We're a bit surprised by the color and trim choices, given the airline's palette and design scheme for the rest of the aircraft, but overall it's a great product. This should be a very nice option for passengers who want more than the airline's excellent boutique Economy class, but aren't ready to dish-out the fare for a Business class ticket.
Singapore Airlines has revealed its new Premium Economy Class cabins after sending followers on a treasure hunt for clues through its social media channels.
The airline hinted at the big announcement yesterday when it encouraged fans on Facebook and Twitter to click a link to their Instagram account, where they could put the picture squares of a mobile puzzle in the proper order and get a peek at the reveal to follow. While neither the hunt nor the picture were particularly difficult to solve, it was a clever way to highlight the airline’s social media presence and engage customers on the various channels.
— Singapore Airlines (@SingaporeAir) February 2, 2015
Singapore followed these teasers with a short video on its YouTube channel introduced with the reveal which gives passengers a very brief tour of the new Premium Economy Class.
The new Premium Economy cabins will be introduced on the airline’s A380s and Boeing 777-300s as well as in the airline’s future fleet of Airbus A350s. They are the product of a collaboration with the London-based design firm JPA Design and will constitute a total investment, once completed, of approximately $80 million.
“We have been heartened by the highly positive public reaction to our new Premium Economy Class since our plans were announced last year,” says Singapore Airlines’ CEO, Mr Go Choon Phong. “Many of our customers’ suggestions have been incorporated into the new product and we are confident it will be well received by travelers 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 will install two versions of the seat design, one by Zim Flugsitz GmbH, Germany (for the A380s and 777ERs) and another by Zodiac Seats US (for the A350s). The airline reports that each seat has a width ranging between 18.5” and 19.5” and offers an 8” recline. The seats will also feature a 13.3”-inch full HD In-Flight Entertainment monitor, with active noise-canceling headphones to improve the in-flight audio experience.
The seats will be finished in leather and will include a calf-rest and foot-rest, individual in-seat power supply, two USB ports, personal in-seat reading light, cocktail table as well as additional stowage space for personal items like water bottles, mobile phones and laptops.
Premium Economy Class passengers will also be able to choose from special menu which includes an extensive range of food and beverage offerings and, starting April 2015, a Premium Economy “Book by the Cook” service will feature popular dishes. Premium Economy passengers will be invited to sip champagne and pick from a selection of curated wines throughout the flight.
There are also special perks for passengers booking Premium Economy tickets with priority check-in and baggage handling, an extra baggage allowance up to 77 lb., and KrisFlyer members will receive 10% more miles when they fly in Premium Economy Class.
Introducing a Premium Economy cabin into its fleet is a tricky move for any airline. Perhaps more so for Singapore Airlines, which provides exceptional passenger experiences throughout and high-end premium cabins in Business class and First. Based on this preliminary reveal, it appears the airline has succeeded in configuring the product so that it is attractive enough to encourage Economy passengers to move forward in the aircraft, without encouraging Business passengers to move back–that is precisely the right product positioning.
The airline was clearly challenged by having to top the excellence of its Economy Long-Haul product, which tied for first with Asiana Airlines and Malaysia Airlines on our Boutique Economy ratings, earning a net score of 58. By comparison, this new Premium Economy product may not rate as high as others in its class (it’s too soon to judge the product), but it is a great affordable luxury travel alternative.
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Photo credit: Side view of Singapore Airlines' new Premium Economy seats. Singapore Airlines