SINGAPORE - Singapore Airlines will put its latest cabin products in the air today, becoming the third airline in the last three months to do so as competition in the sector intensifies.
Passengers flying on SQ318 to London this afternoon will enjoy wider, cushier seats, and more personal and storage space in first, business and economy cabins.
The new-look cabins are also decked with the latest inflight entertainment system featuring wider LCD screens and touchscreen handsets across all classes. Economy-class passengers can browse through more than 1,000 entertainment options by scrolling through touchscreen monitors.
The overhaul comes as rival airlines like Garuda Indonesia, Cathay Pacific and British Airways are nipping at SIA's heels by offering new or improved cabin products. In July, Garuda debuted its new first, business and economy class seats while Cathay Pacific refreshed six-year-old first-class seats and started flying them in the same month.
This week, Air France also unveiled its latest economy and premium economy seats which boast more legroom and new seat cushions. They will debut next year. The Straits Times got a first look at SIA's new Boeing 777-300ER aircraft - the first of eight that will come with the new furnishings - on Wednesday.
The US$150 million (S$188 million) cabin overhaul, the most extensive since 2006, will be rolled out on the eight new 777-300ERs in the next two years. The second aircraft, which has been kitted out with the new furnishings in Seattle, will arrive here this weekend and also ply between London and Singapore next month.
The improvements, which were undertaken by two world-renowned design firms - BMW Group subsidiary DesignworksUSA, and James Park Associates, which is based here and in Britain - will also be included on the airline's new Airbus 350 jets, which will start joining the fleet in 2015.
SIA is also looking to retrofit its existing fleet of 19 777-300ERs, which The Straits Times understands may start as early as the end of next year.