When Singapore Airlines launches a new cabin product, the world pays attention. Indeed August 9th will mark a significant moment for the airline – and the aviation year – as the airline will be launching a fourth class of travel: premium economy.
The product – representing an investment of US$80 million – will initially be offered onboard 19 of Singapore’s B777-300ERs, and its entire fleet of 19 A380-800s. The airline opted for a customized BC-01 seat from German manufacturer ZIM Flugsitz for the 28-seat cabin in the B777s, and the 36-seat cabin on the A380s, all of which are configured 2-4-2 at a 38in pitch (seatplans are below). As a gauge of comfort, ZIM markets the model as a business-class seat.
Singapore will also be installing premium economy cabins on the first 20 of its forthcoming fleet of 70 A350-900s, though for these aircraft the seats will be a standard catalog model from Zodiac Seats US, with custom color, material and finish treatments.
Seat width ranges between 18.5 and 19.5in across the aircraft types, and all seats will offer an 8in recline, calf-rest and foot-bar, a Panasonic eX3 13.3in HD monitor, individual in-seat power supply, two USB ports, a personal adjustable reading light and a cocktail table, as well as additional stowage space for personal items including a water bottle holder and mobile phone and laptop.
Singapore Airlines decided to continue its successful relationship with transport design agency JPA Design for this project. JPA has a longstanding relationship with the airline, and really proved itself in its design for the airline’s B777-300ER business class, launched in 2013.
Left: The seats are fully finished in leather with blue and orange accent stitching, and to enhance the individuality of the new class, seat amenities such as the headrest cover, cushion and blanket come in specially selected and matching colors
Conceptualization for the new travel class started in November 2013, and as Tim Manson, design director at JPA Design told Aircraft Interiors International, “Progressing Singapore Airlines’ leading position, JPA Design aimed to create a product that was ‘the place to be’ – more personal, distinctive and instantly recognizable. Defining a striking language for this custom cabin, the design has a more youthful attitude. Leather and antimacassars are predominantly graphite grey, strategically accented with a vibrant orange and cool blue to create a memorable experience.”
Manson added, “Adding both visual and tactile value, particular care was taken to implement innovative colored stitching details and asymmetric patterning indicative of luxury goods to seamlessly tie the cabin together.”
Above: Screenshot from siapremiumeconomy.com showing seat pitch
The premium economy experience doesn’t end with a comfortable seat though. Guests are offered the use of active noise-canceling headphones to enhance the in-flight audio experience, as well as a more extensive choice of food and beverage offerings. Besides being able to select from a standard menu with three meal choices, customers may, from April 2015, also select from the ‘Book the Cook’ service featuring popular dishes. Ernest Rapeneau brut champagne will be offered, in addition to a selection of curated wines, throughout the flight.
On the ground, priority check-in and baggage handling will be offered, as well as a baggage allowance of 35kg (5kg more than in economy), and a 10% miles bonus for KrisFlyer members flying premium economy.
“We have been heartened by the highly positive public reaction to our new premium economy class since our plans were announced last year,” said Singapore Airlines’ CEO, Mr Goh Choon Phong.
“Many of our customers’ suggestions have been incorporated into the new product, and we are confident it will be well received by travelers who are looking for more features – in the seat design, in-flight offerings and exclusive privileges – all underpinned by the exceptional service that SIA is well known for, both on the ground and in the air.”
Explore the seat for yourself at http://siapremiumeconomy.com/
A video of the experience is also available HERE.
Above: Seatback IFE detail from siapremiumeconomy.com
Below: The premium economy layout on the Boeing 777-300ERs
Below: The premium economy layout on the Airbus A380s