Singapore Airlines to refit Boeing 777s with new first, business class

By David Flynn, May 9 2014
Singapore Airlines to refit Boeing 777s with new first, business class

Singapore Airlines will upgrade its entire Boeing 777-300ER fleet with the airline's latest first class, business class and economy seats beginning next year.

The US$325 million (A$346 million) refit will encompass all 19 of the long-range jets in SQ's current Boeing 777-300ER fleet in an attempt to deliver a consistent travel experience alongside the airline's new Boeing 777-300ERs.

The project will also see the in-flight entertainment system upgraded.

Singapore Airlines says the refurb is expected to begin early in 2015, "with all aircraft completed by September 2016."

“Feedback about our next generation cabin products has been extremely positive and our customers have been asking for them to be fitted on more aircraft. We have listened,” said SIA Executive Vice President Commercial, Mr Mak Swee Wah.

“This significant investment demonstrates our commitment to constantly enhancing our products and services, and further demonstrates our confidence in the future for premium full-service air travel.”

In related news, the airline also revealed it would finally launch a premium economy cabin in the second half of 2015.

Read: Singapore Airlines to launch premium economy

Singapore Airlines' new Boeing 777 first class seats are ‘mini-suites’ are built around a fixed-back shell with curved side panels.

The seats are 35 inches wide and extend to a 82 inch long bed, up from the current 80 inches of the current first class seat.

Boosts to personal space include a space underneath the ottoman which can fit a standard cabin bag, while a ‘vanity area’ with its own mirror lets travellers do a quick pre-landing freshen up without leaving their seats.

Another stowage pocket contains laptop power and USB ports along with an HDMI socket to pipe content from your laptop or other device onto the 24 inch screen.

Read: Singapore Airlines' new first class seats

Singapore Airlines’ new Boeing 777 business class seats share similar design DNA as first class and retain the current forward-facing layout and 1-2-1 configuration as its current business class cabin, with a similar degree of ‘private space’.

There are now two positions between the standard upright seating and lie-flat bed, which SQ terms Lazy Z and Sundeck mode.

The 28 inch wide seat converts to a 78 inch long flat bed, using the same flip-over design as SQ’s current business class product, with an increased recline from 128 degrees to 132 degrees.

There’s a new amenity storage area on the side console and a separate laptop stowage area.

An ‘all in one business panel’ sports the laptop power supply, USB port plus eXport and HDMI ports. As with the new first class there’s a floodlight reading lamp and on/off switch for the 18 inch LDC monitor (up from today’s 15.4 inches).

There’s also a height-adjustable table of 20.5 inches x 14.5 inches which deploys from the side console, a personal vanity mirror and cocktail trays. 

Watch: Video of Singapore Airlines' new first, business & economy seats

Follow Australian Business Traveller on Twitter: we're @AusBT


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.

Cathay Pacific - The Marco Polo Club

19 Apr 2014

Total posts 46

Excellent...even though the existing J and F cabins are still pretty good. biggest winners are economy.Wishful thinking to suggest an upgrade on A380 as well?

undertheradar Banned
undertheradar Banned

28 Oct 2011

Total posts 654

gotta love the promo pics of J/C...when in upright postion during dining/watching tv...they show the seat/module of the seat in front...but when in relax/reading/laptop on lap/sleep mode..the seat/module in front is nowhere to be seen!!!  thus 'showing' a huge sense of space/ reality the seatback/sreen in front of you is rather close to shown in the dining pic..ALL the time ...

On reflection, and in comparison to the new EY cabin, the new SQ cabin seem a bit blah...

It would seem that you need the Singapore Girl in the picture to make it pop. The blue batik tones of her dress somehow add to the ambience.

Whereas the EY cabin seem to stand alone, without any supporting props.

undertheradar Banned
undertheradar Banned

28 Oct 2011

Total posts 654

'bazinga' TRB :-)

Just saying it as it is! 

undertheradar Banned
undertheradar Banned

28 Oct 2011

Total posts 654

if i say anymore...i'll be accused of being 'racist' and/or 'sexist'

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

20 Sep 2013

Total posts 467

A Singapore Girl is a sight in any cabin.They are professional and changed the face of in flight service. 

It's not a comment about the Singapore Girls, who are fantastic at what they do.

I'm merely suggesting SQ or perhaps Singapore itself is lacking in a signature style. 

We poke fun at the gaudy EK bling but that is their signature style, which reflects their cultural identity. The same goes for BA, QF, AF and AY. 

Does SQ have a signature style that reflects its cultural identity?

10 May 2014

Total posts 5

I do believe Singapore Airlines has thier own signature style, it is one of elegance, refinement and special attention to detail.

It may not be an obvious ethnic or cultural style like other carries, yes the colours and asthetic does change from generation but the sophistication remains.

I would say thier signature style is chic and elegant, never gaudy, the colour palette is always warm not cold like many carriers.  

Let me know your thoughts.:-)

Hi Aquarius,

Thanks for engaging in a constructive manner. I fear my previous posts may have been hijacked by way of innuendo.

I agree with you to an extent. I think style is a matter of taste and preference. It is relative and subjective in nature. As such the comparison to EY, which I have been thoroughly impressed with, to the point of wishing to fly them. 

That is in no way is a put down of SQ or it's service. I just personally find the cabin lacks the X factor, when you put it side by side EY. 

undertheradar Banned
undertheradar Banned

28 Oct 2011

Total posts 654

apparently a Singapore Boy isnt/doesn'

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

07 Mar 2013

Total posts 61

Its okay you're under the radar..

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

25 Sep 2013

Total posts 1248


Singapore Airlines - KrisFlyer

06 Feb 2014

Total posts 71

Would  like to  see  them replacing  the  old  777      and  A 330 services with  the  A 350 or   new  777 ER  on  the  Mel -  Singapore   sector.  They  need   to   do  this soon  since   Emirates  ,  qatar    and  Etihad  are  progressing  in  leaps   and   Bounds. Even  Qantas   is  introducing   Full  lie  flat  seats  on the  Asia   routes. SIA  stopping  the  Melbourne   A  380  service   is  not   good   for   them   unless   they   quickly   improve   the   other   aircraft. I  flew   their   older  777 300  and  even  the  first   class  is  looking   old   and   dated. 

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

19 Feb 2014

Total posts 445

That is some serious upgrade...$346m... WOW!

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

02 Jul 2011

Total posts 1379

$346 / 19 planes = $18.2m per plane

$18.2 / 278 seats = $65,000 per seat

which seems reasonable given some J/F suites can be closer to the $500k mark.

Refitting an aircraft aint cheap --- which is why QF went down the cheaper ipad path on the 767s which will be all gone shortly.

I expect QF will be spending a similar amount on the A330 refurbishmnent given it has 30 planes to refurb (albeit smaller and no F)

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

19 Feb 2014

Total posts 445

Maybe I'm just naive haha!

But, not many trips for the seat to claw back the cost.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

21 Jul 2014

Total posts 22

I have travelled on two SQ flights in the last month with the updated 777-300 business class seats which are mostly great but with two really horrible problems. The safety belt is too short when in sleep mode. I am not overweight but it felt constricting. I think it was designed for a standard Asian weight. Some people will find it too tight. In fact on last nights flight to Narita, I just got rid of it and let the crew wake me during turbulence to refasten, it was the only way to sleep.

But easily the biggest problem is the new hand controller for the entertainment system. It is based on a games controller with a screen used to control most of the functions. but it is ridiculously fiddly to use, very easy to press the wrong control (e.g. exit instead of FF during a video) and missing some tactile controls that people like such as volume control and an ENTER button. I do not have fat fingers and I have good dexterity but kept making mistakes. Even worse, trying to work out the interface was doing my head in. The old KrisFlyer entertainment system (the current one on most flights) is amongst the best in the world, if not the best, but this new version was clearly designed by a young gamer and only tested on them. NO way can serious adults have been involved in the testing phase. When I complained to one chief purser he quietly admitted the crew was spending too much time trying to help people use it. The second purser on another flght was more diplomatic saying they had had a few complaints. When I wrote to SQ about this, and I realize I am only a simple SQ Gold level FF and not some celebrity who might get more attention, I got a standard response back showing no real interest in the problem or an indication that it would be checked out. Big shame. Singapore should have tested these new business class facilities more widely.


07 Apr 2016

Total posts 4

I'm flying business class on SQ228 777-300ER from MEL-SIN, will this be the "New SQ Business Class" product?? One of my colleague recently travelled on SQ218 (Red Eye) from MEL and it was the older style!!

Hi Guest, join in the discussion on Singapore Airlines to refit Boeing 777s with new first, business class