Faced with stiff competition from Middle East airlines, Singapore Airlines (SIA) unveiled its new bedroom cabin suites today to attract upscale customers for its revamped Airbus 380s. Changes have also been introduced in the business class, premium economy class and economy class seats. It is spending a whopping SGD1.15 billion (USD850 million) to refit all its Airbus SE A380 jets to take airborne luxury up another notch.
The announcement was made in Singapore at the global launch of the airline’s new cabin products.
At the launch, Goh Choon Phong, SIA's chief executive said, “The significant investment that we are making with the introduction of new cabin products demonstrates our commitment to continued investment in products and services, our long-term approach to ensure we retain our leadership position and our confidence in the future of premium full-service air travel.”
The new suites have been moved from the lower to upper deck. They are significantly more spacious and offer more privacy. The number of first-class suites have also been reduced from twelve to six.
There is a complete personal oasis behind the artistically-designed sliding door decorated with lavish furnishings and finishes. Each suite is furnished with a separate full-flat bed with adjustable recline and plush leather chair, enabling customers to lounge comfortably in the chair or rest in bed without the need to convert the bed from a sitting position. For couples travelling together, the beds in the first two Suites of each aisle can be converted to form a double bed. When not in use, the bed can be stowed completely, creating even more personal space within each Suite.
“Each Suite also has a 32-inch full HD monitor that can swivel for the different viewing angles in seat and bed modes, a full-sized personal wardrobe, customised handbag stowage compartment, amenity box lined with soft leather, specially designed carpet and a feature wall with mood lighting - all exquisitely crafted to give a touch of luxury and intimacy”, said SIA in a news release.
The exclusivity of the Suites cabin is further accentuated by its two stylishly-furnished lavatories, one of which has a sit-down vanity counter.
Changes have also been introduced in other classes. Other configuration changes include a change in the number of business class seats. There are now 78 business class seats in the upper deck, compared to previous configurations of 60 and 86.
The premium economy class will also get its own exclusive cabin zone. With 44 seats, the premium economy section on board the new A380 will be SIA's biggest thus far.
The new-look cabins are also decked with the latest in-flight entertainment system featuring varying sizes of touchscreen monitors and handsets.
SIA has also taken care of the passengers travelling in the economy class. New seats in this class will offer more legroom and back support, with a six-way adjustable headrest with foldable wings.
The changes will be first introduced in five new super-jumbo planes it will receive progressively from this year, starting with the Singapore-Sydney flight on December 18. Singapore Air also will retrofit its older A380s with the new products starting late 2018, with a target for completion in 2020.
Marvin Tan, senior vice president, product and services, said, “The introduction of our all-new cabin products is intended to ensure we retain our product leadership position. The significant investment in the new product and service offerings demonstrates that we are always listening to our customers, and ensuring that we continue to deliver the world’s best travel experience.”
The first revamped A380, flight SQ221, will depart Singapore at 8.40pm on December 18 and arrive at 7.40am in Sydney the next day. Singapore Airlines’ A380s currently serve Auckland, Beijing, Frankfurt, Hong Kong, London, Melbourne, Mumbai, New Delhi, New York, Paris, Shanghai, Sydney, and Zurich.