SIA to introduce new premium economy class on its flights from next year

Singapore Airlines will launch a premium economy class on its flights progressively from the second half of next year, chief executive officer Goh Choon Phong announced Friday morning at a media briefing.

He did not give further details but said: "When we set our mind to do something, it will be done well."

The airline had previously said it had no plans to introduce this category of seats as it believed that the premium market would remain relevant.

SIA also announced it will spend US$325 million (S$405 million) to change the seats and in-flight entertainment system on 19 Boeing 777-300ERs.

The upgrade to SIA's next-generation of cabin products will take place across all travel classes on the 19 planes.

In a statement on Friday, SIA said the investment will "provide consistency across the airline's entire B777-300ER fleet".

The next-generation seats and in-flight entertainment systems are currently available on selected daily services to London and Tokyo. Installation work on the 19 planes is expected to begin early next year, with the upgrading completed by September 2016.

SIA introduced the new cabin products in September last year, after taking delivery of the first of eight additional B777-300ERs ordered from Boeing.

They were introduced after more than two years of development with design firms BMW Group DesignworksUSA and James Park Associates.

Said SIA executive vice-president for commercial Mak Swee Wah: "Feedback about our next generation cabin products has been extremely positive and our customers have been asking for them to be fitted on more aircraft.

"This significant investment demonstrates our commitment to constantly enhancing our products and services, and further demonstrates our confidence in the future for premium full-service air travel."