It’s been well talked about that Singapore Airlines plans to debut an all new Suites class with the delivery of 5 new A380s commencing 2017/2018. Recently, CEO Goh Choon Phong revealed that the new Suites cabin (which currently features 12 Suites in the forward main deck of the A380) will have a reduced number of Suites, in order to accomodate for the larger room size. He didn’t say how many would be cut, but my guess would be the 2 Suites in row 4 are to go.
Ok, so fewer seats means that redemptions and upgrades will be more difficult. But the upside is that we know the new Suites are going to be fantastic. SIA has had time to observe and learn from the Emirates and Etihad First Class cabins, and develop ideas from them. Etihad made history with the introduction of a single-aisle A380 cabin, sporting massive First Class apartments. Whether SQ will adopt a similar concept is unclear, but I highly doubt it, given their traditional take on seating.
These new A380s will also come with a brand new Business Class cabin, to be added secondarily to the Ultra-Long Range A350s, scheduled to recommence theSingapore – New York route in 2018.
Like all airlines, Singapore Airlines takes confidentiality very seriously when it comes to seat designs. Recently, a British design firm (DCA Design) released images of concept Business/ First Class seats that were presented to Singapore Airlines. Given the strict confidentiality, it can only be assumed that, for whatever reason, SIA rejected these plans completely. But wow, just look at how stunning these cabins are!
It’s also worth taking a look at DCA’s website, as they have detailed information on this product and more (click here).
Look closely at the Business Class designs, and you’ll notice that they’re not that dissimilar from the current SIA Business Class. They are forward facing, have a similar seat control panel and have a very similar side panel with storage/ cocktail tray. What makes them really striking, though is the ‘Suite-like’ concept in Business Class. Whilst this may be a consideration for SIA, making Business Class better than it already is is a worry for the airline. Historically, because of how incredible the Business Class is, passengers have been less inclined to pay extra for First Class, because of how similar it is to Business. On the A380, there are vast differences, thanks to the Suites, but this gap would get progressively smaller if Business Class was also to become Suite-like.
There are interesting times ahead!