Here is Singapore Airlines' new 2018 regional business class seat

Here is Singapore Airlines' new 2018 regional business class seat

Over the Christmas / New Year break, Australian Business Traveller will be revisiting some of our most popular articles of 2017. We’re still around to report on any breaking news during this time, otherwise our regular publishing schedule will resume on Monday January 8, 2018.

EXCLUSIVE | Singapore Airlines will adopt an all-new regional business class seat for its Boeing 787-10 fleet, with a curved pod-like design based on the Opal platform from Airbus-owned cabin interior specialists Stelia Aerospace.

Sources within Singapore Airlines with knowledge of the Boeing 787-10 project confirmed the Star Alliance member's choice of the Opal 'premium business class' seat to Australian Business Traveller.

Franck Socha / SteliaThe Opal business class seat
Franck Socha / Stelia

Singapore Airlines is the global launch customer for the Boeing 787-10 – the largest member of the Dreamliner family, which begins flying in SQ stripe in early 2018.

The Opal design – shown here in Stelia's basic 'off the rack' look – has been customised design for Singapore Airlines and mirrors the colour and material palette of Singapore Airlines' current-generation Boeing 777 and Airbus A350 business class seat (below), as well as the new Airbus A380 business class seat that's due to be revealed on November 2.

Singapore AirlinesSingapore Airlines' Boeing 777-300ER and Airbus A350 business class seat
Singapore Airlines

The forward-facing seats follow a 1-2-1 layout, using a staggered design where each seat dovetails into the ones in front and behind, while each passenger has direct access to the aisle.

Franck Socha / SteliaThe Opal business class seat
Franck Socha / Stelia

This pattern also puts some seats directly next to the window while others are adjacent to the aisle.

Franck Socha / SteliaThe Opal business class seat
Franck Socha / Stelia

The Opal seats fold out into a lie-flat bed which Stelia rates at a minimum of 77 inches (195cm), although airlines can opt for an even longer bed.

Franck Socha / SteliaThe Opal business class seat
Franck Socha / Stelia

The well-appointed seat follows a 'high-tech, high-touch' mantra, with all the mods cons for business travellers... 

Franck Socha / SteliaThe Opal business class seat
Franck Socha / Stelia

... including a tablet stand integrated into the long meal table.

Franck Socha / SteliaThe Opal business class seat
Franck Socha / Stelia

A spokesman for Singapore Airlines declined to confirm or deny the Opal would appear at the pointy end of the Boeing 787-10, telling Australian Business Traveller that "an announcement regarding the configuration and cabin products that will be onboard our 787-10 will be announced closer to the aircraft's entry into service."

Singapore Airlines has 49 high-headcount Boeing 787-10s on order, with the stretched jetliners sporting three cabins for business class, premium economy and economy.

The first Boeing 787-10 is due in early 2018 and will see the Star Alliance member begin a fleet modernisation program with older Boeing 777-200s being put out to pasture, while the Airbus A350s take over from the A330s.

Singapore Airlines has earmarked the jets for medium-range routes – which in SQ parlance means flights up to eight hours, a span which encompasses all of its Australian services.

"Deployment plans for these aircraft are still being finalised and destinations will be announced in due course," the Singapore Airlines spokesman said.

David Flynn

David Flynn (David)

[email protected] / @djsflynn

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.
 

36 Comments

  • Dean

    deanr

    26 Oct, 2017 10:22 am

    Is it just me or does that new seat look quite tiny and squishy? I get that it's "regional" business class and they're just concept images for now, but from what can be seen so far, it looks quite small, quite open and quite plasticy. Even the models look like they barely fit in the thing!
    No member give thanks

  • elchriss0

    elchriss0

    26 Oct, 2017 10:33 am

    shoulder space looks tight
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    turner773

  • eminere

    eminere

    26 Oct, 2017 11:11 am

    The seats closer to the aisle are also very exposed, as is typical for seats of this design.
    No member give thanks

  • Antherny

    Antherny

    26 Oct, 2017 11:19 am

    I agree!! somehow their "regional" route will fall into aussie cities...therefore we once again will be short handed with smaller and tighter business seating for the same price they charge with the 777 or a350
    No member give thanks

  • Alex

    tm_smile

    26 Oct, 2017 11:19 am

    Looking forward to seeing all those bashing the QF 787 J seat to tell us again how great SQ’s one is in comparison. 😉
    No member give thanks

  • elchriss0

    elchriss0

    26 Oct, 2017 11:28 am

    The reason why so maybe people bash the QF J 787 seat is that they will use it on flights of 17+hrs whereas SQ will use it on up to 8hrs (i.e. SIN-SYD/MEL).
    Member who gave thanks

    Volkov

  • Alex

    tm_smile

    26 Oct, 2017 01:47 pm

    The QF 787 J seat is a perfectly great seat. I like the skybed for its space, but then people slam it for not having direct aisle access. Space on the QF seat is comparable to rev herringbone. Some people do just like bashing QF.
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  • elchriss0

    elchriss0

    27 Oct, 2017 02:08 pm

    Also QF make sooo much hype of something that's not really any better than their competition
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  • Joe

    Joe

    26 Oct, 2017 01:24 pm

    Yep, and great sharing lavs with PE that's why I pay over double the fare.
    No member give thanks

  • Michael Kao

    Michael Kao

    26 Oct, 2017 11:20 am

    It's normal for the staggered lay out to be tights. I think we are too used to SQ's extra wide J seat. That's not normal.
    No member give thanks

  • smit0847

    smit0847

    26 Oct, 2017 11:59 am

    Wow that looks tight. Look how the slim models arms are squeezed in in bed mode. How are large people going to fit?? You need to remember SQ use both their best and worst products on the same routes like MEL so 'A regional route' could see you on this or an A350!
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  • elchriss0

    elchriss0

    26 Oct, 2017 12:54 pm

    I have both an A350 and A330 MEL flight coming up in J...it's literally their best and worst product. Also they use the A330 on the night SIN-MEL section and A350 in the day (both directions) which is shit but I guess it has to do with aircraft scheduling.
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  • xtfer

    xtfer

    26 Oct, 2017 02:06 pm

    I think you'll find the 777-200 J is SIA's worst product. The older A330s have the advantage of not vibrating like a fun park ride for the entire trip.
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  • Lifestobelived

    Lifestobelived

    26 Oct, 2017 07:47 pm

    :o)
    No member give thanks

  • ajd

    ajd

    30 Oct, 2017 04:55 pm

    I get to experience the joys of the SQ 772 from Canberra in a few months, but hey, at least it's not economy...
    No member give thanks

  • reeves35

    reeves35

    26 Oct, 2017 02:36 pm

    Given a SIN-MEL-SIN return trip by a SQ plane means it is away from SIN for at least 18 hours, there is no way that this can be done without one sector being predominantly a daylight flight and the other predominantly a night flight
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  • elchriss0

    elchriss0

    27 Oct, 2017 02:10 pm

    well yes but i'm saying if they swapped their A350 and A330 around then you can have the A350 on the predominantly night and A330 on predominantly day
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  • Trogdor

    Trogdor

    27 Oct, 2017 09:55 am

    True - being right on the 8 hour "limit" we always get a mix of regional and long-haul from SQ. Was booking flights for Nov and Jan and depending on departure time I have a choice of A380s, 773s and 772s.

    I suspect this will remain the case - there are also an awful lot of Asian cities that are shorter flight times from Singapore than SYF/MEL/BNE so plenty of places to spread their 787-10s
    No member give thanks

  • Kin Ho

    KinHo

    26 Oct, 2017 01:16 pm

    Personally, I don't like the "fin" extended on the side of the head level, especially when it's right next to the window. A waste of the window view. This feature is ok for the other staggered seat, as it's shielding from the aisle.
    And the arm rest is still not soft and plush enough. If anything it looks more streamlined and stiff and hard. It gets very uncomfortable very quickly.
    For some reason, the seat designers are still coming up with these "skeleton" type finish for Business class seats when it is not required, like those in Economy where they are designed to be lifted up for ease of passengers seated inside to get in and out. No such need for J class. And if you try to stick a pillow there, soon it will drop off from under it.
    The type of seat on the A380 is one of the best, despite the foot area for the sleeping position is a little small, but over all the seat is wider and the whole seat itself looks like a lounge armchair.
    No member give thanks

  • PK

    PK

    26 Oct, 2017 01:47 pm

    I am probably about 200% bigger than her in total volume and am in the normal weight range. Better sign up for this yoga thing I keep hearing about. Will need every trick I can use to get into that seat.
    Member who gave thanks

    xtfer

  • reeves35

    reeves35

    26 Oct, 2017 02:25 pm

    We will have to wait to see how much SQ vary from the standard seat. Given their history, I assume it will be significantly different from the brochure seat in finish and potentially width.

    Whilst it seems a fair way short of the product on the A359, it is a definite step up from their current regional product.. Having said that, on a daylight flight, their current regional product is fine. It is only limited when you are trying to sleep.

    No member give thanks

  • ExLibris76

    ExLibris76

    26 Oct, 2017 04:16 pm

    Some airlines (EK and QF come to mind) have in the past used petite models - typically youngish females - for PR shots specifically of their seats (Y & J seats in the case of EK). It gives the impression of a much bigger seat to the market audience. I wonder if the seat manufacturer has done the same here? My first impression of the seat is that it is on the 'cosy' side. But I'll reserve my final judgement for when ABT does a review. Or when I inevitably fly on it next year....
    No member give thanks

  • Blair Coull

    Notso Swift

    26 Oct, 2017 07:11 pm

    Standard marketing practice for things involving size, airlines cars, furniture and even houses.
    This is the standard seat, and not many premium airlines take a standard, so it will be interesting to see, but it doesn't look that appealing...
    No member give thanks

  • FLX

    FLX1

    26 Oct, 2017 09:02 pm

    @Notso Swift:
    "This is the standard seat, and not many premium airlines take a standard"
    Agree. Usually, only leasing companies sometimes use stock(i.e. off-the-shelf) J seat designs on aircrafts in their short-term lease portfolio(Birds on long-term lease use J design per airline customer preference).
    No member give thanks

  • Yanni

    Yanni

    26 Oct, 2017 04:19 pm

    I'll hold off until SQ formally release the product in their colour palette, upholstery specs, etc. I think the SQ touch will make this 'off-the-shelf' product look pretty good.
    No member give thanks

  • FLX

    FLX1

    26 Oct, 2017 08:54 pm

    @Yanni:
    "I'll hold off until SQ formally release the product in their colour palette, upholstery specs, etc."
    Fully agree. This is a preview of roughly what the new SQ regional J seat for 78J will look like in config/layout & overall style. It's too early to judge space/dimensional specs etc. even if the actual SQ design is indeed based on the same Opal/Airbus seat platform. That seat in the photos are not much more beyond a generic prototype or demo @ this stage. A clue: Look @ that cabin window shape - it can't possibly be fm a 787 or 350.

    Airlines customize/tweak 'stock' J seat designs all the time to fit their own specific requirements. The same basic J seat design/platform fm a manufacturer often ended up with 2~3 diff sizes in production to fit the cabin dimensional specs or layout config across a range of aircraft types....sometimes even across narrowbodies and widebodies. CX's current longhaul J on 333 which I hv used early this mth is a great example. The design in 1-2-1 layout is exactly the same as their J also in 1-2-1 layout on 77W.....they're obviously built in diff sizes/layout angles(relative to the aisle) as the diff in cabin width alone is 24inches and 330 has a more concave/attic-like cabin side wall.
    No member give thanks

  • Alistar Chinn

    Alistarch

    26 Oct, 2017 07:46 pm

    The plastic and colour looks cheap n nasty compared to Qantas’ excellent business class seats on their A330s.
    No member give thanks

  • elchriss0

    elchriss0

    27 Oct, 2017 02:31 pm

    As is noted in multiple places, this is not the final product but instead a prototype from the manufacturer so comparing the colour and plastic to current in-service QF J is pointless
    No member give thanks

  • FLX

    FLX1

    26 Oct, 2017 09:28 pm

    Thank you David for this design leak/preview. At this point, I think U guys are the only 1 in the media breaking this news re the look of the nex regional J for SQ.

    For me, 2 most surprising aspects I hv learnt fm yr story:
    1. SQ finally use horizontal flatbed+direct aisle access for all seats in J for regional cabin config.
    This is a big leap forward in specs re premium cabin dedicated for regional(i.e. short/medium haul) ops among competitors in the mkt. This mean even for 1hr short hops like SIN-KUL, the lowest J seat specs on any SQ type will still be horizontal flatbed+direct aisle access. I think some readers here who compare this J against the SQ J in 359 currently seen on some AU routes forgot those SQ 359s are in longhaul/intercon config primarily for deployment on SQ longhaul/intercon routes.

    2. "...the stretched jetliners sporting three cabins for business class, premium economy and economy."
    I was totally unaware of SQ planning to deploy PY on regional config cabins such as those for 78J. Since debut in 2015, PY has been exclusive to SQ longhaul/intercon config cabins which are deployed on some regional trunk frequencies(e.g. SIN-HND/PVG/HKG/SYD/MEL). PY roll out on 78J(And likely also for 359 in regional cabin config) implies every SQ regional route regardless of distance will see PY.
    No member give thanks

  • aggie57

    aggie57

    26 Oct, 2017 09:36 pm

    Oddly reminds me of the AirNZ Spaceseat. Kind of the Ikea version of business class; ticks all the boxes but in a mass-produced plastic kind of way.
    No member give thanks

  • Luke Spence

    Luke49

    27 Oct, 2017 07:25 am

    Have to wait to see final product. But it can’t be to cramped it is 1-2-1 on a 787-10.
    No member give thanks

  • Chris

    flychrisfly

    27 Oct, 2017 12:45 pm

    Any idea what the black triangular box is above the shelving in only some of the pics?
    No member give thanks

  • David Flynn

    David

    27 Oct, 2017 01:34 pm

    I'd suggest it's some form of optional storage, with Stelia showing how that part of the seat can either have a stowage compartment or be left as a recessed shelf.
    Member who gave thanks

    flychrisfly

  • Kentown45

    Kentown45

    29 Oct, 2017 02:29 am

    Seems to me that most Airlines New Business Class seats except the ME3 + Oman Air are all starting to look the same Boring Gray and Plastic Pod Like looking.
    No member give thanks

  • Doubleplatinum

    Doubleplatinum

    28 Dec, 2017 09:18 am

    All the QF loyalists having an SQ bash what a classic, SQ will still destroy every aspect of QF service even with a seat like this, heads in the sand, heads in the sand!
    No member give thanks

  • Lyrad Noskcid

    abc_123

    5 Jan, 2018 05:47 pm

    "A spokesman for Singapore Airlines declined to confirm or deny the Opal would appear at the pointy end of the Boeing 787-10"... so this article is completely pointless.
    No member give thanks

Guest

22 Feb, 2018 11:34 pm

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