Thursday November 2, 2017
02:13 PM GMT+8

UPDATED:
November 05, 2017
08:48 PM GMT+8

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SINGAPORE, Nov 2 — In the battle to fill their seats with high flyers, the world’s top airlines are rolling out evermore luxurious options for top-tier travellers. Singapore Airlines Ltd today unveiled its first major overhaul of cabins in its double-decker Airbus A380, with an emphasis on space — and double beds.

Wardrobes, luxury bedding and bathrooms are blurring the lines between flying and the five-star hotel experience for passengers occupying suites. Even business class passengers will be able to snuggle up with a loved one, with double bed conversions available in the middle aisle. Passengers travelling on the Singapore-Sydney routes from December 18 will be the first to experience the luxury upgrades. Here’s what they can expect:

A flight attendant presents the newly launched First Class Suite cabin during a Singapore Airlines event in Singapore November 2, 2017. — Reuters picA flight attendant presents the newly launched First Class Suite cabin during a Singapore Airlines event in Singapore November 2, 2017. — Reuters picA flight attendant presents the newly launched First Class Suite cabin during a Singapore Airlines event in Singapore November 2, 2017. — Reuters picA flight attendant presents the newly launched First Class Suite cabin during a Singapore Airlines event in Singapore November 2, 2017. — Reuters picA hotel room in the aky

With the number of suites pruned to six from 12 for the most premier of customers, there’s space to fit in an actual flat bed, alongside a separate seat with leather upholstery by Italy’s Poltrona Frau. The beds in the first two suites of each aisle can even be made into a double bed for couples travelling together. There’s plush bedding and a fluffy duvet with embroidery by French luxury label Lalique.

Suites also have a full-sized wardrobe and two bathrooms, one of which has a sit-down vanity counter. Unlike on rival carrier Etihad Airways PJSC, there won’t be a shower though. Singapore Air says its cabin changes were based on customer feedback seeking more private space and a design with convenience in mind, such as having phones and glasses within easy reach. Hence the added touches like customized handbag stowage and an amenity box.

The 78 Business class seats, each 25 inches wide, are upholstered by the same Italian firm. These recline directly into a full-flat bed of 78 inches, and the centre divider can be fully lowered to form double beds.

Relax, and be entertained

Passengers in suites will get a bigger screen — 32 inches in full HD, versus 23 inches previously — that can be angled differently for viewing in seat and bed modes. The leather chair in their room-in-the-sky can also swivel and recline flexibly.

Business class customers get an 18-inch screen, size unchanged from before. They’ll have a panel with USB ports, reading light with adjustable brightness. There’s more storage to keep personal items within easy reach too.

A guest takes photos of the inflight entertainment system on the newly launched Economy Class cabin seat during a Singapore Airlines event in Singapore November 2, 2017. — Reuters picA guest takes photos of the inflight entertainment system on the newly launched Economy Class cabin seat during a Singapore Airlines event in Singapore November 2, 2017. — Reuters picEat, eat, eat

If you are flying suite, dinner is served on Wedgwood ware and drinks in Lalique-designed crystal glassware. Singapore Air also promises to use more sustainable ingredients and fresh local produce. New menus will be introduced to those customers on select routes first and progressively rolled out to other cabin classes.

Business class passengers will have their meals served on Narumi-designed chinaware.

A personal touch

Suites get amenity kits created in partnership with Lalique. In addition to common items, ladies get a facial moisturiser and hand cream, while men get an aftershave balm and body lotion. Some kits even have collectibles like a Lalique ornamental fish.

For relaxation, passengers will have greater control with an in-flight entertainment system that can save their preferences and playlists for subsequent flights. Members of its Krisflyer program, plus suites and business-class passengers, will also have more entertainment options. There’s Wi-Fi onboard as well.

In suites, you can even save your lighting preferences for future trips.

The flag carrier is spending US$850 million (RM3.6 billion) on the overhaul across 19 of the superjumbos, including 14 currently in its fleet. The five new planes will be progressively delivered starting next month. — Bloomberg

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