Singapore Airlines Just Unveiled Its New A380 Design and It Looks Amazing
The new A380 cabin will carry up to 471 customers in four classes, including six private-jet inspired Singapore Airlines suites, 78 business class seats suitable to singles or couples, 44 premium economy class seats with a number of comfort and productivity features, and 343 versatile economy class seats.
Related:Inside the Airbus A380, the Biggest Passenger Plane in the World
The airline is investing $850 million on designing, manufacturing, and equiping its A380 fleet.
“The significant investment that we are making with the introduction of new cabin products demonstrates our commitment to continued investment in products and services, our long-term approach to ensure we retain our leadership position, and our confidence in the future of premium full-service air travel,” said Singapore Airlines CEO Goh Choon Phong. (Travel + Leisure readers have voted Singapore Airlines the best airline for 22 years in a row.)
Throughout the design process, Singapore Airlines followed a theme of “space made personal,” with a focus on offering passengers more space and privacy, and allowing for greater personalization of the flying experience.
“The new cabin products are the culmination of four years of work, involving extensive customer research and close partnerships with our designers and suppliers,” Goh said. “We are confident that the results will genuinely ‘wow’ our customers.”
Here's a look at the design.
The airline’s new economy class seat, designed and built by RECARO, Germany, combines ergonomic design with technology to make long-haul flights more pleasant and entertaining. The seats themselves offer more legroom and back support, and include a six-way adjustable headrest with foldable wings for better head-support when sleeping.
Unique seat features include a dedicated holder to store a mobile phone or eyeglasses that sits just below the 11.1-inch touch-screen. Seats also feature a vanity mirror on the back of the tray table.
Part of the personalization offered onboard Singapore Airlines’ new A380 experience is that all passengers — no matter what class they fly — can pre-select their in-flight entertainment.
The seat covers include a literature pocket, and separate pockets to hold personal items. Passengers in economy get a personal reading light, located under the seat back screen, which has patented non-intrusive light technology, ensuring that you can enjoy your favorite book when the cabin lights go out without bothering your neighbors. Passengers will also find a personal in-seat power supply and an adjustable footrest.
On select flights, economy class passengers will receive an amenity kit with a toothbrush, toothpaste and socks. The airline also offers children’s amenities from Disney in all cabin classes. This new economy cabin will also be installed on the airline’s Boeing 787-10 and Airbus A350 planes starting in 2018.
Plush Premium Economy
Singapore Airlines’ well thought-out premium economy cabin, which first debuted in 2015, will be a separate cabin class on the A380. It’s a great option for passengers who have a bigger budget, and includes features that make resting, dining, and working comfortable in-flight.
Each of the leather-covered seats, exclusively designed by JPA Design, London and produced by ZIM Flugsitz, Germany, is 19.5 inches wide, and offers an eight-inch recline. The seats feature 13.3-inch HD entertainment screens with sound enhanced by active noise-cancelling headphones.
Storage and Comfort
Passengers get both a calf-rest and foot-bar, individual in-seat power and two USB ports, a personal telescoping reading light, a cocktail table, and multiple storage spaces for personal items.
Premium economy class passengers will also get a collectible amenity kit featuring special A380 livery for the launch. It includes a toothbrush, toothpaste, and anti-slip socks.
Welcome to Bleisure Class
The new A380 cabins debut a new demi-suite business class, which we would describe more as a bleisure class cabin. It was designed by JPA Design and manufactured by JAMCO Corporation of Japan.
The design blends modern lines with an organic color scheme with leather and fabric trim, and carbon composite shells. This blend of futurism and nature reflects the character of Singapore, with its gleaming skyscrapers and historical buildings, all enveloped by the sea and a lush tropical landscape.
“We looked to Garden City of Singapore itself, its connection with nature and its bio sensitive design as our inspiration in creating the business class seat and cabin,” said John Tighe, design director at JPA Design, who lead the program for the new Singapore Airlines business class cabin product. “We wanted customers to be delighted by a warm and modern ambience.”
The 78 seats are all forward-facing, in a 1-2-1 configuration with direct aisle access for every passenger. Each seat is 25 inches wide and has two side wings for better back support. For those who want to get down to work in-flight, the seat includes a dedicated business panel with USB ports and in-seat power, reading lights with adjustable brightness level, personal mood lighting, and a large table which easily converts from desk to dining. There is also plenty of stowage space for personal items within easy reach.
...for Business and Leisure
The business class seats recline into comfortable 78-inch-long fully flat beds, and also have a ‘sun-deck’ setting — a comfortable position for watch movies on the integrated 18-inch HD touch-screen monitor. All of the new seats are upholstered with Poltrona Frau leather from Italy.
Between the two middle seats, a center privacy divider screen can be lowered so the seats can be converted to a double bed for couples traveling together.
Business class passengers get a pampering amenities onboard with a range of Penhaligon’s washroom items including hand lotion, facial mist and fragrance.
Singapore Airlines’ new luxury A380 experience wouldn’t be complete without the introduction of new signature menus and serviceware.
Suites customers will be served on Wedgwood serviceware. Lalique-designed crystal glassware can be filled from by a selection of fine wines and champagnes, put together by a panel of wine experts.
Suites customers will be served meals created by the International Culinary Panel, and include more sustainable ingredients and fresh local produce. The new menus will be initially on suites in selected routes, and ultimately made available in other classes. Passengers flying in the business cabin will have meals served on Narumi-designed chinaware (pictured above).
Suites for Work, Rest and Play
Singapore Airlines has upheld its commitment to giving passengers an optimal first-class experience, with newly designed suites which could serve as a bedroom or boardroom. They are designed by Pierrejean Design Studio, Paris, which specializes in luxury business jets and yachts, and are manufactured by Zodiac Seats UK.
The six exclusive suites are tucked into an intimate space in the front cabin of the upper deck of the A380, for maximum privacy.
The Suite Vanity
They include a decorative sliding door which opens up into an in-flight oasis with that includes a pivoting executive chair and a separate full-flat bed with adjustable recline. Couples travelling together can combine two suites into a cozy private apartment for two.
The beds in the first two suites of each aisle can be combined into a double bed, with each passenger still having a chair and desk of their own. Bedding includes a plush mattress, two pillows and a fluffy cotton duvet, with emblematic embroidery by the French luxury brand, Lalique. Passengers also get a lounger/sleeper suit, slippers, eyeshades and socks to relax in.
First Class All the Way
The beds can be stowed away completely to create more room in the suite. The executive chairs are upholstered in Poltrona Frau leather, and can be fully adjusted with an electronic control side panel, which includes a variety of pre-set sitting and lounging positions. They can swivel between 135 and 270 degrees which makes them ideal work-chairs for the large desk area, or dining chairs for meals. They can also recline up to 45 degrees as comfortable lounge chairs for in-flight entertainment.
Each suite features 32-inch full HD monitor which can be adjusted for different viewing angles in seat and bed modes with motorized controls. Suites also include a full-sized personal wardrobe, handbag stowage compartment, an amenity storage box lined with soft leather, custom carpeting and a feature wall with mood lighting.
Passengers flying first, on selected flights, will get his and hers amenity kits, filled with toiletries and perfume in a specially designed collectible pouch. On other flights, passengers will get a unisex kit with lifestyle items, specially designed for Singapore Airlines through a co-brand partnership with Lalique. The unisex kit features a Lalique candle, scented soap, lip balm and body lotion. For a limited time, it will also include a miniature ornamental Lalique crystal fish.
The first class experience includes two spa-quality lavatories, one of which features a sit-down vanity counter. Suites passengers can freshen up with a special citrus-scented facial mist, body lotion and fragrance by Lalique.
A Refined Standard for the A380
There have been many amazing designs in recent years, including Etihad Airways’ The Residence and First Apartments, Qatar Airways new Quad-Suite designed around the needs of families, and Delta’s One Suite which makes business class feel like First Class plus. All of these have advanced the enjoyment of flight for those passengers ready to pay a premium.
What’s different about Singapore Airlines’ new design is that it takes the best aspects of what already exists, for all classes of service, and further improves those experiences. The versatile pivoting seat in the suites and the ability to tuck the bed away completely are just two examples. The many comfort and functional elements of the new economy class seat are also remarkable.
The airline’s CEO promised last year that the aircraft’s new design would not disappoint, and it doesn’t. In fact, it’s consistent with the airline’s long-term commitment to service and comfort for all passengers.