Executive Traveller exclusive
Singapore Airlines plans to cut the ribbon its elegant new business class lounge at Changi Terminal 3 by the end of 2021 as international travel steadily returns in the wake of COVID-19.
The pandemic set back progress on the SGD50 million rebuild for its T3 hub, first announced in June 2019 with an expected completion date of mid-2021 for all four of the airline's flagship lounges.
A spokesperson for Singapore Airlines tells Executive Traveller the revised timeline should now see the new SilverKris Business Class lounge unveilled by year's end, along with the nearby KrisFlyer Gold lounge used by Gold-grade frequent flyers travelling in premium economy and economy class.
Multi-million dollar makeovers for the SilverKris First Class lounge and The Private Room will now follow in 2022.
The rolling upgrades are being carried out "in phases as part of Singapore Airlines' commitment to constantly enhance our customers' experience," the spokesperson said, with the SilverKris Business Class lounge now fully closed as its own metamorphosis takes place.
"To facilitate the redevelopment works, the SilverKris Lounge has been temporarily relocated from 31 March 2021 to the end of 2021."
The temporary SilverKris Business Class lounge is located further along T3's upstairs lounge precinct, and will become the new KrisFlyer Gold lounge – bigger, brighter and with its own toilets and showers – once the new business lounge emerges from its chrysalis.
With buffets still closed, the temporary lounge used Q-codes to provide a touchless dining service.
"The SilverKris Lounge's e-Menu is a contactless, self-service web application that allows customers to manage their own dining experiences," the spokesperson said.
"Customers can order food by scanning a QR code in the lounge, or from the lounge Wi-Fi post-login page. They will receive a notification once their food is ready for collection."
"We look forward to introducing the e-Menu to more customers when opportunities to travel become more readily available."
A range of light bites and snacks are also displayed and available upon request.
When the hoardings around the original SilverKris Business Class lounge come down and the red carpet is rolled out, travellers will be treated to a Cinderella-like transformation.
With an expanded footprint, Singapore Airlines' new SilverKris Business Class lounge will feature four distinct zones, each catering to travellers with different needs.
Customers with a short transit can have a light snack in a relaxed café setting, while those with more time to spend can sample a full selection of Asian and international cuisines in the dining hall, including live cooking stations preparing signature local delights such as laksa and chicken rice.
A highlight of the new Business Class lounge will be a full service bar which doubles as a self-service breakfast station in the mornings.
There'll also be a rest area with chaise lounges for travellers who need to catch some shut-eye before their flight – something we're sure will prove welcome for late-night and early-morning departures and transits.
There'll also be 'productivity pods' for privacy while you get down to work. In mid-2020, Singapore Airlines asked visitors to the business class lounge to try out proposed new seating intended for the renovated lounge, and offer opinions and feedback using tablets mounted on stands nearby.
The first of those – shown below left – was a replacement for the older-style sofa chairs, with an extended table for drinks, snacks or a laptop, and what appear to be easily accessible AC/USB sockets located on the table rather than being tucked away out of sight.
Next to this – shown above right – was an evolved version of the 'productivity pods' introduced with the rollout of Singapore Airlines' new-look lounges from 2013 (as seen below), but with a more conventionally-shaped seat plus a taller wrap-around partition and noise-reducing padding inside the pod.
2022 will see the neighbouring SilverKris First Class lounge and The Private Room go under the knife and emerge from the construction cocoon "with carefully designed luxurious and intimate seating spaces suitable for both work and rest," Singapore Airlines has promised.
Hospitality designers Hirsch Bedner Associates have been charged with giving each of the flagship lounges "a fresh look and feel that is modern yet homely, while inspiring a sense of timeless elegance."
The First Class lounge will continue to feature a flagship bar, with The Private Room retaining its full-service fine dining section "for the ultimate bespoke lounge experience."
"Customers can look forward to an enhanced epicurean journey with fresh and seasonally curated dining offerings, on top of the perennial local favourites," Singapore Airlines promises.