Singapore Airlines unveils its new Airbus A380 cabin

SINGAPORE AIRLINES (SQ), last November 2, has unveiled its new cabin product for its Airbus 380. This will be introduced when it receives the first of five new Airbus A380 starting next month. The new A380 will be deployed to Sydney on December 18, as SQ flight 221 and return the following day as SQ flight 232. (Source)

Currently, Sydney, along with cities served by the A380s, are still in the current configurations. Eventually, all of Singapore Airlines’ Airbus A380 aircraft will get the same cabin product as the new ones.

Singapore Airlines is the A380’s launch customer. It used to operate 19 of the superjumbos. Five of which are leased, from which one is already returned to the lessor. Interestingly, Singapore-Sydney was also the first commercial route served by Singapore Airlines A380, or any A380 for that matter.


Singapore Airlines A380 in Changi Terminal 2

The new SQ A380 will be configured as follows:

Class Seats/Cabin Upper or Main Deck Seat Pitch Seat Width
Suites 6 upper deck 21″ swivel chair
Business Class 78 upper deck 50″ 25″
Premium Economy 44 main deck 38″ 19.5″
Economy class 343 main deck 32″ 18.5″

Source: Singapore Airlines News release

Seat pitch and width are roughly the same as in the existing A380s of the airline. However, there will be less premium seats (suites and business class) and more of Economy.

While premium passengers are likely to notice the changes among premium products of Singapore Airlines, I’d say it’s mostly the same for us at Economy. There’s still the top-class hospitality and dining. Those are offerings we hope not to change.

So I’ve listed here a couple of ways I thought the changes will impact us, the common Economy travellers:

IFE (In-flight Entertainment) With its new KrisWorld offering, we will be able to preselect our entertainment options and preferences from the SingaporeAir mobile app. Log in to the app using your Krisflyer membership credentials and link your app to the seat IFE.

To link your mobile app to your in-seat IFE, do the following:


New SingaporeAir app from an iPad

1. From your mobile device (mobile or tablet), click the SingaporeAir app icon.
2. Log in using your KrisFlyer membership username and password, if it’s not automatically logged in.
3. From the menu, click KrisWorld. (Usually found at the bottom of the screen)
4. On the upper right portion of your screen, click Link to Seat (see screenshot below). Ensure that your device has its wifi turned on. Your device will now be linked to your in-seat in-flight entertainment.


In-seat SingaporeAir IFE user interface

Or, using your in-seat IFE monitor (above screen interface), you can also simply sign in using your KrisFlyer credentials. And your preferences will be loaded up.

Now you can build your favourites from your device and trasfer them to whichever flight you are into that allows this feature. When you get off the plane and get to your next one (also a Singapore Airlines flight and an aircraft that has these features installed), and you can continue on with your interrupted movies or music playlist by clicking LINK TO SEAT – Step 4 above.

I’ve been wanting this feature in my flights in the past. Isn’t it annoying to build your playlist, and having to do it again on your connecting flight. It’s no wonder then that most passengers would opt to use their own devices for entertainment. With this feature, more people will be compelled to check the IFEs.

No more Economy seats at the upper deck For me, this is bad news. Some of SQ’s A380s have a small Economy cabin at the rear portion of its upper deck. Something that the likes of British Airways, Emirates (on bi-class only), and Qatar Airways have. For SQ it’s configured at 2-4-2. It feels like being on an Airbus A330, but with the comforts and quietness of the A380. The cabin, being relatively small, provides you some feeling of exclusivity. Once all of SQ’s A380s get refitted with the new product, this will be a thing of the past.

Here are a couple of photos on Singapore Airlines’ main deck and upper deck Economy cabins:

Economy seating at the A380 main deck


Economy seating at the A380 upper deck

Other than that, I think I will have to hold back my impressions until I have seen the real products myself. We will see if Singapore Airlines will deliver again.

Photo credits: Some featured photos in this article (first and fourth photos) courtesy of Singapore Airlines’ Public Affairs Department.

For more information, visit the official website at http://A380.singaporeair.com.

Francis

Author: Francis

Francis is an aviation fan. He loves to travel for the flying part of it and to plane spot during stops. He likes to express his views about some aviation industry news, from the perspective of a regular traveller. Finally, he writes anything that he thinks can help others make the most out of their flights.

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