Singapore Airlines (SIA) will be investing more than SGD50 million in a major revamp of its SilverKris and KrisFlyer Gold Lounges at Changi Airport Terminal 3. Renovations are due to commence in August 2019 and are expected to be completed by mid-2021.
The redevelopment project will see an overall 30% increase in space and total customer capacity for the Terminal 3 lounges. The new lounges will offer more generous open spaces, upgraded facilities and a wide array of F&B selections, all tailored to the needs and preferences of our customers. SIA has engaged renowned hospitality designers Hirsch Bedner Associates to inject a fresh look and feel to each lounge that is modern yet homely, while inspiring a sense of timeless elegance.
For the ultimate bespoke lounge experience, Suites and First Class customers can look forward to a brand new The Private Room and First Class Lounge, with carefully designed luxurious and intimate seating spaces suitable for both work and rest. The First Class Lounge will continue to feature a flagship bar, and The Private Room, a full-service fine dining section within the lounge. Customers can look forward to an enhanced epicurean journey with fresh and seasonally curated dining offerings, on top of the perennial local favourites.
The Business Class Lounge will be expanded and feature four distinct zones that cater to travellers with different needs. Customers with a short transit can have a light snack in a relaxed café setting, while those with more time to spend may explore a full selection of Asian and international cuisines in the dining hall, including live stations that will offer signature local delights.
A highlight of the new Business Class Lounge will be a full service bar that doubles up as a self service breakfast station in the mornings. Productivity pods will also be available for customers who need a discreet corner to catch up on work, while a rest area with chaise lounges will be provided for customers to catch some shut-eye before their flight.
The KrisFlyer Gold Lounge will double in capacity and include dedicated working spaces, as well as larger al fresco seating and dining areas. The lounge will also be equipped with restrooms and showers.
The construction process will be carried out over four phases, during which the lounges will be progressively renovated in sections, starting with the Business Class Lounge, followed by the First Class Lounge and The Private Room, and finally the KrisFlyer Gold Lounge. Customers affected by renovation works will be invited to temporary lounges to ensure minimal disruption during this period.
Singapore Airlines is known globally for its high standards of service and cabin experience. The airline has been awarded the internationally acclaimed five-star rating from Skytrax and was recognized by the organization in 2018 as the ‘World’s Best Airline” for the fourth time, operating a modern passenger fleet of more than 100 aircraft. For the upcoming fleet of Airbus A350-900 medium haul aircraft, Singapore Airlines has entrusted Thales to sustain their brand promise of improving service excellence, retaining competitive advantage and continuing to meet and exceed customer expectations.
This new fleet of aircraft will be equipped with Thales’s AVANT IFE system, featuring an innovative and personalized user experience uniquely designed for Singapore Airlines. The 40 Business Class passengers will enjoy 17″ High Definition touch screen monitors with a complementing handset that operates similarly to a consumer smart phone, enabling passengers to use it as a secondary device to control the seatback monitor. The 263 Economy Class seats will feature the latest 11.6″ touchscreen monitors.
The sleek and lightweight design of AVANT provides travelers an exceptional inflight experience with Singapore Airlines’ vast choice of entertainment. The IFE solution is designed with a new Signature user interface that is unique to Singapore Airlines, and offers a more intuitive user experience with new additional navigational options. Some key features on AVANT include:
Media Filter: This enables passengers to efficiently locate desired media by filtering content through the various categories, genres, languages and available flight duration;
Flight Info Map: When enjoying movies or TV shows, passengers are able to concurrently bring up flight info without exiting the media player; and,
Air Mouse (available in Business Class): The touch screen handset functions as a remote control by directing the onscreen cursor on the seatback monitor.
With Singapore Airlines’ myKrisWorld complementing the new IFE system, passengers are able to enjoy a personalized inflight entertainment service with over 1,800 movies, television shows, music, interactive games, informational applications and more. KrisFlyer members and passengers traveling in premium classes will also have access to additional content. Passengers will be able to personalize preferences upon sign-in and bookmark partially watched movies and TV shows to be resumed on subsequent flights.
Passengers onboard Singapore Airlines’ new Airbus A350-900 medium-haul aircraft will enjoy high speed WiFi service using Inmarsat’s Global Xpress (GX) satellite network. The pairing of global Ka-band connectivity and Thales’s latest IFE innovations provides a comprehensive set of onboard entertainment services that transform passenger experiences wherever they fly.
To ensure that the IFE and Connectivity systems remain at optimal performance, Thales will also provide turn-key maintenance support and services through its FlytCARE service, including line maintenance, software and media content loading, repairs and support from the Singapore Customer Support Center.
Top Copyright Photo (all others by Thales): Singapore Airlines Airbus A350-941 ULR 9V-SGB (msn 223) LAX (Michael B. Ing). Image: 944723.
Scoot is to take over a number of SilkAir’s routes over the next two years, ahead of SilkAir’s merger into Singapore Airlines (SIA). Scoot will also be transferring some of its services to existing destinations served by SIA and SilkAir.
The changes are expected to take place between April 2019 and the second half of 2020. They are the result of a detailed review to identify which airlines in the SIA Group portfolio are best suited to meet evolving customer demand. The changes, which are subject to regulatory approvals, are planned as follows:
From SilkAir to Scoot:
Luang Prabang and Vientiane in Laos, in April 2019
Coimbatore, Trivandrum and Visakhapatnam in India, between May 2019 and October 2019
Changsha, Fuzhou, Kunming and Wuhan in China, between May 2019 and June 2019
Balikpapan, Lombok, Makassar, Manado, Semarang and Yogyakarta in Indonesia, between May 2020 and July 2020
From Scoot to SIA (Both are existing SIA destinations):
Bengaluru and Chennai in India, in May 2019 and May 2020
From Scoot to SilkAir (Both are existing SilkAir destinations):
Shenzhen in China, from June 2019
Kochi in India, from October 2019
In addition, SilkAir will be converting its Mandalay route to a seasonal service. Existing services will end in March 2019 and will resume in November 2019, continuing until January 2020. Scoot will meanwhile be suspending services to Honolulu with effect from June 2019 as a result of weak demand.
Dates are indicative as a result of required regulatory approvals. Customers with existing bookings will be provided the option to switch to the new Scoot, SIA or SilkAir flights where possible, or be provided refunds.
“We are now at the half-way mark in our three-year Transformation Program, and this announcement represents another significant development. The route review will strengthen the SIA Group for the long term, with the right vehicles in our portfolio of airlines deployed to the right markets,” said SIA CEO, Mr Goh Choon Phong.
SIA announced in May that its regional wing SilkAir is to undergo a significant investment programme to upgrade its cabin products ahead of its eventual merger into SIA. The programme will see SilkAir’s cabins fitted with new lie-flat seats in Business Class, and the installation of seat-back in-flight entertainment systems in both Business Class and Economy Class.
The investments will ensure closer product and service consistency across the SIA Group’s full-service network. Low-cost subsidiary Scoot’s fleet will meanwhile be expanded with the transfer of 14 Boeing 737-800s from SilkAir, while SilkAir will continue growing its operations in the years ahead as it takes delivery of new Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft.
(1) Existing Scoot destination.
Top Copyright Photo (all others by the airlines): SilkAir Boeing 737-8 MAX 8 9V-MBE (msn 44242) SIN (Pascal Simon). Image: 944508.
Seattle will become the fifth US city in Singapore Airlines’ route network – and the fourth to be served nonstop from Singapore – when new flights are introduced next year.
The nonstop Singapore-Seattle/Tacoma flights are due to be launched on September 3, 2019 and will initially be operated three times per week before increasing to four times per week in October 2019.
Airbus A350-900 aircraft will be used on the route, fitted with 42 Business Class, 24 Premium Economy Class and 187 Economy Class seats.
Subject to regulatory approvals, flight SQ28 will initially depart Singapore at 0925 hrs every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday and arrive in Seattle/Tacoma at 0905 hrs on the same day (all times local). The return sector, operated as SQ27, will depart Seattle/Tacoma at 1040 hrs every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday and arrive in Singapore the following day at 1730 hrs. From October 2019, flight SQ28 and flight SQ27 will operate every Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday.
The new Seattle flights will complement Singapore Airlines’ existing services to the US cities of Houston, Los Angeles, New York (both JFK and Newark airports) and San Francisco. Singapore Airlines recently introduced daily nonstop flights between Singapore and Newark and from tomorrow will fly nonstop between Singapore and Los Angeles using Airbus A350-900ULR (ultra-long-range) aircraft. Existing nonstop services to San Francisco will also be increased from seven to 10 flights per week with effect from November 28, 2018.
Singapore Airlines will operate 53 flights per week to the US by December 2018, including 27 nonstop Singapore-US services. With the introduction of the new Seattle flights next year, total US frequency will increase to 57 flights per week.
Top Copyright Photo (all others by the airline): Singapore Airlines Airbus A350-941 9V-SMS (msn 158) SIN (Michael B. Ing). Image: 944221.
The longest commercial flight on the planet set off from Changi International Airport Terminal 3 last night at 11:37pm, and arrived at New Jersey’s Newark Liberty International Airport a day later at 5:29am (US Eastern time).
Excited passengers boarded the sleek, brand-new, two-class Airbus A350-900ULR (ultra-long-range) aircraft at around 11pm before settling into SQ22’s 67 business suites and 94 premium economy seats. As they headed down the aerobridge, airline staff handed out memorabilia that included a signed flight certificate from Captain SL Leong.
The marathon 19-hour, 16,700km route will initially be served three times a week, departing Singapore on Monday, Thursday and Saturday, with daily operations commencing on 18 October. The airline has an additional seven A350-900ULRs on order and from 2 November will fly non-stop to Los Angeles.
The two flights are just the latest services that signify the airline’s stronger presence in the US: in October 2016 SIA commenced non-stop flights between Singapore and San Francisco and by the end of this year will be operating 27 non-stop services a week from Singapore to the US.
“These new flights will also provide convenient connections beyond Changi Airport, helping to boost connectivity to and through the Singapore hub,” the airline’s senior vice-president for sales and marketing, Campbell Wilson said at a pre-flight reception inside the gatehold room.
“Flying on Singapore Airlines is not about one single service or feature – it is a holistic experience comprising the best seats, great food, plenty of entertainment, the opportunity for good rest and, of course, unparalleled service,” he told SilverKrisas he boarded the flight, adding that he was looking forward to relaxing with several “nice meals and a few good sleeps” before clearing through emails and being ready to hit the ground in New York.
To fight any jet lag, the A350-900ULR will offer passengers a more comfortable travelling experience with features such as higher ceilings, larger windows, an extra wide body and lighting designed to reduce jetlag. Its carbon composite airframe also allows for improved air quality due to optimised cabin altitude and humidity levels.
The airline has also engaged wellness brand Canyon Ranch to design additional meals as well as exercise and stretching videos specifically tailored to the flight. Business class suites benefit from a new mattress topper and a choice of hard or soft pillows, while premium economy seats have also been updated with calf rests. The IFE now has 1,200 hours of movies, television and audio to choose from.
Passengers – many of them plane enthusiasts who had flown in from around the globe just to take this flight – arrived at the gate earlier for the reception, clinking champagne flutes and enjoying a colourful performance by cabin crew crooners, including the Frank Sinatra classic New York, New York and Etta James’ smooth-as-velvet At Last.
CNN international anchor and self-confessed “avgeek” Richard Quest was also on board the flight, live-blogging the entire journey. As an experienced long-haul flyer – in 2005 Quest was aboard a 22-hour Boeing demonstration flight that entered the Guinness Book of Records – he had a few words of wisdom for his fellow passengers.
“The key is all in how you plan a flight of this duration, otherwise you’ll sit there bored. You need to maximise the time that is relevant to where you are going – set the clock to where you are going and sleep at all the right times,” he advised.
Quest himself didn’t get much sleep though, tweeting and filing updates to his live CNN story for most of the 19 hours.
“There has always been a level of, and dedication to, quality that is very unique to Singapore Airlines,” he told SilverKris. “But in the last five years I’ve seen that improve even more. There is now an even greater degree of flexibility, and that’s huge. I am most impressed not by the frills but by the perfectionist nature [of the airline].”
Vippin Bagga from New Delhi decided to take a detour to a business meeting in Toronto in order to be on the inaugural SQ22. “I could have easily have flown from India to Toronto, but I chose a longer path so that I could experience all of this,” he said.
Cherag Dubash flew in from his home base of Dubai just to be on board SQ22. “I’m an ‘avgeek’ and have an Instagram [dedicated to aviation]. This will be the longest flight I’ve taken, but I’ve got my routine planned – I’ll first set up my GoPro and then settle into movies and surfing the net,” he said.
Dr Chong Jeng How from Singapore is from a group called “First to Fly”. He was travelling on SQ22 with eight other members of the group, who met during another of SIA’s world firsts 11 years ago – its first commercial flight of the double-decker Airbus A380 – and discovered a common interest in aviation. “This flight is a friendship thing for us – it’s a time to bond with each other,” he said.
And while connecting to the flight’s WiFi was priority for many passengers, Tilo Kruger from Ireland was doing just the opposite. “For me, a flight of this length is a great opportunity to escape and disconnect,” he said. “That’s what I love about flying.”