I first shared Singapore Airlines’ plan to reconfigure Boeing 777s to include a premium economy cabin a year ago.
Unfortunately, that reconfiguration means cutting the number of first class seats in half on those 777s.
- Their A380s getting premium economy go from 12 first class, 60 business, and 399 coach (or 86 business, 311 coach) to 36 premium economy and 333 coach in the low-density business configuration or 36 premium economy and 245 coach in the high-density business configuration. Premium economy is coming at the expense of fewer coach seats.
- Their 777-300ERs getting premium economy go from 8 first class, 42 business, and 228 coach to 4 first class, 48 business, 28 premium economy, and 184 coach. That’s 10% more business class, half the first class, and 20% fewer economy seats to make room for premium economy.
Fortunately, their Airbus A380 doesn’t lose first class suites — and indeed, as part of the rollout of Singapore’s premium economy product they’re also planning to rollout refreshed cabins on their A380s with delivery of new ones in 2017.
Speaking at today’s launch of its new premium economy class, Singapore Airlines confirmed the new suites and seats would feature in the airline’s next raft of superjumbo deliveries.
“We are working hard on a new ground-up first suite and business class product that will be unveiled when we put into service the next batch of A380s which are coming in 2017” said Singapore Airlines Executive Vice President Commercial, Mak Swee Wah.
…As for the new A380 business class seats, Singapore Airlines is expected to draw inspiration from the airline’s current design for the Boeing 777-300ERs and Airbus A350s.
In the fall of 2013 Singapore refreshed their cabins on newly-delivered Boeing 777s. The new first class, new business class, and new economy seats were evolutionary improvements. One expects that the refresh of the A380 business and first class will be evolutionary as well.
Singapore Airlines Boeing 777-300ER New Business Class Seat
The A380 first class suite is already quite fantastic, four across on the lower deck of the aircraft and gorgeous.
We learned some details of the premium economy seat in February.
Premium economy passengers will receive noise-cancelling headphones. There’s seat power, 2 USB ports, and designated storage for water bottle, mobile phone and laptop
The seat has 18.5 or 19.5 inch width, 38-inch pitch, 8-inch recline, and a 13.3-inch HD screen. There are footrests (of course, Singapore does this in long haul economy).
Here’s a great design consideration:
The retractable aisle seat armrest can be pushed down at the touch of a button, so that it is completely flush with the seat bottom.
That will give the aisle seat a real feeling of extra spaciousness.
Singapore is now showing off the seat and has firm plans for its launch.
Singapore Airlines says it will begin “progressively” installing the cabin on the planes it flies on long-haul routes. All told, Singapore Airlines will offer Premium Economy in 19 Airbus A380s, 19 Boeing 777-300ERs and the first 20 Airbus A350s.
The airline’s first flight with Premium Economy will fly Aug. 9 between Singapore and Sydney. The cabin will debut in the U.S. in December on routes from Los Angeles and New York, followed by San Francisco. For the carrier’s U.S. markets, Bradbury-Boyd says Premium Economy seats will be priced as low as 40% to 50% over standard economy seats.
Singapore Airlines’ website show Premium Economy fares of about $2,005 for a mid-December round-trip from Los Angeles to Singapore, compared to the airline’s lowest coach fare of about $1,303 on the same route.
When premium economy was first announced it was shared that passengers would be served champagne. The champagne will be Ernest Rapeneau Brut Prestige. That’s perfectly respectable (though not ‘special’).
Passengers receive an amenity kit with toothbrush, toothpaste, and anti-slip socks.
Singapore Airlines offers a fabulous pre-order meal service for first and business class customers called ‘Book the Cook’. That’s now extended to include premium economy, though with more limited options.
‘Book the Cook’ choices in premium economy include:
- Seafood Thermidor
- Roasted Chicken in Garlic Cream Sauce
- Rosemary Beef Brisket
- Roasted Chicken Rice
- Pork Congee with Century Egg
- Spiced Chicken Nasi Biryani
- Nasi Lemak with Fried Chicken
- Pancakes with Maple Syrup and Scrambled Eggs
Here’s Singapore’s business class lobster thermidor which I had onboard a short Singapore – Bali flight.
And their first class lobster thermidor, San Francisco – Hong Kong
It’s interesting premium economy gets seafood thermidor. Honestly it probably won’t make too much of a difference, the lobster isn’t all that impressive.
There are no premium economy awards and upgrades are still from economy to business class and not economy to premium economy.
Redemption on Premium Economy is currently not available.
It’s unclear whether, as premium economy rolls out, this may change.