News Singapore Airlines

SIA’s final 3-class 777-300ER has left service

The refit process for the last Singapore Airlines 777-300ER with 2006 cabin products is underway, finally ensuring a common configuration for these aircraft across the fleet

SQ 77W J (MM)

It happened a couple of months later than planned, but finally on 23rd December 2018, 9V-SWT, Singapore Airlines’ last remaining 3-class Boeing 777-300ER with the older 2006 cabin products, landed back into Changi following a service from Shanghai to undergo its cabin refit in the hangar.

When it emerges, probably sometime next month, it will feature the 2013 First and Business Class seats, a Premium Economy section, updated Economy Class seats, and will be Wi-Fi enabled.

This brings the Singapore Airlines Boeing 777-300ER fleet to a common interior configuration, Version 2, with immediate effect. That’s good news as it means there will no longer be any need to fear the older seats when you book flights or award tickets on this aircraft type, the largest single fleet in the airline totalling 27 aircraft.

Pro-tip: Remember in lots of flight schedules the Boeing 777-300ER is referred to as ’77W’ or ‘B77W’. Don’t be confused by the 777-300 (‘773’ or ‘B773’), which has the older seats.

Why did it take so long?

We mentioned this refit finishing two months later than scheduled, but actually that statement was only based on the most recent plan. The whole project is actually winding up over 2 years late, with the airline first promising (rather optimistically) to complete the refits on these jets by September 2016.

Refitting 19 aircraft in 20 months, as SIA first proposed, was probably a tad unrealistic. Once refits were underway, a couple of operational ‘snags’ certainly rocked the aircraft availability boat too.

A Boeing 777-300ER suffered a wing fire in June 2016, and was grounded for 5 months, followed by a tow truck fire in November 2017, which resulted in a 777-200 being declared a write-off by insurers.

Those events would no doubt have forced the airline to keep additional 777-300ERs in service to support the flight schedule, pushing back the refit program.

SQ 77W (Julian Herzog).jpg
All Singapore Airlines 777-300ERs in service now have the newest cabin configuration installed. (Photo: Julian Herzog)

By July last year only two aircraft, 9V-SWI and -SWT, were left to undergo the process. This final pair were used on the Tokyo-Haneda and Beijing flights until the end of October last year, with the original plan for both of them to leave service at the end of that month to be refitted.

Further fleet constraints however meant 9V-SWT remained flying, on a random selection of routes including Jakarta, Manila, Tokyo, Beijing and Shanghai, for a further 7 weeks or so.

The Singapore Airlines 777-300ER

Now that this fleet features a common cabin product, let’s take a quick look at what you won’t need to worry about when flying First Class or Business Class on the Singapore Airlines ’77W’.

2006 F (OMAAT).jpg
2006 First Class – no longer fitted to the 777-300ERs. (Photo: One Mile at a Time)
2006 J (Jeremy Low).jpg
2006 Business Class – no longer fitted to the 777-300ERs. (Photo: Jeremy Low)

On the plus side, you’ll now get the following:

1F Overview.jpg
2013 First Class – now fitted to all 777-300ERs. (Photo: MainlyMiles)
2013 J 77W (Matt@TWN).jpg
2013 Business Class – now fitted to all 777-300ERs. (Photo: Matt@TWN via Flickr)

We’ve updated our Boeing 777-300ER fleet page with a full guide on which seats to pick and avoid on this aircraft type.

Routes

The 777-300ER is currently deployed on the following SIA routes to and from Singapore, based on the week commencing 7th January 2019.

Route Flights
Auckland (AKL) SQ281
SQ282
Beijing (PEK) SQ801
SQ806
Copenhagen (CPH) All
Dubai (DXB) All
Frankfurt (FRA) SQ325
SQ326
Hong Kong (HKG) /
San Francisco (SFO)
SQ1
SQ2
Hong Kong (HKG) SQ865
SQ866
London (LHR) SQ305
SQ306
SQ318
SQ319
Melbourne (MEL) SQ227
SQ228
SQ237
SQ238
Paris (CDG) All
Seoul (ICN) SQ611
SQ612
Shanghai (PVG) SQ828
SQ831
Sydney (SYD) /
Canberra (CBR)
SQ211
SQ212
SQ241
SQ242
SQ288
Tokyo Haneda (HND) SQ630
SQ631
SQ634
SQ635
SQ636
SQ639
Tokyo Narita (NRT) /
Los Angeles (LAX)
SQ11
SQ12
SQ 77W Routes Jan19
Singapore Airlines Boeing 777-300ER Routes as of January 2019. Click to enlarge. (Photo: MainlyMiles)

Check our Business Class seats by route and First Class seats by route pages for full details of the seat types used by city pair and flight number across the Singapore Airlines global network.

Remaining 2006 products

The 19 older 777-300ERs were the mainstay of the 2006 First Class and 2006 Business Class seats before the refits started in early 2015, though the completion of this process doesn’t mean these seats have gone away by any means.

The 14 Airbus A380 Version 1 and Version 2 aircraft and six Boeing 777-200ERs still have the 2006 Business Class seat installed, while the five Boeing 777-300 (non-ERs) which linger on in the fleet are now the last to feature the 2006 First Class seat.

A380 refits

Now the 777-300ER fleet is consistent, it’s time to focus on the next refit. That’s the plan for the older 14 of 19 Airbus A380s in the Singapore Airlines fleet to be refitted with the latest Suites and Business Class seats, as fitted to the newest five A380s delivered from 2017.

ForwardView.jpg
The 2017 cabin products are set to be refitted to SIA’s older A380s, though the work already seems likely to overrun beyond the promised schedule. (Photo: MainlyMiles)

We understand the first pair of refitted A380 aircraft will enter service with these new seats in Q3 2019, leaving 12 planes still left to complete at that stage. It would make Singapore Airlines’ prediction to have the entire A380 fleet retrofitted by 2020 seem like a bit of a pipe dream.

Summary

We’ve waved goodbye to a couple of Singapore Airlines cabin products last year, the ‘Spacebed’ in February and the ‘Ultimo’ blue recliners in March.

Admittedly this isn’t the end of the Singapore Airlines 2006 Business Class and First Class seats, but what it does mean is that for the first time (in a long time) the SIA 777-300ER fleet has a common 4-class product across the 27-strong fleet.

The A380 cabin refits now seem to be going down a well-trodden path. Promise the world… deliver two years late and hope no one notices!

(Cover Photo: MainlyMiles)

6 comments

  1. Andrew, do you know what is currently happening to 9V-SKQ and 9V-SKS? Both are out of service for a few months now. Could they be possibly be undergoing the refit?

    1. Both those aircraft are undergoing their routine heavy maintenance inspections in the hangar at Changi, which does take a number of months.

      We can’t say for sure that they are not having the new seat refit done at the same time, but our source suggests the first refitted plane won’t enter service with the 2017 products until Q3 2019, so it seems unlikely to be either of these planes.

      1. Do you happen to know whether both aircrafts are currently undergoing D check, which require the entire aircraft to be taken down parts by parts? If yes, then it’s more likely that the refit will be done at this time.

      2. Not sure of the exact nature of the checks occurring on these aircraft, but yes they always try to dovetail the heavy inspections with the cabin refits (as the existing seats have to be removed anyway during this process). However we suspect it will be the next pair of A380s going in for their checks to watch out for in terms of the 2017 seats, not the current ones.

  2. It seems that SQ has reverted to using the older Boeing 777-300 on SQ635 (HND-SIN) for the month of March 2019. Would you know anything about that?

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