SIA partners US wellness firm Canyon Ranch to ensure passengers on the world's longest flight eat and rest well

In a joint statement, SIA and Canyon Ranch said the programme will focus on wellness cuisines, rest and relaxation, and general well-being.
In a joint statement, SIA and Canyon Ranch said the programme will focus on wellness cuisines, rest and relaxation, and general well-being.PHOTO: SIA

SINGAPORE - From exercise videos to flexible meal times so people can eat when they want to, Singapore Airlines (SIA) is working with American firm Canyon Ranch on a wellness programme for passengers on its Singapore-Newark service, which starts on Oct 11.

The 19-hour flight will be the world's longest.

In the business for about 40 years, Canyon Ranch boasts a team comprising doctors, nutritionists and sleep experts.

The firm is confident it has a foolproof plan for SIA customers to look and feel great at the end of the ultra-long haul flight, said Canyon Ranch's chief executive Susan E. Docherty.

She told The Straits Times: "Whether you're on land, at sea or in the air, your wellness should never be compromised."

In a joint statement on Wednesday (Aug 15), SIA and Canyon Ranch said that the programme will focus on wellness cuisines, rest and relaxation, and general well-being.

The wellness programme will be extended to additional Singapore-United States non-stop services, to Los Angeles and San Francisco, after the Singapore-Newark launch.

Ms Docherty provided some insight into the wellness offerings.

For meals, besides focusing on the quality of the ingredients, the programme also considers how consumption impacts the human body.

"Food needs to be 'clean' and fresh, so nothing that is processed; no sweeteners or additives and no preservatives either. We opt instead for whole grains and proteins - sustainably caught. Our food is hormones and antibiotics free," she said.

Salt and sugar are reduced, and bold spices like turmeric and fennel are used. They not only add flavour but also offer anti-inflammatory, digestion and other benefits, she added.

"What we offer is delicious and visually exciting food that leave people feeling nourished and restored," said Ms Docherty.

The Singapore-Newark service will be operated using the Airbus 350-900ULR (ultra-long range) aircraft.

SIA, which has ordered seven of the planes, will offer a two-class layout, with 67 seats in business class and 94 in the premium economy cabin.

During the flight, passengers will be served three meals, with snacks in between.

Business class travellers can eat whenever they choose to.

 

In premium economy, meals will be served just after take-off, a few hours into the flight and before landing. A few hours into the flight, there will be a hot refreshment service , which passengers can ask to be served at different times.

To get everyone to move around, exercise videos will be added to the in-flight entertainment system.  

For a comfortable rest, a permutation of orange, yellow and red lights - proven to help people doze off - will flood the cabins.

In business class, passengers will have mattress toppers to make the beds more plush. There will also be two pillows - one firm and the other soft - for each customer.

In premium economy, eye shades have been redesigned to make them more comfortable.

SIA's acting senior vice-president for customer experience Yeoh Phee Teik, said the airline is firmly committed to continually elevating customers' experience to be the No. 1 in the industry.

"Our new partnership with Canyon Ranch builds on that commitment, as well as our strong legacy of service, tapping their deep expertise and science-based recommendations and strategies to deliver an even more comfortable journey for our customers," he said.

SIA is among a growing number of airlines taking steps to ensure the well-being of passengers on long flights, experts said.

The airline currently has 21 A350-900s in its fleet, with 46 more on order - including the seven ULR variants.

The first A350-900ULR is due for delivery in September, enabling the launch in October of the world's longest non-stop commercial flight.

Non-stop services to Los Angeles are due to begin on Nov 2, 2018.

Together with increased Singapore-San Francisco non-stop services, SIA will link Singapore and the US with 27 weekly non-stop flights by the end of 2018, while total US frequency will increase to 53 flights per week.