No airline had ever put a double bed on an airplane, and the product, with its opulent leather compartments, was so novel journalists asked if the airline would bar passengers from having sex on board. A decade later, Singapore Airlines still delights long-haul passengers with that suite, and that makes for an impressively long run in an industry in which even the most advanced products become obsolete within five years.
On Thursday, Singapore tried to catch up, introducing a massive new suite for 19 Airbus As , including five new aircraft set to arrive soon from Airbus. The first airplane with the new product will debut December 18 on the Singapore-Syndey route, though the airline does not expect every A to have the new update until Couples in some rows may combine suites to make an extra-large compartment complete with a double bed.
At its launch event in Singapore, the airline also introduced new business-class and economy-class products for the As, though neither is as innovative as the new suites. Business class does have at least one new fun feature — couples in center seats can combine seats to make a double bed.
The announcement comes at a difficult time for Singapore. Once, it was the unabashed leader in long-haul luxury, but increasingly, other airlines have caught up, adding not only first class suites, but also over-the-top features like showers and onboard bars. Last month, Singapore outlined a three-year program to make the carrier more efficient and profitable. Reports indicted Singapore was looking at more than 50 initiatives, including lowering fuel burn and offering more self-service options for passengers, as well as implementing strategies to reduce onboard food and drink waste.
This announcement came several months after the airline reported its first quarterly loss in five years. Suites Class The new suite has ample storage, including a space for handbags. With its inch wide leather armchair and separate inch wide bed, the new suite looks more like a miniature hotel room than an aircraft cabin. It comes with large sliding doors and adjustable blinds, offering unusual privacy, even compared to other first-class cabins.
Travelers will be able to store belongings in the suite, rather than in overhead bins. In an interview, Singapore CEO Goh Choon Phong said the airline surveyed its best passengers and learned they wanted neither onboard showers nor a bar, so unlike Etihad and Emirates, Singapore will have neither.
They wanted more convenience, like in where to place things. And they wanted more comfort. This is exactly what we have given them.
Prospective customers might be intrigued by suites, and make assumptions that other cabins also will be luxurious. The new suite is being manufactured by Zodiac Seats UK. In recent months, United Airlines has complained that Zodiac has been behind schedule on its new Polaris class seats. But on Thursday, Singapore executives said they had no concerns about timely delivery of the product. Unlike most others, passengers cannot recline their seat into a bed.
Instead, to convert it, they must stand up and flip the seat over. With the new A business class, Singapore has solved that problem. Its seat will recline into a bed.
No flipping is required. There will be four seats in every row, and each seat will have unimpeded aisle access. The seat is mostly standard, but has a few new features, including the larger bed that can be formed by joining the two center seats.
The airline also said the seat will have more storage than usual, allowing customers to stow a full-size bag underneath it. The new cabin will have 78 business class seats. Today, Singapore has two versions of the A, one with 60 business class seats, and one with It is possible Singapore will add the same seats to other planes.
Economy class Today, no Singapore Airlines A has more than seats, but the new version will have That means Singapore will reduce its number of premium seats, while adding seats in economy.
On one version of the A — the one that is already more dense — Singapore will add 10 economy class seats. On the other, which today has more premium seats, Singapore will add 98 economy class seats. Even with more coach seats, Singapore executives say cabin comfort will not change.
Singapore also made some other tweaks that passengers likely will not notice. The economy class seats, manufactured by Recaro, may be thinner than the ones they replace. See full article Interested in more stories like this?
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