SINGAPORE - Singapore Airlines (SIA) has revealed - as it unveiled new seats and other in-flight products as part of a US$850 million (S$1.16 billion) investment - that its Airbus 380s will carry more economy and premium economy passengers than they do now.
This, though, will not be at the expense of customer comfort and convenience, the airline said.
The first of five new A-380s that SIA has ordered will arrive in December with a total of 471 seats - six ultra-first class suites, 78 in business class, 44 in the premium economy cabin and 343 economy seats.
It will enter into commercial service on Dec 18 on the Singapore-Sydney route.
The airline's current fleet of 18 A-380s has up to 441 seats each, including 333 in economy class.
They will be retrofitted from now until 2020 to ensure product consistency for customers.
After four years of design, development and research, SIA's much-awaited new products were unveiled on Thursday (Nov 2) at a media launch at Suntec City. It was attended by more than 100 journalists from Singapore and around the world.
Riding on the theme of "Space made personal, experience the difference", the new cabin offerings provide more space and privacy in all classes, featuring intimate and bespoke elements designed especially for its customers, the airline said.
In economy class, passengers can expect more space and greater comfort through an improved design.
Leveraging advanced technology and ergonomics, seats offer more legroom and back support, with a six-way adjustable headrest.
An 11.1-inch touchscreen monitor eliminates the need for handsets, which is similar to what SIA now offers on its newer aircraft, including the A-350.
Business-class highlights include a full-length divider between centre seats which can be converted into couple seats. There is also under-seat stowage for cabin and laptop bags.
The new products will also feature the launch of myKrisWorld - a new in-flight entertainment system with interactive features that are an industry first.
These include content recommendations based on customer preferences and viewing history, and KrisFlyer members being able to bookmark and resume content, as well as customise and save preferences on myKrisWorld for subsequent flights.
KrisFlyer members travelling across all classes can also select their choice of playlists from the SingaporeAir mobile app prior to the flight, and transfer their selections to the onboard system when they connect to myKrisWorld.
KrisFlyer members, as well as suites and business-class customers, will also have access to additional in-flight entertainment content choices.
SIA's A-380s currently serve Auckland, Beijing, Frankfurt, Hong Kong, London, Melbourne, Mumbai, New Delhi, New York, Paris, Shanghai, Sydney and Zurich.
The changes and enhancements to the fleet come as SIA battles tough rivals such as the Middle Eastern carriers, Australia's Qantas and Hong Kong's Cathay Pacific.
SIA's chief executive officer Goh Choon Phong said: "The significant investment that we are making with the introduction of new cabin products demonstrates our commitment to continued investment in products and services, our long-term approach to ensure we retain our leadership position, and our confidence in the future of premium full-service air travel."
Just last week, the airline confirmed its biggest aircraft buy in more than four years - a US$13.8 billion deal for 20 Boeing 777-9s and 19 787-10s.
The intention to purchase was first announced by SIA in February.