Sri Lanka is open for business again. And if you’re after a comfortable, non-stop journey from Melbourne or Sydney to Colombo with Qantas Points, then SriLankan Airlines Airbus A330 Business Class is the place to be.

The experience is almost everything you’d expect in Business Class – from lie-flat beds to delicious food – so the 10-hour journey feels effortless.

On a work trip to discover Sri Lanka with my colleague, it’s an easy choice to include SriLankan Airlines in our return Business Class itinerary for 180,000 Qantas Points + fees and taxes, per person.

Check-in, lounge and boarding

Perhaps we’ve arrived too early. The check-in area is quiet roughly 3 hours before departure, so we’re en route to security in minutes. SriLankan Airlines uses the Marhaba Lounge in Melbourne, which we’ve reviewed before.

But as any Point Hacks reader should know, other lounge options exist. Our Business Class boarding pass also grants access to the Qantas International Business Lounge. If you have an eligible American Express card, you can visit the Centurion Lounge. With a Priority Pass membership, check out the Plaza Premium Lounge or even The House Lounge.

In my case, I use my Qantas Platinum status to enjoy a light lunch in the Qantas International First Lounge. It’s been a while since I’ve tucked into the salt and pepper squid (I’ve been eating my way through the rest of the menu). But today, it’s the perfect snack, accompanied by chips and some dessert.

Melbourne Airport’s drab gate area hardly lends to any sense of excitement. Instead, a glimpse of the SriLankan Airlines Airbus A330 through the windows sets our spirits soaring.

After some elderly guests requiring assistance board first, Business Class boarding follows. We can’t wait to see what the next 10 hours bring.

Cabin and seat

SriLankan Airlines’ Airbus A330-300 Business Class is infused with splashes of the airline’s signature peacock teal. Based on the popular Safran Cirrus model (flown by the likes of Cathay Pacific and American Airlines), these reverse-herringbone seats shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone.

Business Class runs for seven rows of a 1-2-1 layout – a total of 28 fully flat seats. With a reasonably large footwell, I have plenty of space to stretch out, both sitting up and lying down.

My one major bugbear with this seat is the limited privacy it offers. There’s no central divider in the middle seats, which would be annoying if a stranger was sitting opposite me.

The window seats are arguably a better pick. Who doesn’t love a view of the clouds?! But there’s also a greater sense of privacy if that matters to you.

I’m travelling with lots of tech on this trip, and the lack of storage space is evident. There’s only one small open shelf under the main console where I stash a few items, but the rest has to go back into my backpack until I need it.

When it’s time to nap, the seat reclines into a spacious, fully flat bed with ease. I don’t have any need to contort my legs to get comfortable, thanks to the generous footwell.

The biggest glaring omission is the lack of a mattress pad for the seat. Leather is luxurious, but nothing beats the cosy feeling of a fabric surface when sleep beckons. Wrapping the silky blanket around me helps a little, though.

Ultimately, this isn’t a flight where I’m looking to maximise my sleep. As we arrive in Colombo late in the evening, the best way to manage jet lag is to stay up as much as possible.

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SriLankan Airbus A330 Business Class Food and beverage


During boarding, the cheerful cabin crew offers a choice of juice, water, or ‘Champagne’ alongside a printed menu. Of course, a glass of bubbly is the best way for me to kick off any trip.

A crew member also comes around to ask about our preferred meal choices – although she also wants to know what I’ll have as the pre-landing snack before we’ve even left the ground.

I’m quite impressed with the quality of the meals in Business Class. Whilst not ‘fine dining’ as such, SriLankan Airlines still offers excellently executed comfort food. Each course is served separately (albeit on a tray) alongside a generous portion of garlic bread and a cheese plate.

With a choice between smoked salmon or a cauliflower salad, I opt for the lighter starter. It’s a feast of colour and textures, thanks to additions such as toasted almond flakes and cherry tomatoes.

For the main course, Sri Lankan chicken curry is an obvious choice. And let me tell you, it’s utterly delicious. Soft, aromatic parcels of chicken pair beautifully with yellow rice, beetroot curry and beans. It’s not too spicy either – I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s been modulated for western palates.

Dessert is served from a trolley, Singapore Airlines style, alongside a wide range of teas and digestifs. If you’re not calorie counting, the caramel cheesecake with chocolate shavings is quite decadent.

Midflight snacks are available, but with such a hearty dinner, I just order drinks throughout the flight. Two hours before landing, a pre-arrival supper is served. Victoria goes for the ‘chicken ham croque monsieur’ while I set my sights on the ‘grilled fish cubes’ with linguine pasta.

Instead of the aforementioned fish cubes, I enjoy a succulent slab of grilled barramundi instead – talk about an upgrade. While I devour the fish, the serving of pasta is simply too much for me to finish. I feebly try and fail, focusing my efforts on the fresh fruits and salad instead.


There’s one faux pas I can’t overlook. Despite the menu proclaiming that Joseph Perrier Champagne is being poured, we’re served Santero Egos Brut sparkling wine instead. I actually don’t mind the taste – it’s just as dry and refreshing as any other decent sparkling wine – but the menu clearly needs to be updated.

Onto the positives. I absolutely adore the dessert and beverage cart, which is loaded with a wide range of teas, Drambuie, Cointreau, and Cognac Leyrat XO Hors D’Age. Also, don’t miss the coconut water.

Whether it’s a shot of cognac or a cup of brewed tea from the silver teapots, the cabin crew artfully pours it out like it’s a ritual. A simple Ceylon black tea is one of the best I’ve ever sipped in the clouds, and the cognac packs a pleasant punch as well. A glass of Bailey’s goes down well while I work on my Jetstar Airbus A321neo review.

Full beverage list on this flight:

Sparkling Wine: Santero Egos Brut (was listed as Joseph Perrier Champagne)

Wine: Red Wine and White Wine

Aperitifs: Martini (Vermouth)

Whisky: Chivas Regal 18 Years, Johnnie Walker Black Label, Glenlivet Single Malt

Cognac: Leyrat XO Hors D’Age.

Vodka: Absolut Vodka

Gin: Gibson’s London Dry Gin

Rum: Bacardi

Arrack: Old Reserve

Sherry: Harveys Bristol Cream, Harveys Medium Dry

Liqueurs: Baileys Irish Cream, Cointreau, Kahlúa, Drambuie


Fruit Juices and Soft Drinks

SriLankan Airbus A330 Amenities and service

A simple amenity kit is offered with a dental kit, folding hair brush, plus lotion and lip balm from Munich luxury brand, Aigner. It’s more than sufficient for Business Class. Two lavatories at the front are for Business Class passengers.

The 15.4″ entertainment screen is starting to show its age a bit. The interface isn’t as efficient as newer UIs, and the touchscreen sometimes needs some extra encouragement. But it still offers an acceptable range of movies and TV episodes (not complete seasons), both Western and international.

Basic over-ear headphones are provided, though I use my own Bose earbuds as usual.

Inflight Wi-Fi is available on the Airbus A330-300s and the A320/A321neo fleet. However, the webpage displayed ‘service unavailable’ for the entire flight so I wasn’t able to test it out.

As expected, the SriLankan cabin crew’s service is warm and efficient – a welcome introduction to the hospitality that awaits us in Sri Lanka.

How to book this SriLankan Airbus A330 flight with points

There aren’t any particular sweet spots for this route, but British Airways Executive Club does charge the least number of points if you’re transferring your points from American Express.

  • Qantas Points: 90,000 pts + A$244, per person
  • AAdvantage miles: 80,000 miles + US$73.9 (~A$114), per person
  • Cathay Asia Miles: 89,000 Asia Miles + HKD1,245 (A$244), per person
  • Executive Club: 77,250 Avios + A$244, per person

Victoria and I included this flight as part of our return Oneworld Classic Flight Reward in Business Class. The routing started with this non-stop Melbourne-Colombo flight, after which we spent a week documenting Sri Lanka.

Next, we flew Colombo-Singapore with SriLankan Airlines, Singapore-Sydney with British Airways and Sydney-Melbourne with Qantas – all in Business Class for 180,000 Qantas Points + A$796, per person.

The itinerary we each booked with SriLankan Airlines as the main carrier.

Our verdict

SriLankan Airlines is a worthwhile choice if you’re looking for a comfortable, non-stop option to Colombo with your Qantas Points. Whilst there are small areas for improvement, the overall experience is still very pleasant.

I especially appreciate the warm hospitality and bountiful supply of food onboard. With an industry-standard fully lie-flat seat on SriLankan’s Airbus A330-300s, the 10 hour journey is both restful and productive for me.

The biggest change that would enhance the experience is new bedding – particularly a mattress pad for the leather seats. And if the elusive Champagne could make its way back onboard, that’d be fab, too.

Twinkling stars in the cabin sky.

Also read: SriLankan Airlines Airbus A330-300 Business Class, Colombo – Melbourne

Photography by Brandon Loo, who travelled at Point Hacks’ expense. Feature image from the Colombo-Singapore flight.

SriLankan Airlines Airbus A330-300 Business Class (Melbourne – Colombo) was last modified: April 23rd, 2024 by Brandon Loo