Today has been an absolutely massive for the the home carrier of Singapore, Singapore Airlines. The airline officially showcased their new A380 First Class, Business Class, Premium Economy and Economy Class at an invite only event held in Singapore. Singapore Airlines were the launch carrier for the A380 and this is the first cabin update the aircraft will receive. The new products will first be onboard the A380 with the registration of 9V-SKU and all new deliveries will be outfitted with the new cabins. The carrier also expects to refit the rest of the superjumbo fleet. The airline hasn’t stated when this will take place but all we know is that it will happen.
Singapore Airlines Suites
The new suites have to be one of the most anticipated cabin launches of this year. Singapore first introduced their suites in 2007 and the current cabin consists of 12 closed suites in a 1-2-1 configuration. The 2 middle suites can be made into a double bed and that’s something that made the cabin very popular.
Here’s a photo of the current suites made into a double bed.
The airline has done a very, very good job on creating a brand new and different product to what they currently have. Many are saying it’s got parts similar to the Etihad Apartment but there’s also traits that are completely different.
The new configuration will be only 6 suites and will be single aisle, this is the least suites we’ve seen on an A380 so far. This means passengers have a lot more space and it’s a very exclusive area. There’s 2 lavatories for Suites passengers and they’re located at the front of the cabin. No, they won’t be the biggest bathrooms in the sky as Singapore has mentioned many times that onboard showers are more of a novelty and wouldn’t get utilised.
Let’s talk a little bit about the features in the Suites:
The chair – Each suite has a swivelling chair and that’s conveniently placed next to a work/desk area. The chair is fully electronic, has a swivelling capability between 170 and 270 degrees and is upholstered in Poltrona Frau leather which is the same as Etihad’s First seats.
The bed – Each suite comes with a fold out bed and if you’re travelling as a couple, you’re in luck. 4 out of the 6 suites can join to become a double bed.
As well as these top things, the suite includes a 32-inch IFE monitor which is motorised so you can easily control your viewing angle, a full size wardrobe and space to store your bags and other objects etc.
Singapore Airlines Business Class
The new Business Class onboard SQ’s A380’s has also been massively upgraded. The A380 will now house 78 Business Class all in a 1-2-1 configuration opposed to the 86 the current A380’s hold. The top deck of the A380 will be just Suites and Business Class.
You’ll first notice that the seats look quite a lot narrower than the current ones and I’m kind of pleased with that. What I’m still a little sceptical about is the footrest. Singapore’s Business products have very shallow footwells and these seats seem to have them as well, but I can’t make an assumption on that until I’ve flown or at least sat in the seat.
Each Business Class seat is 25 inches wide and be be made into a fully-flat bed which measures to 78 inches. Another great improvement is that there is now no need to get a crew member to flip the seat up and make it into a bed, It looks like you’ll be able to adjust it yourself electronically.
The new seats come fitted with an 18-inch IFE screen, In-seat power, USB power, NFC capability for duty free, large movable tray table, mood lighting and a large side space. These seats are also in Poltrona Frou leather.
But the coolest part of the new product has to be that the middle seats can be made into a double bed. All you’ll have to do is pull down the divider and your two seats can be made into a bed. This is amazing for couples travelling together but I’m just not sure about the privacy, there seems to be a lot exposed if you’ve got the double bed.
Singapore Airlines also introduced a revamped Premium Economy and Economy product but I thought I’d touch more on the bigger developments being the Suites and new Business Class.
Singapore will first bring the new products to Sydney from December 18th of this year. It will travel exclusively on the SQ221/SQ232 service. If you’re planning to redeem points for the product, you’ll be needing a fairly large amount of points. The carrier has blocked all saver awards and only making some standard awards available but they are priced fairly highly.
The airline hasn’t said much about how the refitting of older A380’s will work or given a time line but I’d expect that to happen more into next year. The carrier also hasn’t mentioned which route the products will next be on but reliable sources are predicting that it will be London sometime next year.
Ultimately I’m very impressed with what Singapore Airlines have produced, especially with the new suites. I’m still 50/50 with the Business but I’ll have to see it with my own eyes to make a final decision.