Etihad Airways has launched some incredible Business Class fare deals between Singapore and Europe, with prices so low I’d swear they were errors if not for the fact they’re listed in black and white.
For perspective, these fares are even lower than what Turkish Airlines was offering in July, which was already a pretty great deal.
The catch is that based on current border restrictions, you’ll need to serve a 14-day SHN on return to Singapore. It’s a fluid situation, obviously, and subject to change in the future.
Etihad Business Class fare deals
The following Business Class fares can now be booked till 19 September 2021, with outbound travel by 15 March 2022.
|Destination||Round-trip Business Class|
I don’t need to tell you these are sensational deals, close to what you might see for Economy Class in the pre-COVID days. You can save maybe S$30-50 more by booking through a third-party OTA, but there’s no reason to get greedy. If push comes to shove, it’s easier to deal with Etihad than an OTA.
These fares book into the ‘Z’ bucket, which earns 115% mileage accrual with Etihad Guest. You could also credit them to programs like ANA Mileage Club or Asiana Club, but these are unlikely to be of interest to Singapore-based readers.
As part of its global flexibility policy, Etihad is allowing the following:
- Cancel the ticket and receive a full travel credit valid for 2 years
- Free change of dates and destinations before 31 May 2022 (fare differences apply)
You will be entitled to a refund in cash in the following scenarios:
- Any Etihad Airways flight on your ticket has been cancelled and you purchased your ticket directly with Etihad Airways or a travel agency in Australia, Canada or the USA, or your ticket originates in the European Union (including Switzerland and the UK).
- Your ticket has an original travel date on or after 1 October 2020 and a flight on your booking has been cancelled.
- You have received a positive COVID-19 PCR test result (you must present your test result in line with country regulations). You can request a refund between 96 and 24 hours before your flight departure time.
- Travel is restricted by government regulations and you are unable to travel. You can request a refund a maximum of 14 days before your flight departure
The catch: 14-day SHN in a hotel
While these fares are great, there’s one important caveat to highlight. Since Etihad flights transit in Abu Dhabi, travellers will be liable to serve a 14-day SHN in a dedicated facility (i.e. hotel) upon return to Singapore.
As a reminder, Singapore has adopted a four-category border restriction system, with different SHN durations and testing regimes for each.
|🛂Singapore Border Restriction by Category|
|Cat. I||Cat. II||Cat. III||Cat. IV||VTL|
|Application required||ATP||Details on ICA website||VTP|
|Pre-departure PCR test||✖||✔|
|On-arrival PCR test||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|ART during SHN||N/A||✖||✔|
Day 3, 7, 11
Day 3, 7, 11
|Post-SHN PCR test||N/A||✔|
|No SHN. PCR test on Day 3, 7|
|Cat I: Hong Kong, Macau, Mainland China, Taiwan|
Cat II: Australia, Brunei, Canada, Germany, New Zealand, South Korea
Cat III: Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Denmark, Egypt, Finland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Saudi Arabia, Sweden, Switzerland
Cat IV: All other countries/regions
VTL: Germany, Brunei
The relevant restrictions depend on your 21-day travel history, with the rules of strictest country applying. For example: if I were to fly with Etihad from Singapore to Munich via Abu Dhabi, I’d fall under Cat. IV rules, notwithstanding the fact that Germany is a Cat. II country. It doesn’t matter that I didn’t legally enter Abu Dhabi during transit.
Of course, border restriction categories are not static. There’s always a possibility that the UAE gets upgraded in the future, though I’d wager most people wouldn’t consider anything other than a Cat. I/II worth their time. The key question is: do you believe that the UAE will get upgraded by the time March 2022 rolls around?
So there’s a certainly a gamble involved here. I suppose you could always convert your ticket into Etihad travel credits if things aren’t looking rosy early next year, and buy yourself an extra two years to plan something.
Etihad’s Business Class fares are mighty tempting, although I don’t think you should expect Singapore to ease border restrictions with the UAE anytime in 2021. The fact that it’s such a big transit hub for flights from all over the world gives it a particularly unique risk profile.