Singapore Airlines’ A380 first and business class suites have undeniably set the standard for inflight elegance, but we can now describe them as ‘art’ too, with the first generation of the superjumbo product taking pride of place at the National Museum of Singapore.
First introduced in 2007 and retired from 2020, these high-flying thrones will join an upcoming exhibition celebrating the island-nation’s homegrown brands.
Designed by acclaimed French yacht designer Jean-Jacques Coste, the first class suites were the first to feature a double bed in the sky, made by combining the lie-flat beds of the adjacent centre suite.
The design also allowed passengers to dine opposite each other, like in a restaurant.
Business class was similarly ground breaking: at impressive 34” betwween the armrests it waas the widest seat ever on a commercial flight.
Singapore Airlines was the first airline to fly the Airbus A380 superjumbo, with the maiden commercial flight from the Lion City to Sydney jetting off on October 25, 2007.
Although they won’t be on public display until next year, the National Museum says the seats are a valuable addition to its collection of travel artefacts, adding they reveal “the unique innovations and successes of SIA in commercial aviation.”
“Objects like these iconic seats enrich our documentation and telling of Singapore’s progress and development through the years,” it continues.
The donated seats are sure to be a big nostalgia-driven drawcard for locals and visitors – much like the Qantas’ groovy Boeing 747 First Class inflight lounge replica in Longreach, which was revolutionary when it launched in 1971.
Nautically themed, the Captain Cook Lounge housed a cocktail bar and space for 15 guests to mingle. Its purple carpets, 360-degree swivelling teal seats and semicircular orange lounge were bang on trend at the time, with a globe and ship’s wheel also thrown in for good measure.
The upper deck retreat was eventually replaced in 1979, when Qantas introduced business class on its 747 fleet.