They may transform the experience of flying from bearable to downright enjoyable – but they don’t come cheap. A return flight from London to Sydney via Singapore will set passengers back at least £9,500.
As exclusive a “seat” as you’re likely to find on a plane – other than flying by private jet – the suites are few and far between, with only six available on each of the new aircraft. And, for now, they will only be available on selected flights on the Singapore-Sydney-Singapore portion of the route.
Still, if you do have the cash and inclination, what else does £9,500 get you? The suites also feature fully adjustable leather seats upholstered by Poltrona Frau, sliding doors, customised handbag stowage compartment, amenity box lined with leather and two bathrooms, one of which has a sit-down vanity counter. The bed can also be fully stowed to create a bigger space. In fact, the suites look more like bijoux hotel rooms than plane seats.
For the more plebeian passengers slumming it in Business Class there are 25 inch seats that fully recline into a flat bed to get excited about, with new “wings” on either side to give better back support. Premium Economy passengers can look forward to a 19.5 inch-wide seat, with 8 inches of reclining potential, plus noise-cancelling headphones. And even those in Economy will be treated to a six-way adjustable headrest and an ergonomically designed footrest.
The new Singapore Airlines A380 fleet cost $850 million to upgrade and will have 471 seats altogether across four classes: six Suites, 78 Business Class seats, 44 Premium Economy Class seats and 343 Economy Class seats.