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Singapore Airlines debuts new first, business class on London flights

By David Flynn     Filed under: singapore airlines, business class, first class

Singapore Airlines has launched its new first class suites and business class seats on the Singapore-London route, along with all-new design economy seats and a refresh of the airline's KrisWorld inflight entertainment system.

The first class 'mini-suites' are built around a fixed-back shell with curved side panels, with the 35 inche wide seat extending to a 82 inch long bed, up from the current 80 inches of the current first class seat.

Singapore Airlines’ new business class seats share similar design DNA but with increased recline and two new 'Lazy Z' and 'Sundeck' positions between the standard upright seating and lie-flat bed.

However, the new seats won't be seen on a daily basis until October 27th when the airline's Northern Winter schedule kicks in.

If you want to work your itinerary to fly on SQ's new bird and sample the new seats, here's the complete schedule provided to us by Singapore Airlines.

From Tuesday October 1st to Saturday October 26th the flights to grab are SQ306 (Singapore-London) and SQ319 (London-Singapore), but only on the following dates:

  • Tuesday October 1st
  • Thursday 3rd
  • Saturday 5th
  • Monday 7th
  • Tuesday 8th
  • Wednesday 9th
  • Thursday 10th
  • Saturday 12th
  • Monday 14th
  • Tuesday 15th
  • Wednesday 16th
  • Thursday 17th
  • Saturday 19th
  • Monday 21st
  • Tuesday 22nd
  • Wednesday 23rd
  • Thursday 24th
  • Saturday October 26th

Naturally, despite Singapore Airlines' best intentions these dates can't be considered as set in stone: for any number of reason there's always the chance of a last-minute aircraft swap.

But starting on Sunday October 27th you can look forward to the new seats running daily on the Singapore-London route on flights SQ308 and SQ319.

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About David Flynn

David Flynn is the editor of Australian Business Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

 

Have something to say? Post a comment now!

1 on 16/9/13 by am

Excellent! I'll be travelling on SQ319 in December :)

2 on 16/9/13 by pungpui

as more 773ER are delivered with new interiors, any word on other regular services to be serviced by the new aircraft?  shame they havent used SYD-SIN as the test bed route like they did with the all business class upper deck on A380.

1 on 16/9/13 by watson374

Well, we can't have it all!

I'm also inclined to suspect that because the period during which this is being introduced will be moving into the Christmas season, loads on the Sydney services will be high enough for both SQ 221 and SQ 231 to be A380s, which locks out the 777-300ER anyway (since the two day flights, SQ 211/212 and SQ 241/242, are run using the 777-200ER).

3 on 16/9/13 by russell

Still must say that with Business seats that good, why would you bother going First? 

4 on 16/9/13 by Adrian

why does QF not operate the 777?

1 on 16/9/13 by TheRealBabushka

Eurocentric perspective of previous management, who were fixated on long haul routes, whilst ignoring the burgeoning opportunity of the regional asia pacific market?

Fixation on long haul routes = Buying fuel guzzling 747

Ignoring opportunity of apac = Foresaking 777-200 that could increase frequency to key regional cities at a lower marginal cost

Am I off the mark?

1 on 16/9/13 by watson374

This topic again? I'll bite. No, QF made the right call to skip the 777-200ER. They made the wrong call, however, by not seeing the warnings with the 787 project delays; if they had responded in time, I believe the correct ship to jump to would be identical to SQ - jump on a bunch of new A330-300s on relatively short leases and kit them out with the A380 product (sans F). This would have provided a weapon which should have been powerful enough to fend off CX and SQ enough to keep QF a relevant Asia-Australia player.

1 on 16/9/13 by TheRealBabushka

hahahha sorry to goad you watson374.

Excuse my ignorance...why was the 777-200 not a good choice?

1 on 16/9/13 by watson374

No worries! A little armchair is good fun once in a while. The following drivel will be Asia-focused because of TheRealBabushka's mention of it. It will also be with the benefit of hindsight.

While I agree that Qantas missed the boat getting an intermediate-capacity widebody for its Asia network for the last decade, I believe the 777-200(ER) was too big, too heavy and by the time Qantas needed this weapon in Asia, it was past its prime.

The correct choice would have been to have leased additional A330-300s for relatively short terms to tide them over the 787 Dreamliner disaster, then churned them out to let their purchased 787s take their place. The A330-300 is lighter and more efficient for an equivalent function compared to the 777-200ER; Singapore Airlines' experience with both types suggests that the better regional bird is the A330-300. In any case, Qantas had already bought A330-300s by the time the Dreamliner tripped, and the economics of operating two dozen A330-300s (and the A330-200s!) as opposed to a dozen A330s and a dozen 777s is a solid reason to favour the A330.

Unlike other airlines (e.g. Air New Zealand), the 777 issue with Qantas was not one of 747-400 replacement, as they had (and still have) many relatively young frames (1999 onwards) to do the non-A380 heavy lifting. The issue was a growth tool for the Asia-Pacific region, as Europe was rapidly becoming codeshare material and America was solidly A380 material.

As such, the 777-200ER was not the right ship to jump onto for Qantas.

PS: Before you start, I don't believe the 777-300ER was the right move either. Here, I will borrow from Cathay Pacific's experience - successfully growing routes with additional frequency rather than upsizing to a fat whale. Given that Qantas would almost certainly not have beaten its big Asian rivals CX and SQ into oblivion, they would be on the back foot, defending their position most of the time. As such, the 777's bigger capacity isn't needed - even CX has gone for a pure A330-300 strategy in Australia.

Summing up, I believe the 777 was the wrong choice because the A330 was the better one during the crucial years of the latter Noughties. It only looks good because we like 777s and because the actual choice was inaction.

1 on 16/9/13 by TheRealBabushka

Understand! Thanks watson374!

1 on 16/9/13 by watson374

Wow, you read it! Glad you enjoyed it, and apologies to everyone for posting up a wall of text.

5 on 16/9/13 by Alvin

It's a terrible pity that SQ 001/002 (SIN - HKG - SFO) isn't in the new seats category.

6 on 16/10/13 by eminere

Just found out that the B777-300ER aircraft will be deployed on one of the four daily flights between Singapore and Sydney from October onwards!

 

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