Singapore Airlines: 'all-new' business class on long-range A350

By David Flynn, November 11 2015
Singapore Airlines: 'all-new' business class on long-range A350

Singapore Airlines' new long-range Airbus A350 jet will be fitted with a new generation of business class and possibly first class, the airline confirmed today.

Due to take wing in 2018 with non-stop flights from Singapore to Los Angeles and New York, the long-legged variant of the A350-900 – dubbed the A350-900ULR – will carry around 170 seats compared to just over 250 passengers in the standard A350-900.

Read: Inside Singapore Airlines' all-new Airbus A350

The tip-to-tail mix of travel classes is expected to skew towards premium cabins such as business and first class so that passengers can enjoy maximum comfort on the long non-stop flights.

Earlier this year, Singapore Airlines CEO Mr Goh Choon Phong told Australian Business Traveller that unlike the 'all business class’ model of SQ's previous non-stop Airbus A340 flights, the layout for the new long-range jets "will probably be more than just business class, I think it will be a mix of cabin classes."

Singapore Airlines today revealed "the A350-900ULR aircraft will be fitted with all-new cabin products that are currently under development, and are scheduled to be delivered in 2018."

As Australian Business Traveller exclusively reported in May this year, the airline is already working on all-new first class suites and business class seats for its next raft of Airbus A380 superjumbo deliveries from 2017.

"We are working hard on a new ground-up first suite and business class product that will be unveiled when we put into service the next batch of A380s which are coming in 2017" said Singapore Airlines Executive Vice President Commercial, Mak Swee Wah.

"Certainly we won't change just for the sake of change, but it will be superior to what we have now" Mak said of SQ's new business class. "Product development is an ongoing process."

Today's news increases the odds that Singapore Airlines' ultra long-range A350 will sport a small first class cabin for added long-haul luxe, with the bulk of the jetliner given over to business class and possibly a compact premium economy cabin.

Read: Singapore Airlines pegs non-stop USA flights for long-range A350

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David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

Only 170?

In that case, I'd expect it would be Premium Economy, Business and First. I'd presume 8 First Class at least.

SQ went for 8-abreast PE. In an A350 that isn't really very impressive, but the decision makes sense now if you see SQ's PE as a replacement for the "Executive Economy" that SQ used to have on the A340s.

So 8 First (maybe 10 or 12?), 80 PE and the rest J? I could see that.

SQ is too practical an airline to indulge in the excesses of Etihad and Emirates. Consequently I don't expect changes afoot to be so significant as to warrant a big hush prior to its release. 

It will be a good product but I think SQ's ability for shock and awe is over so long as the two brothers in the Gulf are eyeing their respective package and have their plastic surgeon and urologist on speed dial.

10 Sep 2012

Total posts 149

I would be surprised to see any Y seats at all, and very few W seats, if any.  F may feature as a small cabin, but given SQ are apparently considering reducing the F cabin on the 77W fleet to 4 seats, it seems unlikely that they'll have a 10-12 seat F cabin on the 359.  On the previous EWR service, the demand was for J seats which were booked at short notice for expensive fares, which is why they made the service all-biz on the 345.  That must surely be what they'd be aiming for, rather than intalling Y seats in valuable space that could be used for much more lucrative J seats.  They'd be crazy not to offer the service as a premium express; Y pax can still fly to JFK via FRA on the 388 service.

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