  • Adelaide  CX174/CX175. All services are operated by an A330-300 aircraft).
  • Brisbane CX156/CX157, CX146/CX147), these services are operated by both the A350-900 and A330-300.
  • Cairns CX146/147 & CX156/CX157), these services are operated by an A330-300 aircraft but the airline will be discontinuing the route from October 28th 2019.
  • Melbourne CX134/135, CX104/CX105, CX178/CX179). All of these services are operated by either the 777-300ER and A350-900 but from October 27th, Melbourne will receive the -1000 variant of the aircraft.
  • Perth CX142/CX143 & CX170/CX171). These services are operated by the A330-300 and A350-900. From October 28th 2019, the carrier will put the -1000 variant of the A350 on the route.
  • Sydney CX110/111, CX162/CX163, CX100/CX101, CX138/CX139). These services are operated by the A330-300, 777-300ER & A350-900 aircraft.

Which are the best points to use:

Alaska Airlines Mileage Plane

  • Business Class – 30,000 points one-way in Business Class
  • Premium Economy – 25,000 points one-way in Premium Economy
  • Economy – 22,500 points one-way

Asia Miles

  • Business Class – 45,000 points one-way in Business Class
  • Premium Economy – 30,000 points one-way in Premium Economy
  • Economy – 22,000 points one-way in Economy

American Airlines AAdvantage

  • Business Class – 40,000 points one-way in Business Class
  • Premium Economy –
  • Economy – 30,000 points points one-way in Economy

Qantas Frequent Flyer

  • Business Class – 75,000 points one-way (Cairns is 61,200 points-way).
  • Premium Economy – 39,500 points one-way (Cairns is 48,500 points one-way).
  • Economy – 30,200 points one-way (Cairns is 24,500 points one-way).

Aircraft and Seating

Pictured below is the Business Cabin on the A350-900 aircraft. The aircraft features a total of 38 seats in 1-2-1 herringbone configuration with a pitch of 45” and a width of 20.” It also includes 28 Premium seats fitted in a 2-4-2 configuration having a pitch of 40” and a width of 20” while the Economy cabin features 214 seats with a pitch of 32” and a width of 18 inches.

The -1000 variant of the Airbus A350 features 46 Business suites, 32 Premium Economy seats and 256 Economy seats which are in a 3-3-3 configuration.

Cathay Pacific A350 Business Class

 

Cathay Pacific A350

Cathay Business Class availability is pretty fantastic, especially last minute. Most space to and from Australia is released about a month out to 48 hours beforehand. Here’s a review of the product but on the 777. The best way to find Cathay Business Class awards is through British Airways.

Qantas

Departure Ports:

Queensland

  • Brisbane –  Singapore QF51/52 (A330-300 & A330-200)
  • Brisbane – Hong Kong QF97/98 (A330-300 & 787-9)
  • Brisbane – Tokyo Narita  QF61/QF62 (A330-300)

New South Wales

  • Sydney – Denpasar QF43/QF44 (A330-300 & A330-200)
  • Sydney – Singapore QF1/QF2 & QF81/QF82 (A380, A330-300 & A330-200)
  • Sydney – Hong Kong QF117/QF118 & QF127/QF128 (A330-300, A330-200, 787-9)
  • Sydney – Manila QF19/20 (A330-300 & A330-200)
  • Sydney – Osaka QF33/Q34 (A330-300)
  • Sydney – Shanghai QF129/130 (A330-300 & A330-200)
  • Sydney – Beijing QF107/108 (A330-300 & A330-200)
  • Sydney – Bangkok QF24/24(A330-300 & A330-200)
  • Sydney – Jakarta QF41/42 (A330-300 & A330-200)
  • Sydney – Tokyo (Haneda) QF25/26 (747-400)

Victoria

  • Melbourne –  Singapore QF35/36 & QF37/38 (A380, A330-300 & A330-200)
  • Melbourne – Hong Kong QF29/30 (A330-300)
  • Melbourne – Tokyo (Narita) QF79/80 (A330-300)
  • Melbourne – Denpasar QF45/46 (737-800)

Western Australia

  • Perth – Singapore QF71/72 (A330-300 & A330-200)

Which are the best points to use:

American Airlines AAdvantage

  • First Class – 50,000 points one-way in Economy
  • Business Class – 40,000 points one-way in Economy
  • Premium Economy –
  • Economy – 30,000 points one-way in Economy

Cathay Pacific Asia Miles

  • First Class – 70,000 points one-way in Economy
  • Business Class –  45,000 points one-way in Economy (PER-SIN is 35,000 points)
  • Premium Economy –
  • Economy Class – 30,000 points one one in Economy (PER-SIN is 17,500 points)

Qantas Frequent Flyer

  • First Class – 90,000 points one-way in First Class
  • Business Class – 60,000 points one-way in Business Class (PER-SIN is 50,000 points)
  • Premium Economy – 45,000 points one-way in Premium Economy
  • Economy Class – 25,200 points one-way in Economy (PER-SIN is 20,300 points)

Aircraft and Seating

The Qantas A380 has a total of 484 seats with 14 First Class suites, 64 Business Class seats, 35 Premium Economy seats and a total of 371 Economy Seats.

The First cabin is in a 1-1-1 configuration with every seat featuring a pitch of 79” and a width of 22.” The Business cabin is fitted out in a 2-2-2 configuration and feature a pitch of 78”and width of 21.5.” The Premium Economy cabin is laid out in a 2-3-2 configuration and every seat has a pitch of 38-42” and a width of 19.5.” The Economy cabin of the A380 is configured in a 3-4-3 layout and the seats have a total pitch of 31” and a width of 17.5.”

Qantas A380 First Class (Image – Qantas)

The 747 is only used on the Sydney – Haneda leg and it only features 3 cabins, Business, Premium and Economy and totals 364 seats. The Business cabin is laid out in a 2-3-2 configuration except for the nose area and top deck where the cabin is 2-2. These seats feature a pitch of 60” and a width of 21.5.” The Premium Economy cabin is fitted out in a 2-4-2 layout, these seats feature a pitch of 38” and a width of 19.” The Economy cabin is the exact same specs as the A380 above.

Qantas 787 Business Class

The 787 Dreamliner is Qantas’ baby and it offers the best Business product out of all the other QF aircraft. The 787 features a Business, Premium Economy and Economy cabin totalling 236 seats. The Business cabin is configured in a 1-2-1 layout with each seat having a pitch of 46/80” and a width of 24.” The Premium Economy cabin is laid out in a 2-3-2 configuration and those seats feature a pitch of 38” and a width of 20.5.” The Economy cabin is in a 3-3-3 configuration and the seats have a pitch of 32” and a width of 17.2.”

Qantas 787 Dreamliner Premium Economy

Qantas’ A330-300 and -200 aircraft are very similar product with only a few differences being the fabric covering on the Business suites and the overall amount of seats on the actual aircrafts. The -300 features a total of 297 seats split into a Business & Economy cabin. The Business cabin consists of 28 seats in a 1-2-1 configuration. These suites have a pitch of 73” and a width of 23.”  The Economy cabin if laid out in a 2-4-2 configuration with the seats having a pitch of 31” and a width of 17.”

The A330-200 features a total of 28 suites in the same configuration but these ones feature a pitch of 78” and a width of 21.5.” The Economy cabin is also laid out the same way but these seats have a pitch of 31” and a width of 17.5.”

Qantas’ 737’s feature a total of 174 seats in a 2 cabin layout. Each Business Class seat has a pitch of gold 37” and a width of 22” while the Economy seats feature a pitch of 30” and a width of 17.2”

Qantas 737 Business Class (Image – Qantas)

Emirates

Emirates offer 2 fifth-freedom flights connecting Australia and Asia and are operated by the 777-300ER. Emirates have pretty fantastic availability on the routes and usually the later out you book the more seats will be available but for First Class, space can often open last minute so that’s something to keep in mind.

Departure Ports:

  • Melbourne – Singapore EK405/404 (777-300ER)
  • Brisbane – Singapore EK433/432. (777-300ER)

What are the best points to use?

Emirates Skyways

  • Economy – 22,500 points one-way in Economy
  • Business – 45,000 points one-way in Business Class
  • First – 67,500 points one-way in First Class

Qantas Frequent Flyer

  • Economy – 25,200 points one-way in Economy
  • Business – 60,000 points one-way in Business Class
  • First – 90,000 points one-way in First Class

Japan Airlines

  • Economy – 30,000 points one-way in Economy Class
  • Business – 62,500 points one-way in Business Class
  • First – 92,500 points one-way in First Class

The 777-300ER features a total of 360 seats split into 3 cabins, First, Business and Economy Class. The First cabin contains 8 seats, 42 Business Class seats and 310 Economy seats.

Emirates A380 First Class

The First Class suites feature a pitch of 69” and a width of 20.5”, the Business seats have a pitch of 60” and width of 20.5 and finally the Economy seats which have a pitch of 32” and a width of 17-inches.

Emirates A380 Business Class

To find Emirates award space, I would recommend the Qantas website as the best way to find seats.

Virgin Australia

Virgin Australia will enter the Asian market for the first time in July. The airline will use the A330 from Melbourne and it features their award-winning Business Class product. The airline will operate services every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday. What points should you use for this service?

  • Sydney – Hong Kong VA83/82 (A330-200)
  • Melbourne – Hong Kong VA69/VA68 (A330-200)

Virgin Australia Velocity

  • Economy – 27,800 points one-way in Economy
  • Business Class – 59,500 points one-way in Business Class

Singapore Airlines Krisflyer

  • Economy – 26,000 points one-way in Economy
  • Business Class – 54,000 points one-way in Business Class

Virgin Australia’s A330’s feature a total of 275 seats split into 2 cabins, Business and Economy. The Business cabin has a total of 255 seats while the Economy cabin has a total of 20 suites.

Virgin Australia A330 Business ClassThe A330 Business Class suites feature a pitch of 60” and a width of 19.5” while the Economy seats have a pitch of 31” and a width of 17.4-inches.

Virgin Australia Business Class

Singapore Airlines

Singapore Airlines has a large presence in Australia with services to Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Canberra and Perth. They also have a fantastic frequent flyer program and redeeming Krisflyer miles is easy thanks to great availability. Brisbane get the A330 and 777-200ER, Sydney get the A380 and the 77W, Melbourne get the A350 and 77W, Canberra get the 777-200ER and Adelaide get the A330. So what are the best points to use for Singapore Airlines Business Class?

Departure Ports:

  • Adelaide SQ278/SQ279 (A350-900)
  • Brisbane SQ236/SQ237, SQ246/SQ247, SQ256/SQ257, SQ266/SQ267 (A350-900)
  • Canberra SQ288/SQ289 (777-300ER)
  • Perth SQ214/215, SQ216/SQ217, SQ224/SQ225, SQ226,227 (A350-900, 787-10, A330-300)
  • Melbourne SQ208/209, SQ218/SQ219, SQ228/SQ229, SQ238/SQ239, SQ248/SQ249
  • Sydney SQ212/SQ213, SQ222/SQ223, SQ232/SQ233, SQ242/SQ243

Singapore Airlines Krisflyer

  • Economy Class – 28,000 points one-way in Economy Class (20,000 points one-way from Perth)
  • Premium Economy – 47,000 points one-way in Premium Economy
  • Business Class – 62,000 points one-way in Business Class (36,500 points one-way from Perth)
  • First Class – 85,000 points one-way in First Class

Virgin Australia Velocity

  • Economy Class – 35,000 points one-way in Economy Class (28,000 points one-way from Perth)
  • Premium Economy – 52,500 points one-way in Premium Economy
  • Business Class – 65,000 points one-way in Business Class (53,000 points one-way from Perth)
  • First Class – 95,000 points one-way in First Class

Singapore Airlines A350 Business Class

Singapore Airlines is another carrier that doesn’t release space at a certain time but does release a lot of seats. The best way to find Singapore Airlines space is through the Krisflyer website. Here’s a review of their A350 product.

Thai Airways

Departure Ports:

  • Brisbane TG474/TG475 (777-200ER)
  • Sydney TG476/477 (747-400)
  • Melbourne TG462/TG463, TG466/TG67 (A350-900)
  • Perth TG482/TG483, TG484/TG485 (A330-300)

Avianca Lifemiles

  • Economy – 22,500 points one-way in Economy
  • Business – 40,000 points one-way in Business Class
  • First Class – 60,000 points one-way in First Class

United MileagePlus

  • Economy – 25,000 points one-way in Economy
  • Business – 50,000 points one-way in Business Class
  • First Class – 65,000 points one-way in First Class

Singapore Airlines Krisflyer

  • Economy – 32,500 points one-way in Economy Class
  • Business – 74,000 points one-way in Business Class
  • First Class – 98,000 points one-way in First Class

Thai Airways 777 Business Class (Image – Thai Airways)

Thai Airways also doesn’t release space at a certain space but does release a lot of seats. The best way to find Thai Airways Business Class seats is through Lifemiles or United.

Japan Airlines

I just flew Japan Airlines for the first time a few weeks ago and loved the experience. The carrier is also quite easy to redeem for. The airline only flies to Sydney with a 787-9. So what are the best points to use for travel to Japan on Japan Airlines?

Departure Ports:

  • Sydney JL772/773 (787-9)
  • Melbourne JL774/JL775 (787-8)

What are the best points to use?

American Airlines AAdvantage

  • Business Class – 40,000 points one-way in Business Class
  • Economy – 30,000 points one-way in Economy

Qantas Frequent Flyer

  • Business Class – 75,000 points one-way
  • Premium Economy – 39,500 points one-way
  • Economy – 30,200 points one-way

Cathay Pacific Marco Polo

  • Business Class – 45,000 points one-way in Business Class
  • Economy Class – 30,000 points one one in Economy

Japan Airlines Mileage Bank

  • Business Class
  • Premium Economy
  • Economy Class

Japan Airlines 787 Business Class

Malaysia Airlines

The last one on the list is Malaysian Airlines. The airline operates services from Sydney, Adelaide, Darwin, Melbourne and Perth. Sydney, Adelaide, Melbourne and Perth receive the carriers A330 while Darwin get the 737. I haven’t yet tried Malaysia Airlines but would like to some time and test out the A330 Business suites. What points should you use for Malaysia Airlines Business Class?

Departure Ports:

  • Adelaide MH136/MH137, MH138/MH139 (A330-300)
  • Brisbane MH134/MH135 (A330-300)
  • Sydney MH122/MH123 & MH140/MH141 (A330-300 & A330-200)
  • Melbourne MH128/MH129, MH146/MH147, MH148/MH149 (A330-300)
  • Perth MH124/MH125, MH126/MH127 (737-800

What are the best points to use?

American Airlines AAdvantage

  • Business Class – 40,000 points one-way in Business Class
  • Economy – 30,000 points one-way in Economy

Qantas Frequent Flyer

  • Business Class – 75,000 points one-way (53,000 points one-way from Perth)
  • Economy – 30,200 points one-way (24,500 points one-way from Perth)

Cathay Pacific Marco Polo

  • Business Class –  45,000 points one-way in Business Class (35,000 points one-way in Business Class from Perth)
  • Economy Class – 30,000 points one one in Economy (17,500 points one-way in Economy Class from Perth)

Malaysia Airlines A330 Business Class (Image – Malaysia Airlines)

Malaysia Airlines availability seems to be pretty consistent and quite good a few weeks out from departure. If you want to find these award seats I would use the British Airways Executive Club search tool.

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14 comments

Rupert April 17, 2017 - 9:54 am

Hi Zac,
Does the 30k Alaskan miles flying CX get you from AUS-Asia or just HKG?

Reply
Zac George April 17, 2017 - 10:35 am

Hi Rupert, yes 30’000 Alaska miles will just get you to Hong Kong. Thank you for reading 🙂

Reply
Zac George April 17, 2017 - 10:33 am

1st of all, I don’t read that blog so I wouldn’t know what they post. 2nd I couldn’t care less if theirs are more effective with comparisons. 3rd, I’m an Australian blog put on the network to mainly focus on Oceana and Aisa, 4th All of the information that is in this post isn’t yours, it’s available to anyone anywhere. 5th, if you don’t like it don’t read it, so simple!

Reply
James April 17, 2017 - 12:08 pm

Wow, Zac, that’s a pretty immature chuck-a-tantrum response to a reader comment!

Reply
Zac George April 17, 2017 - 12:29 pm

Chucking a tantrum? If that’s what you call justifying my writing then sure.

Reply
James April 17, 2017 - 12:35 pm

” I don’t read that blog, I couldn’t care less what they write, this info isn’t yours it’s available to anyone anywhere and if you don’t like it don’t read it” – yes, that would classify as a bit of a tanty rant.

Reply
Alex August 11, 2017 - 6:41 pm

Well said Zac. Call a knob a KNOB when they are. The PC knobs need a good days work to wake them up.

Reply
Fresh April 17, 2017 - 5:29 pm

Could you add in a description of Malaysian airlines and how to find avaloability, as they tend to have a lot and have an extensive regional network

Reply
Fresh April 17, 2017 - 5:30 pm

Ps, keep up the posts, your a good addition to BA

Reply
Zac George April 17, 2017 - 10:24 pm

Fresh – Thank you so much, I really appreciate it. Post has also been updated with Malaysia Airlines, thank you for reading 🙂

Reply
DC April 17, 2017 - 10:18 pm

Don’t bite at the trolls mate, they’ll just come back for more. Keep up your writing, PFTP is unique and you shouldn’t ever feel the need to justify your approach. I’ve been really enjoying the blog!!

Reply
Zac George April 17, 2017 - 10:25 pm

DC – Thank you very much for your kind words. If you ever want any guide or something to be posted, please let me know as I’d be more than happy to. Thank you for reading 🙂

Reply
Dan April 18, 2017 - 11:32 am

You forgot that you can redeem asiamiles on JAL. 😊

Reply
deelee January 26, 2018 - 8:13 pm

TO: BARNYN GUMBLE & JAMES – what’s your problem in a person that has written a perfect blog. If you two are so good, maybe you should write one. Zac George, keep up your hard work, most people will appreciate it!

Reply

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