Singapore Airlines: new business class seats arrive next year

Singapore Airlines: new business class seats arrive next year

Singapore Airlines is raising the ante for business and first class seats, with cutting edge designers from BMW and James Park studying how to improve upon SQ's already industry-leading cabins.

The new seats will debut on the Boeing 777-300ER planes SQ has on order starting in just over a year, along with the airline's upcoming Boeing 787 and Airbus A350s.

Retrofits to existing planes are also a possibility, Singapore Airlines says.

Business class will be in the care of highly-regarded designers James Park Associates, who created the existing A380-style business class seat -- the one in the fantastic 1-2-1 layout, but which some passengers criticise for a lack of relaxing positions and being too wide to let them get properly comfortable.

You might also know JPA's work from Cathay Pacific's new business class that's proving so popular on flights from Australia.

Check out seven things you probably didn't know about how Cathay created its new business class!

Singapore Airlines is promising to deliver "improved comfort in both seating and sleeping positions, and more stowage space to cater to the changing needs of business travellers."

In the ultra-luxe first class suites at the front of the plane, BMW's Designworks USA outfit is in charge of upgrading the seats for the most demanding -- and highest spending -- passengers.

"In addition to cabin ambience improvements, a revamped seat will feature more privacy and personal stowage space, and improved seating comfort," SQ says.

There's work being done in economy too, though the promises are neither as lofty nor as numerous: "Development work is currently underway focusing on key areas such as improved seat and headrest comfort and personal space for travellers."

What would you like to see in the next generation of business class seats? What tradeoffs can you live with -- and what's a dealbreaker? Share your thoughts with fellow business travellers (and, who knows, perhaps the designers!) in a comment below.

John Walton

John Walton (John Walton)


Aviation journalist and travel columnist John took his first long-haul flight when he was eight weeks old and hasn't looked back since. Well, except when facing rearwards in business class.


  • Brett Mercer


    16 Aug, 2012 10:23 am

    Hopefully they'll get it right next time. For a tall passenger (198cm) existing legroom is  too short & uncomfortable. Even the full width seats at the front of the cabin are cramped.

    Give me the old 747 forward facing seats like SAA anytime for actual space.

    No member give thanks

  • AusFlyer


    16 Aug, 2012 01:57 pm

    SIA have a great Business Class product and it is really hard to fault.

    The main improvement I would look for is to not have to get up and pull the seat down to get to the bed. To me, that is the biggest fault of their current seat. 

    It will certainly be interesting to see what they come up with!

    No member give thanks

  • RR


    17 Aug, 2012 08:22 am

    They could start by having  a consistent product and drop the regional rubbish on the long haul to Oz.  All flights to Brisbane and half the flights to Sydney use their dreadful 'regional' seat, which is an angled wedgie seat of great discomfort, certainly not something to sleep on. They charge the same fare out of Sydney for the 180 flat seat (in 1-2-1) on the A380 or the tight (2-2-2) B777 with regional ski-slopes. There is no point in upgrading their flat seat if we are going to be stuck with the regional product

    No member give thanks


22 Jan, 2018 07:35 pm


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