This Airline's Business Class Will Make You Feel Like You're in First Class
The popular vote in the air travel hierarchy has lately shifted to Business Class, with advanced features almost as good as First Class, but less expensive.
In a groundbreaking event on March 28, Singapore Airlines and Boeing introduced an ergonomic answer to the medium-haul flight by way of the new Boeing 787-10.
The first aircraft of its kind flew in from the Boeing production facility in North Charleston, South Carolina, carrying VIPs from Singapore Airlines and Boeing, as well as members of the press to its official welcoming at Singapore’s Jet Quay terminal. A roomful of guests watched as the plane landed on the tarmac offering spectators a "water salute," an airport tradition marked to welcome a new aircraft.
The Boeing 787-10
Measuring 68.3 meters from nose to tail, the newest and largest addition to the Boeing Dreamliner family features a two-class cabin that can seat exactly 337 passengers. Spiffy from the inside going out, the 787-10 is powered by new Trent-1000 engines from Rolls-Royce.
Dinesh Keskar, Boeing SVP of sales in the Asia Pacific and India, and one of the plane's inaugural passengers, said of the experience, “I can attest that Singapore Airlines passengers are going to love flying on it, [whether], short-haul, medium-haul, or long-haul. The seats are outstanding, even in Economy Class. In Business Class, it’s one of the best I’ve ever seen.”
The Business Class section of the cabin
Bias aside, the intimate pods in Business Class are in a class of their own. Apart from every passenger having direct access to the aisle, Business Class flyers can fully recline seats into a 76-inch fully-flat bed. The seat interiors are padded with Alcantara, the same material used to cushion the interiors of luxury sports cars and yachts. Each of the 36 seats in this cabin measures up to 26 inches in width, with retractable armrests that can easily be stowed away. There are also adjustable panels that can go up and down between seats, for optimum privacy.
Each seat converts into a 76-inch fully-flat bed
Keskar wasn’t kidding when he talked about his 22-hour flight from the States: “There are a lot of things you will see on this plane. But there are many things that you will feel—and one is when you fly long hours on this plane, you won’t be as tired as you would on the others.”
Marvin Tan, senior vice president of product and services at Singapore Airlines, shared similar sentiments, explaining that the primary consideration in the design of the regional cabin was based on what consumers demanded “Although it’s a short flight, [passengers] still want to ensure that their four hours of sleep when flying from Singapore to India or Singapore to Australia are as comfortable as possible.” Because the region the 787-10 services is booming with business developments and businessmen who spend a significant portion of their waking
Besides comfort, the new Business Class looked into improving in-flight entertainment. Individual screens are noticeably bigger; each with an 18-inch full high-definition touchscreen monitor. The beauty of the new entertainment system is in the airline’s in-flight companion. MyKrisWorld allows passengers to personalize their media—even beyond a single flight. A new feature lets you bookmark, resume content, and save preferences for subsequent flights. Those traveling with children may also access parental control options to monitor their children’s media consumption.
The 18-inch touchscreen monitor
Each seat comes with ample stowage space
The inclusion of in-flight Wi-Fi on most SIA flights is also a result of market insights. Tan said the airline group is looking at further improving connectivity on SIA flights. He calls the current features “fairly basic” in terms of functions and wants to “open up the whole interactive experience” in the near future, which means we can expect more enhancements.
The service department at SIA has put thought into every detail: including the aircraft’s bathroom amenities. Business Class bathrooms come stocked with Penhaligon's Quercus range of products, which smell of clean, white florals and cardamom.
Penhaligon's Quercus products for use in the Business Class lavatory
The airline has also elevated its in-flight menu, now decked with an enviable selection of wines. Airplane food is now equal to restaurant meals. All-new food options range from Western classics, such as grilled beef fillet and seared lamb chops, to Asian favorites like Nasi Lemak and Prawn and Chicken Laksa. The flight’s Book the Cook option allows passengers to order meals in advance of a trip.
Prawn and chicken laksa
Currently, the Boeing 787-10 serves only routes from Singapore to Osaka and from Singapore to Perth, but will most likely roll out more destinations soon. Even so, Singapore Airlines, which is the first to fly with the 787-10, is proud of its achievement. “Singapore Airlines will continue to work with its many partners to play its part in ensuring the continued growth of the aviation industry here,” said SIA chairman Peter Seah.