Singapore Airlines' first Boeing 787-10 to fly early 2018

By David Flynn, October 18 2017
Singapore Airlines' first Boeing 787-10 to fly early 2018

Singapore Airlines is counting down to the arrival of the new Boeing 787-10, the largest member of the Dreamliner family.

The keys to the first 787-10 are expected to be handed over in the first few months of 2018, with a second to follow shortly after.

The jet has already been fitted with Singapore Airlines' all-new regional business class seats, which the Star Alliance member is keeping under the tightest of wraps.

Update: Australian Business Traveller scores the scoop on Singapore Airlines' new Boeing 787-10 regional business class seat.

The lie-flat seats will showcase a fresh design from Airbus-owned cabin interiors specialist Stelia Aerospace, with Singapore Airlines having opted for a staggered configuration – similar to that of the Qantas Business Suite, among many others – where each seat dovetails into the ones in front and behind.

The Opal business class seat. Franck Socha / Stelia
The Opal business class seat
Franck Socha / Stelia

Read more: Here is Singapore Airlines' new Boeing 787-10 business class seat

The Singaporean flag-carrier is the prestigious worldwide launch customer for the 787-10 – a stretched, higher-headcount but shorter-range member of the Dreamliner family – with 49 of the aircraft on order.

The Boeing 787-10s will be used to replace the older Boeing 777-200s as well as expand the fleet overall.

Singapore Airlines has earmarked the Dreamliners for medium-range routes – which in SQ parlance means flights up to eight hours, a span which encompasses all of its Australian services.

"Deployment plans for these aircraft are still being finalised and destinations will be announced in due course," the Singapore Airlines spokesman said.

David

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.

24 Aug 2011

Total posts 778

When will SQ disclose how they are configuring Y class on their 78Js? Will they follow other airlines and cram in 9 abreast or go with the much more comfortable 8 abreast that Boeing originally planned for 787s but only Japan Airlines adopted?

There is no way SQ would willingly throw away the potential revenue that would come from going 9-across.

24 Aug 2011

Total posts 778

The greatest threat to the established Asian players are LCCs and Chinese carriers. If your product is not superior to those carriers, you are trapped because you can only compete on price and they are able to be beat you every time on this measure.


If SQ's Y class is the same as Scoot's except you get a free meal and a movie, why would anyone pay $100+ more for the same sector?

The threat of LCCs is existential to carriers such as SQ and CX. They need to understand what their differentiators are. Surely the quality of their hard and soft product is the key differentiator.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

17 Aug 2012

Total posts 2223

But SQ Y class will not be the same as Scoot.

Even at nine-abreast on the B787, the SQ Y hard product will be superior, because of the things that have been excluded from the Scoot seats, e.g. adjustable winged headrests, foot nets, etc. When you take this into account, and the likely greater seat pitch, you end up with a seat that may be the same width but is a lot more comfortable, particularly for a lot of their Asian passengers who aren't actually very big by Western standards.

The difference in hard and soft product is certainly the key differentiator between SQ and Scoot. That's why they've gutted the Scoot product of all the frills, even the ones that made it onto the JQ B787.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

06 Apr 2011

Total posts 106

I'd pay the extra to have daylight flights MEL-SIN-MEL & I suggest I'm not the only older person who would do so

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

17 Aug 2012

Total posts 2223

Yes--that's why SQ run them.

31 Mar 2016

Total posts 644

@reeves35:

"..the much more comfortable 8 abreast that Boeing originally planned for 787s.."
It's amazing the myth of Boeing never planned 9abreast in Y for 787 continued for so many yrs on this website till these days....

24 Oct 2010

Total posts 2425

I don't expect we will hear anything on SQ's 787-10 seats – be they in business class or economy – until early 2018, barring either a leak or anything the execs are willing to share during the Nov2 launch of the new A380 first class suites... and SQ execs are notoriously tight-lipped!

17 Sep 2015

Total posts 391

This article doesn't disclose much given that the great bulk of passengers (including many corporate travellers) have to put up with cattle class.


I too would like to know the economy configuration for this SQ aircraft as so far the B789 has been a most disappointing aircraft. JL deserves accolades for standing out from the pack.

Kudos though to Singapore Airlines: it isn't engaging in the sort of hyperbole with its B787-10s that Qantas is with its B789s.

Air New Zealand - Airpoints

21 Jan 2016

Total posts 195

Hi Traveller 14

What is it that you don't like about the B787? I found it a better aircraft to the B777's that is currently being used in the Australasian/Asia region.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

19 Feb 2014

Total posts 451

The advertising of the 787 has been abused, and Qantas is doing very well to polish something which isn't as good as an A350, both from an airline perspective, and a passenger perspective.

The 787 was designed as a 7-across aircraft, but nearly every airline has opted to squeeze in an extra seat, with customers lead to believe that it's normal. It's barely any better than a 777.

24 Oct 2010

Total posts 2425

Traveller14:

we'll share more info on SQ's Boeing 787-10 seating configuration as soon as we get it.

17 Sep 2015

Total posts 391

I don't like being squeezed in nine-across when as reeves35 pointed out above, the design should be eight-across in economy class.


Admittedly it's not the only airline model where airlines have done this.

Asiana Airlines - Asiana Club

09 Feb 2017

Total posts 42

Never understood the point of SQ ordering this product when they have so many A359s on order and could simply fly the A35-10 instead. The 8-abreast cattle class is too wide and the 9-abreast will be too narrow on the 787; they'll need to re-customise it (for more cost) to compensate for the cabin width. It'd be the same issue on their business class. The added cost of operating two aircraft types with similar ranges and capacities, and having to modify their cabin products for the different cabin widths, doesn't make sense from an economic or customer standpoint.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

06 Sep 2012

Total posts 216

The A350 has more range and will be utilised for long haul routes. The 787-10 will most likely be used for high capacity low-medium routes where it is more economic than the A350.

27 Jan 2016

Total posts 54

Having flown Etihad's 787 in Y from BNE it was comfortable enough. If these planes are destined for legs up to 8 hours it would be tough for SQ to overlook 9 abreast. It is interesting when looking on seat guru there is only 0.3 of an inch width that separates EY 787 (17.2), QF 747 (17.5) and JAL 787 with 8 abreast (17.5). Is there a disrepancy to how they measure pitch, or do the other configurations just have more space between the seats?

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

19 Feb 2014

Total posts 451

Usually the width of the cabins is compromised and you'll notice the arm rests are becoming narrower too.

Qantas

19 Apr 2012

Total posts 1050

I can see QF going to the 78-10 to replace the A333 (from ~2022) for its great economics for the Asia regions where most flight are under 10 hours (Beijing being the exception).

17 Sep 2015

Total posts 391

aussiflyer, you are confusing 'pitch' and 'width.'


We'd really have to get out the tape measure and calculate the width of seats using the same parameters. It should be the width of the seat cushion, but an important consideration is whether the armrest fully retracts because if it does not, in some cases this can 'eat into' seat width.

With individuals in much of the world becoming taller (and in many cases, more relevantly for this, heavier) it's not great that airlines are continuing to try to squeeze us in.

27 Jan 2016

Total posts 54

Correct - i meant width not pitch. Either way, the width seems to be much the same as per seat guru when comparing the 8 abreast vs the 9 abreast on 787. The isles are definitely narrower which isn't great on the 777 when it is 10 abreast vs 9 abreast.


I do agree with ECBB that if they are assigned to 8 hours or less it makes sense to go 9 abreast which still is comfortable. The only carrier i have flown and noticed the squeeze on width was Air Asia X where they go 9 abreast on the 330. That was pretty tight!

None the less - I think the 787-10 will be a great aircraft and a smart choice for SQ regional operations.

29 Sep 2014

Total posts 13

Having flown a 9 abreast 787 on a flight of about 10 hours, I don't understand the handwringing about SQ using them on flights of 8 hours or less.

Perth-London is not something I'd do happily, but these length flights I truly don't think it's a big deal.
I'll be very interested to see the new regional business class.

Singapore Airlines - The PPS Club

16 Jun 2017

Total posts 36

I guess its too much to ask for SIA to fly the 787 out of ADL

QF

02 Oct 2012

Total posts 40

Luckily for those in economy the SQ inflight service is consistently amazing across all classes and not just up front like most of their compeditosv

Air New Zealand - Airpoints

21 Jan 2016

Total posts 195

All B787 operators except for ANA has gone for the 9 abreast option including Qantas. ANA went for 8 abreast. The same applied for the B777's when they where first introduced with the 9 abreast but now B777 operators are opting for 10 abreast. Its to do with making $$$. It is nothing to do with the aircraft. Boeing had hoped that B787 operators would have chosen 8 abreast seating option.

17 Sep 2015

Total posts 391

plad, what are the yields like into and out of ADL? It must have a lot of VFR traffic (visiting friends and relatives), and one might think a declining number of businessmen (in part due to the long overdue shutdown of the heavily government subsidised car industry) and not many conferences or exhibitions, or major sporting events either.


Higher cost airlines like SQ and so-called mainline or legacy airline competitors don't need full planes: they need planes that are loaded to say 80 - 85 per cent of seating capacity at what they consider a good enough fare per seat on average. If the planes are then full at busier times of the year and yields hence rise even more, that's a bonus.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

17 Jul 2015

Total posts 10

SIN-ADL yield is pretty good - in the mid to high 90's from the BITRE stats. SQ actually runs double daily flights to ADL for 15 days over Dec/Jan due to demand.
SIN-ADL is also a decent freight route (food & wine) with close to 10 tonnes loaded per flight on average.
Still - I don't think it will justify a 787-10.

17 Sep 2015

Total posts 391

twkgill, the BITRE statistics measure patronage, not 'yield', the latter being the amount paid per available seat kilometre (a measure which includes occupied and vacant seats.)


'Yeild' is so-called 'commercial information' and is normally not disclosed by airlines except in an aggregate per quarter in quarterly reports to stock exchanges and then per annum in annual reports. It is rarely if ever disaggregated down to individual routes except for an airline CEO making a general comment such as 'the yields weren't great so that's why we withdrew from route X to Z...'

17 Sep 2015

Total posts 391

Great, David. An airline's need to promote itself given competition is understandable, and some bookings (perhaps more so for leisure than business travel) are made months ahead so they're trying to influence potential passengers, and yes transport-related websites are also competing and need stories, but overall I prefer substance to spin.


If we know a particular aircraft type with particular seats will be on route X to Z in May 2018, great; conversely, if it's speculation about whether an airline will fly to a destination such as Paris (which QF is feeding) but it hasn't even ordered the aircraft yet, that to me is a useless waste of space.

Substance should always win over spin, so good on SQ for keeping seat designs under wraps. Overall SQ seems to have a lot more substance to it as a company than QF.


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