|Caveat: This is not the confirmed final layout of the new Singapore A380. It may not even be close. We’ll be at the launch event tomorrow morning, so that’s when we’ll know for sure how much (or little) of these leaks are true. Stay tuned to the blog and to our Instagram and Facebook accounts for the latest updates throughout the day.|
Yesterday a number of leaked images started to appear on FlyerTalk forums and SQTalk claiming to show the new Singapore Airlines A380 First / Suites product, and a full seat layout for all cabins of the aircraft, which are due to be officially unveiled at a press event tomorrow. We’ll be attending the launch, so it’s not long before we can post the official photos and analyse the layout in all cabins, but for now here’s our initial thoughts based on these leaked images.
The Seat Map
The leaked layout, versus the latest in-service Singapore A380 configuration suggests:
- 12F > 6F (a decrease of 6)
- 86J > 78J (a decrease of 8)
- 36W > 44W (an increase of 8)
- 245Y > 340Y (an increase of 95)
- 379 Total > 468 Total (an increase of 89)
The big increase is in the economy cabin.
First / Suites
Firstly, the ‘leaked’ pictures:
The fittings look a bit cheap to us, and the rather dull colour scheme does seem a shift-change for Singapore Airlines, whose recent business and first products have featured much more luxurious tones:
In particular the somewhat controversial ‘premium economy orange’ seems to be creeping in with the cushions, let’s hope this isn’t the final palette.
It isn’t clear if the bed is in a fixed position, or retracts into the wall to provide even more space when not in use.
Buddy dining, with your partner or colleague, a popular option in the current suites product, doesn’t seem to be possible in this configuration.
Here’s our biggest concern so far – in the three upper deck cabin sections aft of the First / Suites cabin, it looks as though Singapore Airlines has squeezed three extra seat rows to feature 78 seats in these sections, where before there were 66. There may have been some slight galley / toilet reconfiguration, but that certainly can’t account for a full 18% density increase.
Our worry, and we really hope we’re wrong, is that they have simply installed the new A350 business seat, with it’s much reduced seat pitch, to achieve this. In an time when Qatar are offering this and Delta are offering this, such a move would be unthinkable… wouldn’t it?
It’s likely to be the same product as the current one, which is relatively new, and this moves to the forward section of the main deck, with the seat map showing 44 seats (an increase of 8 over the current A380) in a 2-4-2 configuration occupying the space formerly housing 12 first class suites.
One plus for the premium economy section compared with the current A380 layout is there now appear to be dedicated toilets (or at worst shared with economy). Previously, as you weren’t allowed forward into the Suites cabin to use their toilets, it meant heading back through an economy section of six rows to use the main bank of economy toilets which wasn’t very convenient.
More bad news here it seems – 340 seats crammed into a space on the main deck which used to house just 311 seats (in the days when SIA A380s did not have a premium economy cabin, and the second third and fourth main deck cabin sections were configured for economy, as it appears they will be once again).
Admittedly some galley and toilet reconfiguration has helped, notably 2 toilets located aft of the second set of main aircraft doors on the lower deck on the current A380s have been moved ahead of those doors into the premium economy section, allowing for more economy seats.
We doubt they will go to that expense when retrofitting the remaining 14 aircraft into this new configuration, so expect a higher premium economy headcount and lower economy total on those planes. Moving toilets and associated plumbing on an aircraft (once installed) is a complicated and expensive business.
This may not be the final announced First / Suites product for the airline, nor the final seating layout. In a way, we hope it’s not. For business class in particular, which probably interests our readers the most, it’s hard to see how 18% more seats can be squeezed into the same space while also enhancing the product.
|We’ll be at the launch event tomorrow morning, so that’s when we’ll know for sure how much (or little) of the leaks are true. Stay tuned to the blog and to our Instagram and Facebook accounts for the latest updates throughout the day.|