Singapore Airlines will launch its new premium economy seats from August 9 on key Airbus A380 and Boeing 777-300ER routes including Sydney, Hong Kong, London and Paris, with a rapid roll-out to SQ's other top-tier destinations.
The double-deck superjumbo will be fitted with 36 premium economy seats while the long-range Boeing 777 will have 28 seats; in both aircraft they'll be arranged in a 2-4-2 layout.
First review: Singapore Airlines premium economy seats
Crafted for Singapore Airlines by JPA Design and manufactured by seat-makers Zodiac Aerospace and ZIM, the leather-clad seats will be up to 19.5 inches wide, the airline promises, with a pitch of 38 inches, compared to a 19 inch width and tighter 32 inch pitch in standard economy.
For inflight comfort there's an 8 inch recline on the seatback plus a flip-up padded legrest.
Each premium economy passenger will have access to their own AC power socket (with a universal design that'll take all common plug types) adjacent to the legrest – not the ideal position, but a familiar location even on many business class seats.
A USB plug is more conveniently located just behind the armrest, along with a socket for airline-supplied active noise-cancelling headphones for the 13.3 inch HD video screen.
A side-pocket recess will allow space to perch your tablet or a compact laptop, or indeed other carry-on items such as a book or reading glasses.
Other creature-comforts will include Singapore Airlines' popular 'Book the Cook' service to order your inflight meal in advance, champagne on the drinks menu, an amenity kit, access to priority check-in and baggage handling, with a checked luggage allowance of 35kg, up from the 30kg of economy.
Frequent flyers will also collect an extra 10% more KrisFlyer miles when travelling in premium economy.
Singapore Airlines premium economy 'Book the Cook' service
Made famous in SQ's first class and business class cabins, Book the Cook lets you choose your inflight meals before you fly, with a wider range of dishes – and, generally speaking, of superior quality – to what you'd be offered onboard.
Singapore Airlines has now released the Book the Cook menu for that first raft of destinations, with will see both the Airbus A380 and Boeing 777-300ER with premium economy from early August through to the end of September.
You'll typically be able to pre-order your main course for all meals served during the flight – breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner or supper.
Premium economy selections for all flights from Singapore (except those to Kuala Lumpur) will include:
- Rosemary Beef Brisket (shown above)
- Roasted Chicken in Garlic Cream Sauce
- Seafood Pasta in Creamed Tomato Basil Sauce
- Roasted Chicken Rice
- Spiced Chicken Nasi Biryani
- Nasi Lemak with Fried Chicken
- Assorted Dim Sum
- Minced Pork Congee with Century Egg
- Pancakes with Maple Syrup and Scrambled Eggs (below)
Heading out from Sydney? There's not much that's economy about this premium economy menu, with dishes like:
- Lime Sauce Pan Fried Fish Pasta
- Butter Chicken and Jalfrezi Vegetables
- Seafood Thermidor Saffron Rice
- Lamb Shank Korma with Basmati Rice
- Roasted Chicken Thigh in Creamy Mushroom Sauce
- Fish Fillet with Black Bean Sauce
- Beef Carbonade, Fresh Mash Potato and Roasted Vegetables
- Szechuan Beef with Vegetables
- Stir Fried Char Siew Noodles
- Apple and Cinnamon Crepes
And if you're leaving London, the choice is dizzying:
- Full English Breakfast
- Vegetarian Breakfast
- Vegetarian Entrée
- Beef Fillet with Potatoes
- Seafood Thermidor Pasta
- Chicken Kiev
- Chicken and Rice
- Thai Green Chicken Curry
- Oriental Marinated Fish with Fried Rice
- Fish in Saffron Sauce with potatoes
- Pad Thai
To check out the complete set of menus for all of Singapore Airlines' premium economy launch routes, click through to SQ's Book the Cook page.
Singapore Airlines A380 premium economy
On Singapore Airlines’ Airbus A380 the 36 premium economy will be located on the lower deck, nestled between first class suites and economy.
Singapore Airlines Boeing 777 premium economy
On the Boeing 777-300ER there are 28 seats behind business class and ahead of economy.
In upgrading the Boeing 777-300ER to this new four-class configuration Singapore Airlines has also halved the size of the first class cabin, dropping from eight of its latest ‘next generation’ suites (show below) to four...
... but adds six more of its latest luxe business class seats.
In addition to being fitted to 19 Airbus A380s and 19 Boeing 777-300ER jets the premium economy cabin will also feature on the first 20 of Singapore Airlines' new Airbus A350-900 jets which are expected to debut in the later half of 2015.
Singapore Airlines pegs the total investment in the project as US$80 million.
While long skeptical of the value of a 'better than economy but less than business' cabin, holding that its economy class was more than good enough, the Singapore flag-carrier joins other airlines which have embraced premium economy including Qantas, British Airways, Cathay Pacific and most recently Lufthansa.
However, Cathay Pacific is now shrinking the size of its premium economy cabin on selected routes while Qantas has opted not to include premium economy on its upgraded Airbus A330s to Asia.
Sydney first for SQ premium economy
Singapore Airlines' first premium economy flights will be on the daily Airbus A380 SQ221/222 service between Singapore and Sydney starting on August 9, to be followed on August 12 on the SQ231/222 as the Boeing 777-300ER flight.
Here's the full schedule for 2015 (subject to change), which shows a fast rollout to all of SQ's major routes:
- Sydney from August 9 (Airbus A380) and August 12 (Boeing 777-300ER)
- Hong Kong and London Heathrow from August 28 (Airbus A380)
- Hong Kong from August 31 (Boeing 777-300ER)
- London Heathrow from September 2 (Boeing 777-300ER)
- Beijing and Shanghai from September 18 (Airbus A380)
- Frankfurt from September 24 (Boeing 777-300ER)
- Paris from September 28 (Airbus A380)
- Delhi from October 13 (Airbus A380)
- Mumbai from October 21 (Airbus A380)
- Auckland from October 25 (Airbus A380)
- Tokyo/Los Angeles from December 1 (Airbus A380)
- Munich/Manchester from October 20 (Boeing 777-300ER)
- Frankfurt/New York from December 14 (Airbus A380)
- Zurich from December 27 (Airbus A380)
- Dubai from January 5, 2016 (Boeing 777-300ER)
- Seoul/San Francisco from January 6, 2016 (Boeing 777-300ER)
First review: Singapore Airlines premium economy seats
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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.