More Details On Singapore Airlines’ 787-10, Debuting In April 2018

The 787 and A350 are two of the most popular new long range planes, and over the coming months we’ll see both Airbus and Boeing roll out stretch variants of these planes — Qatar Airways will be the launch customer for the A350-1000, while Singapore Airlines will be the launch customer of the 787-10.

Singapore Airlines has 49 Boeing 787-10s on order, and plans to use them primarily for regional flights. The airline has now scheduled their initial routes for the plane, which will launch in April 2018. Per @airlineroute, Singapore Airlines will fly the 787-10 between:

  • Singapore and Bangkok between April 3 and May 2, 2018 (SQ970/973)
  • Singapore and Kuala Lumpur between April 3 and May 31, 2018 (SQ118/119)
  • Singapore and Osaka Kansai as of May 3, 2018 (SQ618/619)

The Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur routes are intended as crew training flights for the plane, as it’s normal for airlines to operate new planes on their shorter flights first so crews can get familiar with the plane. Then Osaka is the real launch destination for the plane.

Singapore Airlines’ 787-10s will be configured with 337 seats, including 36 seats in business class and 301 seats in economy. In business class, there will be nine rows of seats in a 1-2-1 configuration.

AusBT notes that Singapore Airlines intends to use a new style of seat in business class, the Stelia Opal, which is a fully flat seat with direct aisle access that’s nonetheless a pretty dense configuration (the below picture is from the manufacturer, and doesn’t account for any modifications Singapore Airlines makes to the seat).

I find it interesting that Singapore Airlines is introducing yet another business class product, just in terms of consistency. I guess that’s a good thing, given that most of Singapore Airlines’ regional planes feature angled or recliner seats in business class, so this will be an upgrade over that. However, I suspect it won’t be an upgrade over Singapore’s longhaul business class product.

In economy, Singapore Airlines is giving in and going for a 3-3-3 configuration. While that has quickly become the norm in economy on the 787, Singapore Airlines still only has nine seats per row in 777 economy (which is a wider cabin), making them one of the few airlines where that’s the case. So their 777 economy seats continue to be wide, while their new 787 economy seats will be as narrow as the seats on most other airlines.

Here’s what Singapore Airlines’ SVP of Market Planning had to say about the new plane:

“We are honoured to be the first to fly the highly advanced Boeing 787-10. It will be a key element of SIA’s overall growth strategy, enabling us to expand our network reach and strengthen our operations.”

“The introduction of our new regional cabin products on the 787-10s is part of our commitment to continuous product innovation and leadership, to enhance the premium travel experience for our customers.”

Bottom line

49 planes is a big order, so eventually a good number of Singapore Airlines’ shorthaul flights should feature these new cabins. For most routes this represents a significant improvement in business class, while in economy this will be a pretty tight squeeze, at least compared to Singapore Airlines’ otherwise very spacious cabins.

Comments

  1. Now let’s see. I used to be an extremely loyal SQ flyer and have probably been 15+ years PPS Solitaire.
    However since they introduced these ‘diagonal sleepers’ I have moved to GA, KL, TG, QR, EK for the very simple reason that the seats are unpractical to sit in and uncomfortable to sleep.
    That, combined with super prices ex SQ, CGK and DPS makes them for my taste rather uncompetitive. My only flights with SQ last few years have been of the ‘miles-burning’ type and that job is now largely done as I have moved to other airlines.

  2. Having flown both the old and updated J, F, and old Suites products, I’m actually kind of looking forward to this Stelia Opal configuration because I just can’t sleep at that offset. I know I’m still fully flat but there’s something about lying diagonally in the “box” formed by the seat that plays with my head – like lying diagonally in bed. Who does that?! I’ve never had a good night’s sleep in SQ J. While the new seats will be tighter in most aspects, I enjoy cocoon-like spaces for sleeping and I prefer to lie parallel to my “bed”. For me, this is a marked improvement. But I’m also a wee little fella at only 5’8″.

  3. What a coincidence – I‘m actually already booked on SQ118 in mid April, and after reading this, I instantly checked out the booking. And see, they are not displaying any aircraft type for this flight any more (their website is probably not yet capable of that), and the seatmap shows rows 11 to 20, like pictured above.

    Sounds like the entire trip will be fun, as on the inbound KUL-SIN I‘m scheduled to fly on the A350 (first time for me) and now the return flight will also be something „new“, particularly when compared to the A333 that was scheduled for this flight at the time of booking.

  4. the new regional biz class seat looks like it will be more comfortable for sleeping than the long haul seat that’s a reverse herringbone masquerading as forward facing. No more sleeping diagonally!

  5. @avery111
    Same. Although if they keep these on short haul and fly the A350s on long haul it won’t be so bad. The C product on this plane isn’t amazing either in contrast with most airlines who inaugurate 787s with cutting edge C products and terrible Y products (meaning this plane likely won’t be on flagship routes).

  6. 3x3x3 in Economy is disappointing despite it becoming the “norm”. It gives 3 pax per row the grief of the dreaded “middle” seat – while 2x4x2 has only two. Also less “reaching” for the FA’s when serving meals and drinks. When travelling with my wife we’ll actively seek the 2x4x2 configuration as with the “north/south” space becoming tighter – we can at least create our own little world with the “east/west” space. We’ve started upgrading to PE simply to find those “2’s”…

  7. Question to SIA. what’s the difference between scoots 787, 3x3x3 and SIA 787 3x3x3.. other than $$$
    You have given up on your biggest selling point “service” the high density rows of 9 are ok for LCC carriers.
    I expected more from SIA and will not be spending the amount you think people are stupid enough to pay for a sub standard cattle car.
    CX have a load of new A350XWB… an aircraft designed for humans in economy.
    Previously flown 787’s with NZ, BA, EY & Scoot.
    All have been terrible. except scoot, got what I paid for!
    The seats are too narrow and the aisles are just unsafe. SIA shame on you!

  8. Which following destinations after Osaka do you think ?

    Example: on website SIA, if you ask for a reservation SIN – NRT in middle of July, SQ638 to go and SQ637 back = 777-300ER go and back …but no First class and no Eco-Premium… and that doesn’t exists on any configurations of the SIA 777…

    Thus: do you think that Tokyo-Narita will be the following destination of the 787-10???

  9. Is there any indication how the business class seats A & K in the SQ 787-10 will alternate? In other words, which A & K seats will be right by the window and which will be on the aisle?

  10. @Jacks – don’t think Tokyo routes will be operated by 787s since they are already operated by 77W and 350 – which means it’ll be a downgrade if they decide to use them. The 787s at the moment are substitution to aircraft with angled flat 2-2-2 configured J cabin.

  11. Thank you Hiro! I realised that not long after posting my question, when I was taking a closer look at the seating plan. Indeed, that must be the case. Many thanks again!

  12. @Emily Your joking right? You realize their oldest A380 isn’t even ten years old, and their newest are rolling off the line as we speak? Furthermore, the 78Js are going on short/medium haul Asian routes, whilst the A380s are used for their trunk long haul routes

  13. I was right 🙂 in July SQ636 and SQ637 to Tokyo with 787-10…

    YESSSSS 😀 it mean I will test the new C seat.
    Just need to change for the best seat … and wait to flight

  14. Does anyone know whether SIA’s new 787-10s will have crew rest areas above the cabin? If not, what is their range limitation with a single crew?

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