Singapore Airlines has unveiled its new premium economy product.
As reported yesterday (see news, February 2), the cabin will debut on services to Sydney, Hong Kong and London Heathrow.
From August 9, which is Singapore's national day, passengers travelling on select flights between Singapore and Sydney will be the first to experience the new premium economy.
The product will be rolled-out onto the LHR route from August 28 and onto the Singapore to Manchester route from September 22.
Singapore Airlines' new premium economy seat
Seat pitch in premium economy cabin
It will subsequently be added to other destinations — including Beijing, Delhi, Hong Kong, Frankfurt, London, Mumbai, New York, Shanghai, Tokyo and Zurich — served by SIA's A380, B777-300ER and upcoming A350 aircraft.
In light of the new product, which will be configured 2-4-2, SIA's seat configurations will change. The B777-300ER will have four seats in first class, 48 in business, 28 in premium economy and 184 in economy, in comparison to the existing set-up of eight in first, 42 in business and 228 in economy.
Meanwhile, the premium cabins on the A380 will not be affected, with economy class being reduced to accomodate the new premium economy class seats.
So what do we know of the premium economy seat itself? The official statement by SIA is that the airline will introduce a leather seat that has a width ranging between 18.5 and 19.5 inches, and an eight-inch recline.
IFE system in premium economy
Recline on SIA's new premium economy seat
Complementing this is a 13.3-inch full HD monitor, which the airline claims is "the largest in its class", and noise-cancelling headphones.
An SIA spokesperson told our sister publication Business Traveller Asia-Pacific that the 19 B777-300ERs with premium economy will also be refitted with the new first, business and economy cabin products introduced in 2013 (see news, July 2013).
In addition, there will be several differences between the seat product available on the B777-300ER and the A380.
For instance, the seat width on the former will be 18.5 inches, while the latter will sport a wider one at 19.5 inches. And, while both aircrafts would feature the 13.3-inch monitor, only the B777-300ER will offer touch screen capabilities.
Other seat amenities include a calf-rest and foot-bar, individual power outlets, USB ports, a personal in-seat reading light, cocktail table and additional stowage space. A headrest cover, cushion and blanket are all standard offerings.
SIA chief executive Goh Choon Phong said:"Many of our customers' suggestions have been incorporated into the new product, and we are confident it will be well received by travellers who are looking for more features — in the seat design, in-flight offerings and exclusive privileges — all underpinned by the exceptional service that SIA is well known for, both on the ground and in the air."
SIA route map with premium economy class availability
Premium economy seat layout (A380-800)
Premium economy dining offering
SIA is also introducing a new "dining concept" to premium economy. In addition to a standard menu with three meal choices, passengers will be able to select from a "Premium Economy Book The Cook" selection.
Existing first and business passengers will be familiar with Book The Cook, which allows them to order from a selection of meal choices prior to boarding.
Champagne will also be offered throughout the flight in premium economy, while the same holds true for a selection of curated wine.
Given that most carriers typically only offer drinks periodically during a flight, having Champagne available for the entire flight will be a major distinguishing feature that sets SIA's new offering apart from those offered by its competitors.
Finally, the baggage limit for premium economy has been set at 35kg – 5kg more than the existing economy class allowance.
Members of SIAs frequent flyer programme Krisflyer will be able to earn 10 per cent more miles when they fly in premium economy, as compared to the regular economy accrual rates.