News Singapore Airlines

All Singapore Airlines wide-body aircraft now have the latest Wi-Fi system

SIA's full wide-body fleet now has the latest Wi-Fi system, and upcoming Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft will also boast internet connectivity.

Good news for those keen to stay online in-flight once travel restarts, with confirmation that Singapore Airlines has now done away with its older on-board Wi-Fi systems, meaning we can all look forward to the new connectivity plans and complimentary allowances without worrying which aircraft type we’re flying on (well, almost!).

With only a handful of Boeing 777-300ERs and three Airbus A380s in need of the upgrade from the older (and slower) Swift Broadband system, SIA has confirmed to Mainly Miles that all of these aircraft will have the newer GX Aviation kit installed by the time they return to the operating fleet.

“We plan to retrofit all our remaining 777-300ER and A380 aircraft with the new GX Aviation Wi-Fi system before they return to service.”

SIA spokesperson

All references to the older systems and allowances have now been removed from SIA’s inflight connectivity website page.

This will leave the small fleet of nine Boeing 737-800s, progressively joining the airline from SilkAir this year, as the only ones without internet connectivity, though there’s good news when the 737 MAX finally comes along.

Complimentary Wi-Fi allowances

As a result of this announcement, the following complimentary Wi-Fi packages will now be available on all Singapore Airlines wide-body aircraft types.

Free Wi-Fi allowance
(Wide-body aircraft)
Travel
Class
FFP Status
Not KF/PPS KrisFlyer PPS Club*
Suites^             Unlimited            
First^
Business                100MB               
Premium Economy None 30MB 100MB
Economy

* Includes supplementary PPS Club cardholders
^ Cabin class not currently being offered for sale

This is a significant improvement on the older systems, which not only had slower connection speeds but much lower complimentary data caps (e.g. 100MB in First Class and 30MB in Business Class).

The cabin class allowance is irrespective of whether you made a redemption, cash booking, or upgraded from another cabin class.

Complimentary allowances do not ‘stack’, so a PPS Club member travelling in Business Class will get a 100MB free allowance like the other passengers in this cabin, not 200MB.

Complimentary data allowances apply per flight sector, so if you’re flying for example from Los Angeles to Singapore via Tokyo Narita in Business Class, you’ll get 100MB on the first flight then a fresh 100MB for the second leg of the journey too.

Hiked Wi-Fi allowances until March 2021

For those still travelling during this period of tight border and quarantine restrictions, the good news is that Singapore Airlines is currently offering an additional 30MB complimentary allowance for all, as shown in the following table.

Free Wi-Fi allowance
Wide-body aircraft
(27 Jan 2021 – 27 Mar 2021)
Travel
Class
FFP Status
Not KF/PPS KrisFlyer PPS Club*
Suites^             Unlimited            
First^
Business 100MB
               130MB               
Premium Economy None
30MB
30MB
60MB
100MB
130MB
Economy

* Includes supplementary PPS Club cardholders
^ Cabin class not currently being offered for sale

This time the allowances do ‘stack’ and so you’ll get 30MB in addition to any complimentary allowance offered. In these cases you’ll have to use up any complimentary allowance based on your travel class / KrisFlyer status before accessing the additional 30MB / 2-hour ‘chat’ package.

Regular pricing

Once your complimentary allowances are used up, the following harmonised pricing structure applies for Wi-Fi access on board all Singapore Airlines wide-body aircraft.

Plan Price
Chat (30MB)
Valid for 2 hours only
US$3.99
(US$0.13/MB)
Pro (100MB)
Full flight
US$9.99
(US$0.10/MB)
Premium (200MB)
Full flight
US$15.99
(US$0.08/MB)

Note that Wi-Fi pricing is per flight sector, so you cannot carry unused data from a purchased Wi-Fi package onto a subsequent flight, even on the same day.

The new exception: Boeing 737-800s

Just as we reached an early parity across SIA’s wide-body aircraft types when it comes to Wi-Fi access, there’s a new kid on the block this year and sadly that throws a spanner in the Wi-Fi works for the foreseeable future.

The airline’s newly inherited Boeing 737-800s from SilkAir do not (and will not) have any Wi-Fi capability installed.

A Singapore Airlines Boeing 737-800. (Photo: Plane’s Portrait Aviation Media / Malcolm Lu)

These aircraft are initially being used on flights between Singapore and both Phuket and Brunei, with the airline already pencilling them in on both Yangon and Mandalay services later in the year.

Former SilkAir routes like Male, Medan and Cebu are also due to shift across to SIA using the 737-800s, but the narrow-body jets are also set to appear on selected flights to and from other cities previously served only by Singapore Airlines.

The Boeing 737 MAX will have Wi-Fi

Good news is that Singapore Airlines confirmed to us that its forthcoming Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft, also coming across from SilkAir in addition to new deliveries from Boeing over the coming years, will offer in-flight Wi-Fi connectivity.

“Connectivity services will be available on board the Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft.”

SIA spokesperson

Eventually these aircraft are likely to replace the older Boeing 737-800s, so there should be a 100% Wi-Fi connected fleet at some point in the future.

Pricing plans and complimentary access packages for this aircraft have not yet been revealed, however we expect they will align with the wide-body fleet.

A Singapore Airlines Boeing 737 MAX 8. (Photo: Joe G. Walker)

Boeing 737 MAX aircraft remain grounded in Singapore, however following fixes they are being progressively approved to re-enter service worldwide, including in the USA, South America and Europe, so it shouldn’t be too long before we see them in service with SIA.

It’s not clear whether the airline’s MAX aircraft are being retrofitted with Wi-Fi before entering service with SIA, or whether the system was always installed while the aircraft operated for SilkAir but was just never switched on!

Wi-Fi will be an important inclusion on the airline’s Boeing 737 MAX 8, which will have flat-bed seats in Business Class and a 7-hour range, potentially including city pairs like Singapore – Seoul and Singapore – Adelaide in their future network.

Mobile data options

The three major telcos in Singapore continue to offer unlimited data packages for use with the Singapore Airlines onboard Wi-Fi. If you’re flying on an equipped aircraft, available options are as follows:

S$29 S$25 S$25
Valid for 24 hours from activation. Valid for up to 24 hours, from 00:00 Singapore Time on the day of activation (GMT+8).

These are expensive options, but remember the onboard Wi-Fi options are not unlimited and are priced in US$ (so you need to multiply by at least 1.3x), so they start to look like more reasonable alternatives for heavy data users.

The packages also cover multiple flights within your subscription window, so if you are taking two flights within 24 hours, you will be connected on both of them for a single fee.

Pro Tip: Note that with the StarHub and M1 packages, the unlimited data allowance will reset at midnight Singapore time, wherever you are in the world, which could mean being charged twice if you’re not careful.

The connection and usage instructions for mobile data connections are available on the Singapore Airlines website here.

Some Boingo packages, such as those you get with the Citi Prestige card, also allow access on selected Singapore Airlines aircraft. This does tend to vary however, and it isn’t totally reliable in our experience.

Full guide

Be sure to bookmark our full guide to in-flight Wi-Fi on Singapore Airlines. It’s a good resource to check before your next SIA flight.

Summary

Reaching fleet-wide coverage of the latest Wi-Fi systems on Singapore Airlines flights wasn’t something we were expecting to see for a number of years, mostly because of the glacial pace at which Airbus A380s were being refitted pre-COVID.

In one sense the pandemic has therefore given us a benefit here, with seven older Airbus A380s put out to pasture and the remaining Boeing 777-300ERs enjoying plenty of hangar time to be upgraded while they weren’t flying, we can all be assured of enjoying fast Wi-Fi once we’re back on board.

(Photo: Singapore Airlines)

A variety of complimentary access packages will also be available for all KrisFlyer and PPS Club members, and Business Class passengers, plus an unlimited connection for those in First Class and Suites, not all of which was possible when flying on aircraft with the older generation internet systems.

The one exception of course is the Boeing 737-800, which does not feature Wi-Fi capability, though with these nine aircraft mostly focused on shorter former SilkAir routes it should be only a minor inconvenience.

The good news is that the Boeing 737 MAX 8 will have internet connectivity.

Since those aircraft should eventually replace the Boeing 737-800s as future deliveries take place, a 100% Wi-Fi enabled fleet is now in sight, no matter how long your flight or how many aisles the plane has!

(Cover Photo: Singapore Airlines)

5 comments

  1. unless on 1st class, the data plans are still bad especially for an iphone user as the icloud running background will consumer the 100MB is about mins before you even notice it.
    and then i realized i need to use a backup phone and off the icloud for whatsapp purpose only.

    1. Inflight WiFi today is very limited by satellite technology and available bandwidth.
      Hence, most airlines will just simply sell data plans, especially after taking cost into consideration.
      Singapore Airlines clearly has a strategy to prioritise the limited bandwidth to different tiers of customers and giving them for free. Well done on the high-speed upgrade too!

  2. Honestly I understand the need for revenue generation but Wi-Fi is one service that should be revenue neutral or even provided at a loss to compete aggressively with the competitors. Either up the data cap significantly or reduce the prices more. A 100MB cap for business class is stupid. Business passengers are the passengers that you really really want to keep as customers.

  3. I have had great success using my Boingo account (from my HSBC MasterCard). Is there any way to determine which aircraft have this option?

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