The results of more than two years of new cabin development and an investment of almost US$150 million ($192 million) have been unveiled by Singapore Airlines.
Dubbed by the airline as the 'next generation', the airline's new First, Business and Economy seats were revealed to an international media contingent at its home country headquarters.
The main features are more legroom for economy passengers and a larger movie screen for all passengers.
Selected Flights between Singapore and London will be the first to get the new seats and a new in-flight entertainment system - from September. They will be rolled out to other routes as new aircraft enter service.
New Zealand flights are not expected to see the new cabins until 2014.
"The significant investment in our next generation of cabin products reaffirms our commitment to product innovation and leadership, and demonstrates out confidence in the future for premium full-service air travel," SIA's executive vice president commercial Mak Swee Wah said.
He said the new seats added to the airline's ongoing investment in its premium lounges, inflight connectivity for long haul flights and food and drink menus.
"The airline business is getting more competitive and product cycles are getting shorter," he said, adding that SIA was committed to retaining its leadership position "in an increasingly challenging environment".
"In this business, if you are staying still you are actually moving backwards as your competitors catch up," he said. Work has already begun on the airline's next cabin developments.
THE NEW SEATS
Business: The airline claims it as the industry's widest (28 inch) full-flat bed with a length of 78 inches. The seat also has a padded headboard cushion and offers greater recline at 132 degrees from 125 degrees. It has two new seating positions, Lazy Z and Sundeck that SIA said is the result of customer feedback.
There is more stowage space with a place for laptops and an amenity stowage area on the side console. The 18-inch LCD entertainment screen has has a touchscreen handset and there is in-seat power supply, USB port, eXport and HDMI ports.
The new seats were developed in partnership with designers James Park Associates who were responsible for the Eastern & Orient Express interiors.
Economy: SIA says the seats offer increased personal space and legroom but gave no measurements. When questioned, the airline said the pitch remained at 32 inches but a new design for the back of the seat meant an extra inch legroom was gained. An ergonomically sculpted headrest cushion also meant there was an increased range of height adjustments.
First: The bed has increased in length from 80 to 82 inches, and is 32 inches wide. The new entertainment system has a 24-inch LCD screen. Mak said the philosophy was more privacy, increased comfort and attention to detail. The B777-300ER aircraft has just eight first class seats and said it was committed to remaining a premium carrier.
SIA said its new in-flight entertainment system, based on a Panasonic Avionics hardware platform, will first be seen on eight new B777-300ERs that start flying from September.
The new KrisWorld has larger LCD screens and video touch-screen handsets across all classes. Screens increase from 23 to 24 inches, Business from 15.4 to 18 inches and Economy from 10.6 to 11.1 inches.
Ellen Read travelled to Singapore courtesy of Singapore Airlines.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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