The first in a potential wave of new premium class products debuts today as Singapore Airlines (SIA) places its first Boeing 777-300ER into service.
SIA is outfitting its new Boeing 777-300ER fleet with new first, business class (pictured above) and economy class seats which, as generally is the case with SIA in-flight products, will likely be followed by many of the world's leading airlines.
The business and first class seats, at 30in and 35in, instantly become the widest in commercial service. The economy seat is also more spacious and features a wider seatback television screen, an AC power supply socket and a USB port.
SIA last week took delivery of its first two of 19 777-300ERs on order. The first aircraft will be placed into service tonight on SIA's Singapore-Paris route. From tomorrow the aircraft will also be used during the day to operate one of SIA's Singapore-Hong Kong services.
SIA competes mainly against Air France to Paris and Cathay Pacific Airways to Hong Kong, which is introducing an equally innovative new economy, business and first class seat next year.
More SIA routes will receive the product refresh as SIA takes another eight 777-300ERs over the next seven months. From 20 December, SIA will begin using the aircraft on its thrice weekly Singapore-Milan-Barcelona route. From January it will also be used from Singapore to Zurich and from Singapore to San Francisco via Seoul. In May, one of SIA's two daily Singapore-Frankfurt service will be upgraded to the 777-300ER (pictured below).
SIA believes the new product will allow it to boost premium class revenues - it will charge more for business class seats on the 777-300ER than its other aircraft and the new seat may woo business travellers away from other airlines. "The cabin products set a new benchmark for the airline industry. We have transformed what customers can expect in the cabin, and taken account of the clean-sheet designs of the new generation aircraft to include new features," says SIA chief executive Chew Choon Seng.