British Airways begins Airbus A380 flights to Singapore

British Airways begins Airbus A380 flights to Singapore

British Airways has spread its superjumbo wings to Singapore with this week's debut of Airbus A380 flights between The Old Dart and The Red Dot.

Gwyneth Paltrow managed to find herself perched in a BA Club World's business class seat high atop the Marina Bay Sands' iconic 'infinity pool' in a PR stunt for the launch.

It's the fifth route for the British flag-carrier's superjumbo which already flies to Los Angeles, Washington DC, Hong Kong and Johannesburg.

The A380 will feature three days a week on the daily BA11/12 service: from Singapore to London it's rostered on for Wednesday, Friday and Sunday, with the London-Singapore service operating on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.

The other four days of the week remain in the hands of a Boeing 747-400, with the daily Boeing 777-300ER service (BA15/16) between London and Sydney via Singapore continuing as usual.

Superjumbo's spacy first class

The British flag-carrier's Airbus A380 features an improved version of the airline’s highly-regarded first class suite, adapted to make better use of the superjumbo’s spacious floorplan.

“The A380 has a massive cabin so we just had to exploit that!” laughs Kathryn Doyle, BA’s Aircraft Product Cabin Interiors Manager.

BA's Kathryn Doyle: making the most from the spacious superjumbo

“The first class seat itself is the same size as on our other aircraft, the difference is the size of the surrounding suite – there’s 30% more space in terms of the actual footprint” Doyle told Australian Business Traveller at the airline's A380 launch of the A380 in London last year.

The extra room is most noticeable in width, especially at the foot of the suite when the seat converts into a lie-flat bed, compared to the same cabin on BA’s Boeing 777 or 747-400, along with extra space for your inflight knick-knacks and a much larger personal wardrobe.

Photos: Inside British Airways' new A380 first class cabin

BA's A380 business class: a better middle seat?

BA has also made some tweaks to its Club World business class seat and cabin in the A380 as well as the shorter-range Boeing 787.

The result, BA says, includes a middle seat that you might actually want to book.

That seat is in the new Club World ‘triple’ on the upper deck of the A380, as seen on BA's A380 seating chart below.

The superjumbo splits its 97 business class seats across the main and upper decks, with the lower deck retaining the conventional 2-4-2 layout with a ‘quad’ in the middle.

“The 787 is a bit narrower than the 777, as is the upper deck of the A380” explains Frank van der Post, BA’s Managing Director of Brands and Customer Experience, as to how the new 2-3-2 layout came about.

However, the middle seat contains more space than its wingmates, “an extra two inches on either side” plus extra storage space and shelving, van der Post told Australian Business Traveller.

This includes a small shelf at the traveller's right where you could stow your reading glasses, iPod or phone during the flight.

“I think the middle seat, which is normally a very unfavourable seat, is going to become the most preferred seat on our A380” van der Post predicts.

Due to the alternating or ‘ying-yang’ pattern of BA’s Club World seats, all middle seats in the triple face backwards while its siblings face forwards.

But sitting in the ‘wrong’ direction (at least for take-off and landing) will mean you get a seat with more space and more privacy explains BA's Kathryn Doyle.

“If you’re working on private documents on your laptop, or are a businesswoman travelling on your own, you can out both screens up for the ultimate in privacy” she says.

“There’s also an extra area where you can put your laptop, shoes and phone – every Club World still has a drawer but the middle seat has a cheeky extra bit.”

BA has also improved the mechanics of the Club World seat, Doyle says.

“We’ve done some work with the manufacturers on improving the motion of the seat and made it quieter to move” she told Australian Business Traveller. 

“And the footstool is a lot easier to use – we’ve done a lot of what we call ‘naive testing’, getting Joe Bloggs off the street to have a go at using it.”

Follow Australian Business Traveller on twitter: we're @AusBT 

 

13 Comments

  • Nathan Luke Jordan

    Nathan Luke Jordan

    29 Oct, 2014 01:37 pm

    Flying one of the requisite A380 days in First with my partner from LHR-SIN in May on BA - can't wait!

    No member give thanks

  • watson374

    watson374

    29 Oct, 2014 02:58 pm

    Does anyone know where I can buy an inflatable Club World seat for my own pool use?

    No member give thanks

  • Mal

    Mal

    29 Oct, 2014 05:00 pm

    I was going to ask about where I can buy an inflatable Gwyneth Paltrow, but on second thoughts I'd prefer the Club World seat.

    No member give thanks

  • eminere

    eminere

    29 Oct, 2014 09:25 pm

    Whatever happened to Kristin Davis?

    No member give thanks

  • planemad

    planemad

    29 Oct, 2014 06:16 pm

    How many of these big birds does BA have now?

    No member give thanks

  • Str8Talking

    Str8Talking

    29 Oct, 2014 06:41 pm

    8!

    No member give thanks

  • planemad

    planemad

    29 Oct, 2014 07:02 pm

    Oh... That's cool. Bacause I thought that they only had like 4 or something! And how many do they have on order ?

    No member give thanks

  • eminere

    eminere

    29 Oct, 2014 07:26 pm

    Just one more for a total of 9.

    No member give thanks

  • dinkydie

    dinkydie

    29 Oct, 2014 06:36 pm

    It is 2014 and BA are kitting out their latest aircraft with middle seats - and 40% of seats require climbing over strangers. Why, oh why?

    No member give thanks

  • Mc

    Mc

    31 Oct, 2014 08:05 pm

    The overall layout looks terribly cramped and the 'middle' seat would give me claustrophobia. Can't see BA winning any passengers with this layout.

    No member give thanks

  • crosscourt

    crosscourt

    1 Nov, 2014 10:47 am

    my first thought exactly. irrespective of the "sell" i'll be avoiding that seat and any seat facing backwards. 

    No member give thanks

  • AWA2602

    AWA2602

    10 Dec, 2014 03:50 pm

    Recently experienced A380 Club World and can confirm seat 53E is great. Good storage space, not at all claustrophobic, very private and easy to get in and out as there is enough space behind each of the aisle seats and the bulkhead without having to climb over the passenger next to you.

    No member give thanks

  • Stephen

    Stephen

    3 Nov, 2014 11:06 am

    dreadful business seat configuration, 7 across the upper deck vs 4 on emirates & sing, will be avoiding. Time for BA to move into the 21st century.

    No member give thanks

Guest

26 Sep, 2016 08:45 am

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