SIA offers premium economy class tickets, bookings start Tuesday

Each premium economy seat, which comes with a calf-rest and foot-bar, has a width ranging between 18.5 and 19.5 inches (47-49.5cm) with an eight-inch recline for more ease and comfort, says SIA. -- PHOTO: SINGAPORE AIRLINES
Each premium economy seat, which comes with a calf-rest and foot-bar, has a width ranging between 18.5 and 19.5 inches (47-49.5cm) with an eight-inch recline for more ease and comfort, says SIA. -- PHOTO: SINGAPORE AIRLINES
Each premium economy seat, which comes with a calf-rest and foot-bar, has a width ranging between 18.5 and 19.5 inches (47-49.5cm) with an eight-inch recline for more ease and comfort, says SIA. -- PHOTO: SINGAPORE AIRLINES
Each premium economy seat, which comes with a calf-rest and foot-bar, has a width ranging between 18.5 and 19.5 inches (47-49.5cm) with an eight-inch recline for more ease and comfort, says SIA. -- PHOTO: SINGAPORE AIRLINES

SINGAPORE - Singapore Airlines (SIA) customers flying to Sydney on selected flights will be the first to experience the carrier's new premium economy class from August 9, with bookings starting from Tuesday.

As the name suggests, the new product will offer more legroom, wider seats, more meal choices and better amenities compared with economy class.

Fares will differ depending on the day and time of travel but travellers can expect to pay about 15 - 20 per cent more for premium economy.

Each seat which comes with a calf-rest and foot-bar has a width ranging between 18.5 and 19.5 inches with an eight-inch recline for more ease and comfort, SIA said on Tuesday.

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There is also a 13.3-inch full high definition in-flight entertainment monitor with noise-cancelling headphones, individual in-seat power supply, two USB ports, and additional stowage space for personal items such as a water bottle, mobile phone and laptop.

Premium economy customers can choose from a more extensive range of food and beverage offerings with champagne offered, in addition to a selection of wines, throughout the flight.

To ensure a seamless experience that begins on the ground, priority check-in and baggage handling will be offered to customers, SIA said.

The baggage allowance of 35kg is higher than the 30kg for economy travellers and KrisFlyer members will receive 10 per cent more miles when they fly premium economy.

The new product will be progressively rolled out to other destinations served by SIA's Airbus 380s and Boeing 777-300ERs, in addition to the future fleet of Airbus 350s.

After Sydney, premium economy will be launched for other sectors, including Beijing, New Delhi, Hong Kong, Frankfurt, London, Mumbai, New York, Shanghai, Tokyo and Zurich in the later part of the year and early next year.

The airline's chief executive officer, Goh Choon Phong said: "Many of our customers' suggestions have been incorporated into the new product, and we are confident it will be well received by travellers 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."

Conceptualisation for the new premium economy class seats started in November 2013, with seat manufacturers ZIM Flugsitz GmbH (for the A380 and 777-300ER) and Zodiac Seats US (for the A350), and design firm JPA Design.

The total investment for the new cabin class, which will initially be introduced on 19 A380s, 19 777-300ERs and the first 20 A350s, is estimated at USD80 million.

karam@sph.com.sg