Could This Be Singapore’s New A380 Suites Class?

As an airline product geek, the last quarter of this year is going to be so exciting. Just days apart we’ll possibly see the world’s two best new first class products unveiled. Specifically, on November 2 Singapore is unveiling their new A380 Suites Class, while just over a week later Emirates is unveiling their new 777 first class.

What we know about Singapore’s new A380 Suites Class

Singapore Airlines is good about remaining tight-lipped when it comes to their new products. They reveal things on their own schedule, and we rarely see any sort of leaks. As of now there are really only two things we know:

  • The new Suites cabin will consist of six seats, presumably with a single aisle
  • The new Suites cabin will be on the upper deck

I suspect this will be by far the best first class hard product we’ve ever seen. Singapore Airlines will have just six suites in the same area that Etihad has nine First Class Apartments & The Residence on the A380, which is otherwise the most spacious cabin layout there is. So the product will be almost double as spacious as Etihad’s A380 first class, which is saying a lot.


Etihad’s spacious A380 first class cabin

There are two hints that recently came out that might give us some new insight into what we can expect from Singapore’s new A380 Suites Class. In no particular order:

The window configuration of Singapore’s new A380

Singapore’s first A380 with the new Suites Class has already been built, and airlines deliberately configure the windows in each cabin based on the layout. For example, currently Singapore Airlines has their Suites Class on the lower deck of the A380, and you’ll notice how the windows between doors one and two on the lower deck are configured in this layout, and specifically that there are (intentionally) several windows missing.


Singapore’s current A380

This is because of the cabin layout, and that they don’t want windows in areas where they couldn’t be opened or closed, like in the thick partition between seats.


Singapore’s current A380 Suites Class

Singapore’s new A380 Suites Class, located on the upper deck, has a surprising layout. Take a look at this airliners.net picture of Singapore’s brand new A380, and you’ll see that Singapore only has a total of six windows on each side of the upper deck ahead of the forward door — there are four “open” windows, one “closed” window, two “open” windows, and then four more “closed” windows.

We know that’s the case, but we don’t know what exactly it means. Off the top of my head, possibilities include:

  • There’s going to be a double bedroom in the forward part of the cabin, and then a single bedroom in the back part of the cabin, which explains why there are four windows in front and two in back
  • Each suite will have a living area and bedroom, with the living area being the “light” part, and the bedroom being the “dark” part
  • There’s going to be some type of big, shared zone towards the back of the cabin, where the four windows are dark

I’m sure there are a lot of other explanations, but those are the first that come to mind.

Could this be Singapore’s new A380 Suites Class interior?

On one hand, Singapore Airlines is good at keeping secrets, so I can’t imagine they’d let a leak like this happen. At the same time…

Singapore’s current A380 Suites Class was designed by Pierre Jean Design Studio, and rumor has it that they’ll be designing the next Suites Class as well. SQTalk notes that if you go to the designer’s website, they list all the airlines they work with, including Asiana, Emirates, Lufthansa, Qatar, Singapore, etc.

If you click on the Asiana, Emirates, or Qatar links, you’ll see pictures of what the current cabins look like. If you click on the Singapore Airlines link, you get the following pictures:

That sure looks to me like an A380 interior. On one hand I can’t imagine they’d actually put the product on their website when Singapore is keeping it so secretive, but on the other hand, if the shoe fits…

My guess is that this is some concept they came up with while developing Singapore’s new Suites Class cabin. So I don’t think it’s the final product, but I also don’t think it’s a total coincidence that this is listed on their site under Singapore Airlines.

I should also mention that under the Lufthansa section they don’t list Lufthansa’s current first class product, and I don’t believe the airline has plans to introduce a new first class product. So perhaps I’m reading too much into this.

What do you make of the window configuration on Singapore’s first A380, and do you think the above interior is reflective of what Singapore Airlines has planned for Suites Class?

(Tip of the hat to @juliancha)

Comments

  1. this shames the EK one like no tomorrow. Compare their hideous chrome gold to this. But honestly, it’s a bit too space wasting for an airline to opt for all of the features above. Bar is a yes but a gigantic self-service zone and dining zone aren’t all that useful.

    but ya, we can totally forget about SQKF redemptions for these for a while. They’ll all be priced like how Suites were priced in the dawn of that era.

  2. @ henry LAX — Agree it seems wasteful in a way, but we know that they’re allocating all that space ahead of door one to just six suites, so that’s A LOT OF SPACE to work with.

  3. I’m not seeing “four “open” windows, two “closed” windows, two “open” windows, and then four more “closed” windows” on the upper deck in that link.

    I’m seeing 4 open, 1 closed, 2 open, 4 closed.

    It would be interesting to see the starboard side, to see if it corresponds.

  4. The only thing that bugs me is that you can clearly see that the seats at the bar have 2 windows and yet, they seem to be before Door One upper deck

    That does not really compute with your theory or maybe I’m wrong? I know it remains a concept, but still, taking into account that the bar isn’t in total darkness… 🙂 Should there still be 2 windows used for it?

    Another possibility is that the bar is elsewhere on the plane in the “real configuration”, but I am not convinced by this argument.

  5. Talking about the window configuration of the new SQ A380s, they are actually different on both sides. The left has a set of 4 with a gap then a set of 2, whereas the right side has 3 sets of 2 windows with a gap in between. I am really looking forward to seeing what SQ has come up with and why they are differences between the left and right sides of the cabin.

  6. @FNT Delta Diamond : where do i even begin ? Singapore is incredibly wealthy, both as a nation relative to its population on at the personal level.

    But the even more crucial fact is that both MH and GA are mediocre at times, so scores of the wealthy businessmen and families from both malaysia and indonesia treat SQ as their de facto home carrier. KUL is just a quick 30 min hop to SIN, while CGK has so few nonstops to Europe that adding a SIN stop is no different than one via ME3.

  7. @VT —- that’s interesting. I think you’re right. The RIGHT side of the plane (seen here goo.gl/RRqzmg) has 3 sets of 2 windows, whereas the LEFT side of the plane (seen here goo.gl/anBupC) has the 4 + 2 window sets. I’m guessing that there’s ONE double bed in the front left and the rest are singles.

  8. So if i want to book a trip with miles for next spring will the suite be available? Should i book now in anticipation of awards being closed out when they release info in November?

  9. @Chris – The photo you’re referring to at the top of the post is a little bit distorted, making the width of the upper deck of the 380 look narrower than it is.

    This pic gives one a better sense of the width of the upper deck of the A380 for the Etihad apartments, which is ~6 meters/~19 feet:

    http://svenmeets.world/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/Etihad-Airways-A380-First-Class-22.jpg

    Beyond that, consider the layout of the cabin seen looking down:

    https://i.pointhacks.com/2017/03/13104025/etihad-a380-first-class-apartment-seat-map.jpg

    Hopefully that helps.

  10. @ FNT Delta Diamond

    Singapore has the most millionaires anywhere in the world, with over 150,000 and around 32 billionaires. All of this in a very small country of only 5 million.

    This is one of the reasons SQ has the highest rates for certain routes compared to other airlines, not only because Singapore is the most expensive country in the world but also because people here will pay it without question.

  11. @FNT, I’m from Singapore living in south Mississippi as my husband from here. My inlaws never visit Singapore and thinks my family don’t have money like they do. Think we are poor in Singapore. If they only know how much our condos and cars are worthed over there. Somehow people who don’t travel think singapore is a poor or 3rd country lol

  12. mkcol, haha, I agree, BA suck, they’re basically shitish airways now. they need knocking off their pedestal and having their monopoly taken away from them.

  13. @TravelinWilly Thanks. It definitely still looks distorted but the seat map helps some. I need to sleep on it 🙂

  14. @Yvonne – “Somehow people who don’t travel think singapore is a poor or 3rd country lol”

    Sadly, what you say is true.

    A number of years ago, a friend where I worked told me he was on a conference call where they were discussing a project/deal in Singapore. One of the people (we’ll call him “Briain”) was pushing back really hard, but not giving any real/concrete answer for his objection. Finally, “Brian” blurted out “I will NOT have any of my resources working in a THIRD WORLD COUNTRY!” (Embarrassingly, this individual was a fellow American, please don’t hold that against me)

    “Brian” was quickly schooled as to what Singapore “means,” and that we’d already executed dozens of contracts there over the years, and quite successfully.

    Embarrassing…

  15. Love the aesthetic but in an emergency I’d rather have a door handle than a vase full of flowers on that exit!

  16. @lucky I don’t think this is the new singapore suites. The cabin looks way too narrow to be an A380, plus, the seats shown don’t have any of the same color choices that SQ currently has on their planes. Also, one of the pictures looks like a lounge, which SQ said that they wouldn’t have. However, I think that the new suites will be a little more spacious than the current EY apartments. Just some ideas for what could be possible:

    -all suites are capable of seating two passengers, with a double bed. A separate full scale dining table as well

    – a househould sized fridge compared to the minibar on EY

    -A typical closet to store suitcases and clothes, and a full sink that you could brush your teeth on and the vanity mirror.

    -A new version of KrisWorld that includes a PS4 and/or Xbox one

    SQ has emphasized the space of the suites a lot more than the other amenities. If the SQ suite is only a little more spacious and doesn’t have as many bells and whistles as on EY apartments and residence, do you still think it would be a better overall experience than EY?

  17. I saw this site last year and the Lufthansa photo was up then. Probably wouldn’t count on it. As far are SQ, I noticed recently they’ve removed waitlist from many (as many as I checked which was 30 or so) on the SYD route. There are 2 SYD 380 flights. I had booked the wrong one! The correct one was on waitlist but had been removed the day I called back to get listed. The new 380 departs SYD at 11AM (SQ232) and SIN at 8:15PM (SQ221). Business class however is available on a number of days.

  18. I’m geeked that my wife are booked in the suites Zurich- Singapore next February. Absolutely zero availability from the U.S., so we simply added a few days in Europe. Lucky, any chance at all we’ll see the new configuration? I’m almost hoping not, as I really want to try that double bed! Our return flight is on Korean Air in Prestige class, because I really want to try the Apex suites. I’m hoping we’re not too spoiled by the Singapore experience!

    Incidentally, British Air recently announced A380 service from Chicago. Chicago has never had scheduled A380 service, so I’m hoping this opens it up for other airlines. I booked a first class ticket on it for next summer, returning in Club World. It’s certainly not Singapore, but we fly BA premium every year on a Travel Together ticket (the only way to even mildly justify paying those horrendous fees) and I get how a lot of people feel, but I really like BA, the crew have always been awesome to us, get a great meal in first class dining in the Chicago lounge (usually the only ones in there) and really, really, like the Concorde room. And yes, I’ve been to most of the lounges in your top 10 list, like all of them too, but just have a thing for the CCR. Don’t flame me, that’s why they make so many flavors of ice cream. Something for everybody!

  19. @Lucky
    FYI…Lufthansa wants to introduce a new business class hard product. So the pics you see on the website of Pierre Jean website could infact be a design study of the new generation of the seats. As they are closed suite seats this would mean that Lufthansa is going to follow the route Delta and Qatar Airways – which is great as that would propell Lufthansa back to the top as the current business class is medicore to say the least. But don’t get your hopes up yet that the suites will look exactly like shown on the website as Lufthansa is known of taking a seat design an changing it to their preferance (example: United and Lufthansa have the same seat foundation in their bsuiness class but the look completly different).

  20. Yvonne,
    Ask your in-laws what makes a country 3rd world. If it is measured by sovereign wealth then Singapore has a foreign reserves of more than $300 billion while whereever you are owes $18 trillion of debts and most of these debts are funded by their loggerhead, China.

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