UPDATE | Singapore Airlines will fly its newest Airbus A380s to Sydney from December, fitted with the airline's all-new first class, business class, premium economy and economy seats.
Set to be unveiled at a media event in Singapore on November 2 ahead of the first flight on December 18, the development follows four years of in-house workshops and customer feedback, presenting an upgrade to the airline's current Airbus A380 cabins, which first debuted on Singapore-Sydney flights back in 2007.
The new A380s will have fewer first class suites, although they'll be larger than the current ones, and have been relocated to the upper deck.
Passengers on flight SQ221 from Singapore to Sydney on December 18 2017 will be the very first to experience the new offering, departing Changi Airport at 8:40pm for a 7:40am arrival into Sydney the following day.
Out of Australia, SQ232 is the flight to book from December 19, being wheels-up in Sydney at 12:15pm ahead of a 5:35pm touchdown in Singapore, with the new Airbus A380 to serve these flights daily, with further destinations to be announced over the coming months.
"In some ways it's the perfect Christmas present," quips Singapore Airlines Regional Vice President, Mr Tan Tiow Kor, adding that "in 2007, Sydney was the launch destination for the first ever commercial A380 flight."
"Ten years on, and in our 50th year of flying to Sydney it is very appropriate that the city will host our brand new A380 fitted with our new cabin products," Tan adds.
Rival Emirates will also unveil an all-new first class cabin in November at the Dubai Airshow, initlaly appearing on selected Boeing 777-300ER flights: although the first destination for the Gulf airline's latest product is yet to be announced.
PREVIOUS, EXCLUSIVE, April 11 2017 by David Flynn | Singapore Airlines is shooting for an October debut for the first of its new Airbus A380s, with Sydney favoured for the inaugural flight of the updated superjumbo with its all-new first class suites and business class seats.
Sydney was chosen as the first destination for Singapore Airlines' original Airbus A380, which was also the world's first commercial superjumbo flight, in October 25, 2007, and the airline is keen to repeat this milestone on the same day in 2017.
"Whether we will get there on the same day is still a bit touch and go, because the aircraft is still going through new product fittings," Singapore Airlines Regional Vice-President for South West Pacific, Mr TK Tan, told Australian Business Traveller on the sidelines of a dinner in Sydney to celebrate 50 years of the Singaporean flag-carrier flying to Australia.
"If that doesn't happen it may be there a few weeks later or a few months later, but we are working hard all together to make it happen and for Sydney to be the first point in our network to have the new product."
Tan hinted that London would be next on the superjumbo's dance card, "but we are waiting to surprise everyone on where it will go and the plans for the whole A380 fleet."
There will be fewer suites than the current 12 – between six and eight are likely – but each will be much larger than today's version, and reportedly close in size to the 3.8m² of the first class apartments of Gulf rival Etihad's own Airbus A380.
Further along the all-premium upper deck will be an all-new design business class seat.
Expected to springboard from today's Boeing 777-300ER 'Next Generation' business class, which Singapore Airlines launched in July 2013, the new seats have said to have already been showcased to selected top-tier KrisFlyer travellers to fine-tune more practical aspects of the design.
One source tells Australian Business Traveller that Singapore Airlines has also given consideration to a small lounge area – although not a bar per se – nestled into the rear of the upper deck.
This same business class seat will also appear on a new ultra-long range version of the Airbus A350 due in late 2018, which Singapore Airlines will use to restart non-stop flights from Singapore to Los Angeles, New York and a third as-yet-unnamed US destination.
Singapore Airlines is expected to pull back the curtains on both new products in July or August, ahead of the delivery of the newest A380.