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Singapore Airlines announced at the annual IATA summit that the airline is moving toward offering lie-flat seats in business class on all aircraft, even narrow-bodies. While Singapore Airlines already offers lie-flat seats on the majority of its long-haul fleet, the airline will begin installing lie-flat seats on narrow-body aircraft operated by its regional subsidiary SilkAir beginning in 2020. Ultimately, the airline wants to offer a consistent business class experience across its entire network.
Singapore Airlines operates a fleet of 135-passenger aircraft with an additional 90 aircraft orders outstanding. The majority of Singapore’s fleet features lie-flat seats in business class with the exception of the airline’s Airbus A330s and select Boeing 777-200s. Singapore Airlines also operates a regional carrier, Silk Air, which offers a substantially different cabin across its narrowbody fleet compared to its parent company. Now, Singapore Airlines is in the process of fully integrating the regional airline into its operations.
SilkAir’s fleet, which flies throughout Asia and Australia, consists of a mix of Airbus A319s, A320s and Boeing 737-800s as well as the Boeing 737 MAX, which is currently grounded. As the airline takes delivery of 32 additional Boeing 737 MAX 8s, it will phase out all Airbus narrow-bodies. All aircraft in SilkAir’s fleet currently feature both business and economy class, however, compared to Singapore Airlines, SilkAir’s business class recliners are quite underwhelming.
SilkAir Boeing 737s will feature lie-flat seats designed by Thompson Aero. The new business class seats are lie-flat when fully reclined, and are similar to those found in JetBlue Mint Class and Aer Lingus Business Class. SilkAir Boeing 737s will feature a business class arranged in a 2-2 and 1-1 configuration. Select rows — those configured in a 1-1 configuration — will feature the coveted throne seat for a first class-like experience.
Once Singapore Airlines completely overhauls SilkAir’s fleet with lie-flat seats in business class, premium cabin customers departing the US bound for smaller cities in Asia will be able to enjoy a lie-flat seat from the start of their journey till wheels down at their final destination.
In addition to SilkAir’s narrow-body fleet, Singapore Airlines offers non-lie-flat angled business class seats aboard a handful of its aircraft. Aircraft operated by Singapore Airlines that do not feature a lie-flat product include the airline’s Airbus A330-300s (18) and Boeing 777-200 (8). Both aircraft will eventually be phased out.
Singapore Airlines continues to add new aircraft to its fleet, including the Airbus A350, which is fitted with the airline’s latest business class product. For a full review of Singapore Airlines’ latest business class product, check out TPG’s review of the nonstop flight between NYC and Singapore.
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Featured image of Singapore Airlines new business class by Zach Honig/The Points Guy
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