Singapore Airlines' newest Airbus A380s – with all-new first class suites and business class seats – might not begin flying until as late as March 2018, the airline has confirmed to Australian Business Traveller.
The superjumbo was previously hoped to take wing in October 2017, in time to mark the 10th anniversary of the A380's first commercial flight with Singapore Airlines on October 25, 2007.
Approached for comment by Australian Business Traveller, a spokesman for Singapore Airlines said "we are not able to provide a specific date at this point," adding that "the first aircraft from the next batch of A380s is due for delivery within the current financial year."
This was clarified as being the Singaporean financial year, which spans from April 1 to March 31.
Sydney is still believed to be earmarked as a launch route for the new Airbus A380, with London to follow.
The double-decker jets will mark the debut of Singapore Airlines’ latest first class and business class products, which the airline says will also be retrofitted to most of its existing 19-strong A380 fleet.
The only exception will be the first five A380s, which the airline will be handing back throughout 2018 once their ten-year lease expires, with five new superjumbo taking their place.
New first class suites: fewer, but larger
As previously reported by Australian Business Traveller, SQ’s new first class suites will be fewer in number than the dozen private berths of the current A380s, with between six and eight suites on the new birds.
But they’ll also have a more generous footprint than today’s first class suites and will be relocated to the upper deck instead of the nose of the superjumbo’s main deck.
Arrayed behind those suites will be redesigned business class seats which will stretch all the way to the end of the upper deck.
(This same business class seat will also appear on a new ultra-long range version of the Airbus A350 due in late 2018, which Singapore Airlines will use to restart non-stop flights from Singapore to Los Angeles, New York and a third as-yet-unnamed US destination.)
Passengers travelling downstairs will see new premium economy and economy seating.
The Star Alliance member is expected to pull back the curtains on all of the new product at a worldwide media event to be held in Singapore in November.
November will also see Emirates reveal its new first class and business class offerings as both airlines seek to regain leadership in the superjumbo stakes.