Singapore Airlines is gearing to launch its revamped A380 cabin products on the Mumbai-Singapore sector. The inaugural flight SQ423 will depart from Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport, Mumbai on September 1, 2019 at 2340 hours. The new Singapore Airlines A380 will be configured with 471 seats. The aircraft will be fitted with six Suites and 78 business class seats on the upper deck as well as 44 premium economy class seats and 343 economy class seats on the main deck.
We had a quick conversation with David Lim, general manager, Singapore Airlines-India on what this new product will bring to the Indian market, and other expansion plans.
What are the latest updates from Singapore Airlines for the India market?
For the last few years, we have been adding a lot of new cabin products and also getting these new products into India. Two years ago, we started our A350 to Mumbai. I think, that was our latest cabin product until then. Last year, we deployed the Boeing 787 to Delhi. This year, we fly the A350 medium-haul aircraft to Bengaluru in May and to Kolkata in June. On September 1, 2019, we will be introducing new A380 cabin products to Mumbai.
Tell us more about the refurbished A380 aircraft?
It is completely different. There will more space and comfort for passengers. We have taken a few years to develop this product.
We have spent over US$850 million on 19 aircraft, so one aircraft cost about US$45 million. As for the product, we have four classes of cabin — Suites, business class, premium economy and economy.
The Suite is the largest seat of the four classes and every seat feels like a cabin. We have six Suites on the upper deck at the front of the aircraft. There are two washrooms, and the enclosed suite comprises a plush swivel chair, 32-inch screen, and a separate bed. Each row has two seats that are designed for the comfort of single travellers and as well as for the those travelling with their dear ones. as some suites can be turned into a double format by lowering the divider.
After the Suites, there is the business class cabin. We have 78 business class seats in 20 rows and each row has four seats. The cabin product for business class is different. For instance, the seat for is made from carbon and fibre instead of metal. We have kept more space for stowage. The chair comfortably gets converted into a fully-flat bed, which is perfect for business travellers.
The premium economy cabin is on the front of the main deck. The configuration is 2-4-2 in a row with the total of 44 seats. The refurbished A380 will have 44 seats as opposed to an earlier cabin that had 36 seats.
Earlier the suite was on the front of the main deck so the premium economy was after it. But now the 44 premium economy seats are on the main deck followed the economy class cabin.
What are your expansion plans in India?
We have 18 weekly flights to Mumbai. And with new promotion strategies and enhanced cabin products, we think Indian passengers travelling on Singapore Airlines are in for some best deals.
As per your strategies, where do you think India stands?
India is a very important market for us. We have been in India for 49 years, our first flight was through Chennai in 1970. We have flights from six metro cities including Chennai.
We place India in the same category as Australia and China as we fly to many cities in those countries. As you may see, in the past couple of years, we have been deploying some of the best aircraft on the Indian sector.
Additionally, we will also look at introducing new aircraft types progressively to the Chennai and Ahmedabad market.
We offer seamless connectivity for Indian passengers on routes beyond Singapore and India.