Singapore Air, which revolutionized what was possible on an airplane when it introduced its A380 First Class Suites more than a decade ago, featuring the first double bed in the sky, one-upped itself again today in introducing its newest cabin design for first and business class.
The airline is in the process of receiving a slate of new A380s, and will debut them with this new layout. Then, it will begin retrofitting its older plans with the new design starting late next year. The results are pretty fantastic.
In first class, Singapore has taken a page from Etihad’s book, offering a single-aisle cabin on the top deck of the A380. In the same amount of space that Etihad fits nine First Class Apartments and The Residence, Singapore Air is putting only six First Class Suites. Put simply, these are now the most spacious suites in commercial travel, with a separate chair and bed.
In the first two rows of the plane, the wall along the bed can be lowered in order to combine two suites and make a double bed. On Etihad, this is only possible for the top third of the bed, so you can look at the person you’re traveling with; on Singapore now, this is a true double bed.
Unlike the Middle Eastern carriers and Korean Air, Singapore has never seemed interested in offering social spaces/bars on their A380s, nor will Singapore add showers to their product like on Emirates and Etihad. All the fun onboard stays inside your suite.
But further back in the plane, Business Class is getting an update as well. Singapore’s current business class has one of the largest, widest seats in the industry. The new business class is not radically different, but more a small renovation. The seats look spacious, but will not offer suite doors, as is increasingly common these days (Qatar, Delta, Korean Air and Japan Air).
Couples traveling together can take two seats in the center, lower the divider between them, and combine their seats into one double bed. One caveat: there is a small footwell, which you cannot see in this picture, along the aisle side of the seat; the beds will be next to each other but each person will be angled away from the other, somewhat awkwardly.
Singapore’s update is certainly exciting, offering a new premium product on an airline which unarguably already offers one of the top soft products in the sky. Whether these new First and Business Class cabins are a full step above the competition is yet to be seen.
Singapore plans to introduce the new cabin first on its Sydney route, followed likely by London Heathrow later this year. While award seats are incredibly difficult to come by, especially in Suites Class, and only bound to be more difficult with a six suite cabin (as opposed to the current 12), Singapore promises that it will be possible to use miles for this product. Singapore only opens premium space to members of its own Krisflyer program; miles can be easily transferred to Krisflyer from Chase and other credit card points programs.