SIA upgrades first class suites to maintain its premium allure

Singapore Airlines Ltd unveiled one of the world's most luxurious first class offerings for the Airbus A380, as part of an US$850 million (S$1.1 billion) product investment as it tries to retain premium customers amid tough competition from industry rivals.

The spacious suites on its A380 will rival those of Middle Eastern rivals Etihad Airways and Emirates for the crown of the world's top first class, although unlike those airlines, Singapore Airlines has chosen not to install in-flight showers.

They will enter service in December on the first of five new A380 aircraft joining its fleet, and the retrofit work will also take place on 14 existing aircraft, it said in a statement.

The new A380s will have six first class seats, compared with 12 on the older ones.

SIA unveils fresh look on its new A380s

  • Singapore Airlines (SIA) unveiled one of the world's most luxurious first class offerings for the Airbus A380, as part of an US$850 million (S$1.1 billion) product investment as it tries to retain premium customers amid tough competition from industry rivals.
  • The spacious suites on its A380 will rival those of Middle Eastern rivals Etihad Airways and Emirates for the crown of the world's top first class.
  • Unlike those airlines, however, SIA has chosen not to install in-flight showers.
  • They will enter service in December on the first of five new A380 aircraft joining its fleet, and the retrofit work will also take place on 14 existing aircraft.
  • The new A380s will have six first class seats, compared with 12 on the older ones.
  • Singapore Airlines is also improving its business class, premium economy and economy products in the newly fitted A380s.
  • The new Premium Economy Class seats.
  • The new Economy Class seats.

"We are confident the result will genuinely wow our customers," CEO Goh Choon Phong said at a media briefing to unveil the products on Thursday.

Some carriers, including United Airlines and Qantas Airways , have not installed first class on newer aircraft given a much higher demand for business class, which now often has fully flat-beds that were once exclusive to first class.

But for other airlines, first class remains a showpiece for attracting elite passengers and for broader brand marketing.

Singapore Airlines offers first class customers a choice of Dom Perignon or Krug Champagne and suites that can combine into a double bed for passengers travelling together.

Singapore Airlines is also improving its business class, premium economy and economy products in the newly fitted A380s, the first of which will start flying from Singapore to Sydney on Dec. 18.

In 2007, Sydney was the destination for the A380's first-ever commercial flight on Singapore Airlines. The Singaporean carrier is a major player in the highly competitive"Kangaroo route" between Australia and Europe.

Presenting the new Singapore Airlines Suites and Business Class. Experience the difference: A380.singaporeair.com

Posted by Singapore Airlines on Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Singapore Airlines and Hong Kong-based rival Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd are struggling against mounting international competition from Chinese and Middle Eastern rivals, without domestic flights to underpin their earnings.

After a surprise fourth-quarter loss, Singapore Airlines set up a dedicated transformation office to review its strategy in May, although it has not released a cost-cutting target.

The carrier intends to cut fuel use, review its supplier relationships and invest in digital technology under a three-year transformation plan to boost its competitiveness, according to an internal newsletter released in September.

Singapore Airlines has also begun deploying low-cost carrier Scoot on long-haul routes with lower premium demand, including Athens and Honolulu.

PM Lee Hsien Loong, President Trump witness signing of Singapore Airlines-Boeing deal worth $19 billion

  • US President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong held a joint press conference at the White House Rose Garden on Oct 23, 2017 (Monday).
  • Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and President Donald Trump on Monday (Oct 23, US time) witnessed the signing of an agreement between Singapore Airlines and aircraft manufacturer Boeing to buy 39 aeroplanes, worth close to US$14 billion (S$19 billion).
  • Boeing Co previously announced its deal with Singapore Airlines Ltd to sell it 39 aircraft worth S$18.8 billion at list prices.
  • The airline said last week it would finalise the order during the PM Lee's Washington visit as part of its bid to modernise its fleet over the next decade.
  • Airlines typically receive discounts on jet orders, and the deal is estimated to be closer to US$6.5 billion in value.
  • Singapore Airlines CEO Goh Choon Phong and Boeing president and CEO Kevin McAllister signed the deal for SIA to buy 20 Boeing 777-9s and 19 787-10 Dreamliners over the next decade.
  • Mr Trump said the deal would create some 70,000 American jobs.
  • "We have a very large trading relationship with Singapore," he said. "I want to thank the Singaporean people for their faith in American engineering," he added.
  • The deal is a "win-win for both sides", PM Lee said, at a joint press conference with Mr Trump. It will further modernise SIA's fleet, and also support many American jobs, he added.
  • Under the agreement, the 777-9s are due for delivery from the 2021-22 financial year and the 787-10s for delivery from the 2020-21 financial year.
  • PM Lee noted that he had a wide-ranging exchange with President Trump.
  • "We reaffirmed the robust and enduring partnership between Singapore and the United States over the last 51 years," he said.
  • "It is a deep and wide relationship, with substantial co-operation in the economic, defence and security spheres. We discussed what more we could do to take it forward."
  • He has invited Mr Trump to visit Singapore at the earliest opportunity, and said he was glad the president had accepted the invitation.
  • PM Lee noted that on the economic front, the US is an important partner for many countries in Asia, just as Asia as a whole is an important economic partner for the US.
  • "Singapore is a small country - we're just 5.5 million - but we have sizeable investments and trade with the US, which continue to grow," he added.
  • It is the second largest Asian investor in the US, with over US$70 billion in stock investments.
  • The US also exported over US$43 billion a year of goods and services to Singapore.
  • This translates to every Singaporean buying $7,500 worth of American goods and services yearly – from iPhones and pharmaceutical products, to tyres and golf clubs, to financial and consultancy services.