Wellness touch for SIA's Singapore-Newark service

US firm Canyon Ranch roped in to work out programme for 19-hour flight starting Oct 11

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

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.

Its chief executive Susan E. Docherty 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 yesterday, SIA and Canyon Ranch said that the programme will focus on wellness cuisines, rest and relaxation, and general well-being.

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

Providing some insight into the offerings, Ms Docherty said that for meals, besides focusing on the quality of the ingredients, the programme 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 leaves people feeling nourished and restored," said Ms Docherty.

During the flight, passengers on the two-class aircraft 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; but passengers can also ask to be served at different times.

To get everyone to move around, exercise videos will be added to the in-flight entertainment system and through the SIA app as well.

For a comfortable rest, 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 re-designed to make them more comfortable.

SIA's acting senior vice-president for customer experience Yeoh Phee Teik said that the airline is firmly committed to continually elevating customers' experience to be the number one in the industry.

"Our new partnership with Canyon Ranch builds on that commitment, as well as our strong legacy of service, tapping into 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 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 67 seats in business class and 94 in the premium economy cabin.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 16, 2018, with the headline Wellness touch for SIA's Singapore-Newark service. Subscribe