Friday, 20 May 2011

Singapore Airlines Airbus A380 with all-business class upper deck


Singapore Airlines' new A380s will sport business class seats from tip to tailSingapore Airlines' new A380s will sport business class seats from tip to tail


Singapore Airlines looks set to add a second tranche of Airbus A380s to its fleet next month with an extended business class cabin running the entire length of the upper deck.

The long-rumoured change appeared in global airline booking systems today, according to booking resource AirlineRoute, although Singapore Airlines has yet to officially announce the new layout.

AirlineRoute also reports that booking systems show the first of the new A380s will be introduced on the Sydney-Singapore SQ221/212 service on June 20th (out of Singapore).

At least eight new superjumbos are tipped to sport the new 'high-density' business class configuration, which will add 24 more of Singapore's generous business class seats to increase overall business class capacity by 40%.

SQ's current A380 layout splits the upper deck between 60 business class seats and 88 economy seats at the rear. The revised A380 seating chart sees the economy seating removed in favour of six more rows of lie-flat business class seating.

Economy will be pared back to the downstairs-only allocation of 311 seats. The front of the lower deck will still house SQ's twelve luxurious first-class suites, the middle four of which can be converted into a pair of double suites.

The new seating plan is a vote of confidence in the resurgent business travel market, with Singapore Airlines clearly expecting to boost ticket sales and put more business class bums on seats.

Alas, it's a loss for savvy economy class passengers who know the upstairs section has a quieter and more cosy feel than the packed lower deck, as well as that great double-decker view.

The upper-deck economy cabin also permits easier aisle access due to the use of a 2-4-2 seating configuration, whereas downstairs it’s a 3-4-3 rack.

Singapore Airlines will however keep the existing layout and upstairs economy cabin on its current A380 fleet rather than retrofit these to the new design.

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