SINGAPORE: National carrier Singapore Airlines (SIA) on Thursday (Nov 2) announced a staggering US$850 million (S$1.16 billion) makeover of its Airbus A380s – its first major overhaul of the double-decker superjumbos since taking delivery of the first one in 2007.
With the revamp, the airline’s new A380 is now configured with 471 seats across four classes, including six first-class suites and 78 business class seats on the upper deck, as well as 44 premium economy class seats and 343 economy class seats on the lower deck.
Travellers taking flight SQ221 from Singapore to Sydney on Dec 18 will be the first to experience the upgrades that took four years to complete. Here's what you can expect:
1. Ultra-luxurious suites get upsized
The best seats on board the superjumbos may have been halved in number but with the reduction of suites from 12 to six, it means that each suite is now “significantly more spacious”, according to SIA’s chief Goh Choon Phong.
Aimed at the top-tier traveller who doesn’t mind shelling out a bomb for a luxurious experience up in the air, each suite boasts an “industry first” leather chair that can swivel and recline, a separate full-flat bed that can be stowed away to make space and a 32-inch full HD (high-definition) touchscreen monitor.
There’s also plenty of storage space such as a full-sized personal wardrobe, a customised handbag stowage compartment and an amenity box lined with soft leather for jewellery and other accessories.
Big names have been hired to refurbish the suites, such as France’s Pierrejean Design Studio and Zodiac Seats UK. The leather chair was upholstered by Italy’s Poltrona Frau while French luxury label Lalique created the bedding, duvet and brand new amenity kits.
For those travelling with a partner, simply opt for the first two suites along each aisle that can be converted into a double bed.
2. Business class gets a double bed too
Over in business class, technology has been tapped to make the seats with lightweight carbon composite materials – similar to the ones used in Formula One racing cars – to create more storage space.
A larger back shell on each seat also creates a “cocoon-like feel” for more privacy, but the highlight is the ability for the seats to recline directly into a full-flat bed of 78 inches. The centre divider can also be fully lowered to form double beds – a new introduction that one expert described as an “interesting differentiator”.
3. Better seats in economy class
For the rest of us, there are more spacious and comfortable seats to count on. Leveraging on technology and ergonomics, the seats will offer more legroom and back support, with a six-way adjustable headrest with foldable wings.
4. A more personalised in-flight entertainment system
Want to continue the movie you watched on your previous flight? The new in-flight entertainment system myKrisWorld will help you with that.
By logging in with your KrisFlyer details, the system will bookmark the movie and allow you to resume watching the next time you’re on board, as well as make recommendations based on your preferences and viewing history.