Singapore Airlines joins the Premium Economy set

9 May 2014

Singapore Airlines has confirmed the introduction of premium economy on the bulk of its fleet from the second half of 2015.

In a long-awaited move, the airline will launch the new cabin on Boeing 777-300ERs, followed soon after by Airbus A380s and then the forthcoming Airbus A350s.

The airline has only dabbled with a premium economy offering before, putting it on a small fleet of Airbus A340-500s formerly used for ultra long-haul flights to Los Angeles and New York and labelling it Executive Economy.

A Singapore Airlines spokeswoman said Executive Economy had offered a 37-inch seat pitch, an inch less than the traditional premium economy seat space.

"The new cabin will be different from that in that it will offer more legroom, " she said, adding that no more details would be disclosed at present.

The decision brings Singapore Airlines into line with key rivals Cathay Pacific, Qantas and British Airways.

Fitting the cabin first to Singapore's 777-300ER fleet will mean it should appear first on routes to London and Manchester. Two of the airline's Heathrow flights are on the 777 and the other two on the A380.

It is unlikely that premium economy will be fitted to the Airbus A330s that Singapore Airlines uses on its intra-Asia routes.

It is thought Singapore Airlines will retain its nine-abreast economy seating on the 777s, unlike other carriers which have fitted premium economy and offset this by making economy ten-abreast on this aircraft.

The carrier has also confirmed the retrofitting of its latest first, business and economy seating to its 777-300ER fleet. Nineteen of these are being refitted, but will need another modification once premium economy is unveiled.

Gary Noakes

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