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Revealed: Singapore Airlines’ New Regional Business Class Seats

Nine years ago almost to the day Singapore Airlines introduced the current 'sloped bed' regional business class seat, this morning they revealed their new staggered 1-2-1 flat-bed product with direct aisle access

Business Class 2

Just over an hour ago the first Boeing 787-10 for Singapore Airlines and for that matter the first in the world to be delivered to an airline customer, touched down at Changi Airport following a nearly day-long delivery flight from the USA. Inside – the long awaited and highly anticipated replacement for the Singapore Airlines regional business class product.

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9V-SCA parked at Changi this morning. (Photo: MainlyMiles)

Arrival of the new jet has triggered the big reveal, and as predicted the airline has opted for a fully flat-bed seat in a staggered 1-2-1 configuration with direct aisle access for all passengers, to replace the ageing 2-2-2 sloped-bed seats currently used on the regional fleet.

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Five couple middle pairs feature at alternating rows in the 787-10 business cabin, as we predicted last month. (Photo: The Shutterwhale)

It’s Not STELIA Opal

As you may have already noticed from the product images – the first leak, by Australian Business Traveller back in January 2017, proved incorrect as Singapore Airlines have not opted for the STELIA Aerospace ‘Opal’ business class seat. Instead they have gone with the superior ‘Solstys III’ product by the same company as a starting point, customised and enhanced for Singapore Airlines as the ‘Symphony’.

It’s one of the more spacious seats on the market in the ‘staggered 1-2-1’ flat-bed business class category. The same basic product, albeit with different customisation, is already used by Alitalia and Azul Brazilian Airlines.

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STELIA ‘Solstys’ in the Alitalia configuration. (Image: Alitalia)

STELIA is an Airbus subsidiary, manufacturing a wide range of premium aircraft passenger seats in the first class, business class and premium economy categories – and yes, they’ll happily install their product in a Boeing aircraft for you.

Stelia Solstys (Azul)
STELIA ‘Solstys’ in the Azul configuration. (Image: Azul)

As you can see, significant customisation has been applied to adapt the product to the Singapore Airlines customer standard.

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Solo window seats alternate between window-side and aisle-exposed. (Photo: Australian Business Traveller)

The finish is in soft brown leather, with the light orange accents as seen in the new A380 products in the storage areas and cushions. At the headrest side, a sizeable ‘wing’ provides additional privacy, even for aisle-exposed seats.

We plan to fly on the 787-10 soon, so stay tuned to the blog for our full review of this new regional business class product.

Fast Facts

  • Fully flat bed (180 degree recline)
  • Direct aisle access for all passengers
  • To be installed on all Boeing 787-10 aircraft (eight to be delivered this year) and the ‘Regional’ Airbus A350 planes arriving in 2019
Window Pair J.jpg 2018RJ-4 (AusBT)
2009 RJ 2018 RJ
Seats
Config 2-2-2 1-2-1
Legroom 60″
Bed Length 76″
Width 24.5″ 26″
Recline 172o 180o
IFE
Screen Size 15.4″ SD 18″ HD
Power Source UNI Socket UNI + USB Sockets
Wi-Fi No Yes

Photos: MainlyMiles (2009 RJ) / Australian Business Traveller (2018 RJ)

Seating Layout

The new regional business class seats are configured in a space-efficient ‘staggered 1-2-1’ configuration, where in bed mode your feet go partly underneath the console of the seat in front. That means the seat rows can be closer together, allowing the airline to increase capacity.

It also means the lateral position of the seats alternates at each row. That makes the ‘simplistic’ seat map on the Singapore Airlines website of very limited use (Edit: They have seen sense, scroll down…) when choosing a seat on aircraft fitted with these new seats, like the 787-10.

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The Singapore Airlines 787-10 business class seat map

We took the liberty a month ago of predicting the likely layout, based on seats marked for disabled access (which we figured would be the ones closest to the aisle), and used it to correctly predict the actual seating layout, which looks very close to this much more useful seat plan:

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The layout we predicted – came true. (Image: MainlyMiles)

Edit: Someone at SIA is listening, and reading! The online seat map has just been amended.

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Where they got the inspiration, I’ll never know…

‘Love Seats’ or Solo Seats

One advantage of the chosen layout is that couples aren’t left out, with five of the middle pair rows configured as ‘love seats’ situated directly alongside one another.

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Alternating couple pairs and solo seats in the middle section. (Photo: The Points Guy)

You’ll still have to lean forwards past the privacy ‘wing’ at headrest height to have a good conversation though, by the look of it.

Business Class 1
No double bed on the regional aircraft, but the ‘love seats’ benefit from close proximity and good privacy from the rest of the cabin. (Image: Singapore Airlines)

For individual seats, business class passengers will have the choice of aisle-exposed seats – where the side console is located either against the window or the middle section, or the more private ‘cocoon’ arrangement directly against the window with the side console between the seat and the aisle, though in fact both appear to have good privacy.

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Choices for the A or K window seats. Note that row 16 has a missing window. (Photo: Australian Business Traveller)

Another option on quieter flights may be to take the risk of booking into an empty middle ‘couple’ pair when flying solo – in the hope that the seat next to you remains vacant. You could then retract the privacy divider potentially giving you a large private space to yourself, if the gamble pays off.

More Seat Details

We’ll save a full rundown covering each aspect of the new regional business class for our own review of the product next month, and there are already some reviews you can read in full from the delivery flight (see links below in ‘What the Bloggers are Saying’).

A few features from these reviews do look quite neat though, so here’s a sample of what piqued our attention.

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The side storage compartment and table, which also houses a multi-standard (UNI) power socket and two USB ports, a headphones hook to the side, and an extendable vanity mirror. (Photo: Australian Business Traveller)
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Three lights each with three different brightness settings inside the privacy ‘wing’ of each seat. (Photo: Australian Business Traveller)
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A nifty touchscreen along the edge of the side table controls the seat, lighting, ‘do not disturb’ function and cabin attendant call. It fades when not in use before going completely blank shortly afterwards. (Photo: The Shutterwhale)
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Lots of additional storage space including a bassinet position which doubles as a large shelf at seats 11A and 11K, despite being ‘aisle exposed’ and close to the toilets and galley. (Photo: Australian Business Traveller)

Regional Wi-Fi has Arrived

Based on the large hump about a third of the way down the fuselage of the Singapore Airlines 787-10s, we stated that Wi-Fi was an inevitability on this new jet – and indeed it was confirmed this morning that Panasonic’s Ku-band ‘Aeromobile’ Wi-Fi is fitted.