Singapore Airlines is putting the widebody feel into the front of itsBoeing 737 Max fleet.
The aircraft -relaunched as 737-8s – include lie-flat beds in business class, which the airline says will offer a consistent and premium journey across the entire network.
Singapore Airlines, which is taking over the narrow body flying of its now-defunct regional subsidiary SilkAir, has six 737-8s already in the fleet and another 31 on order.
The aircraft will progressively go into service on short- to medium-haul flights across the airline’s network in the coming weeks. This includes services to points in Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Maldives, Nepal, and Thailand.
All of the aircraft will have 154 seats in two classes: 10 in business class and 144 in economy.
The lie-flat Business Class seats have been designed by London-based Factorydesign, and manufactured for Singapore Airlines by Thompson Aero Seating.
The economy class cabin will feature the latest generation of sleek and slim-line seats, which have been built by Collins Aerospace. Seats have a personal 10-inch high-definition touchscreen monitor as part of Panasonic’s X-Series in-flight entertainment system.
Singapore Airlines has invested about S$230 million ($241m) on the development, design and installation of the new cabin products.
Lee Lik Hsin, executive vice president commercial, Singapore Airlines, said the cabins were the culmination of three years of innovation and hard work, involving extensive customer research and close partnerships with designers and suppliers.
“As a result, we can now offer customers a premium travel experience across our entire full-service network, no matter how long or short their journey,” he said.
“This significant investment demonstrates Singapore Airlines’ commitment to maintaining our leadership position in the airline industry. As air travel recovers, our customers can continue to enjoy world-class products and award-winning service across our fleets.”
Singapore Airlines, without a domestic network, was walloped by the pandemic and is now flying on just a third of its pre-Covid network as vaccination rates increase and travel corridors emerge.
First-half revenues are up 73 per cent to $S2.8b compared to last year.
Throughout the pandemic the airline has maintained a skeleton service to New Zealand, where it has flown for more than 40 years
On its website Singapore Airlines addresses safety concerns around the Boeing 737 Max, following two crashes soon after it was introduced to service.
It says Boeing has implemented a series of enhancements to address safety concerns with this model, which has also been re-certified by regulators including the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore.
After the 737-8 was grounded in March 2019, Boeing implemented software and design fixes to resolve the safety concerns, including what the airline says is a pilots first, software second policy.
“Boeing has made changes to the flight control software such that pilots will always be able to override the software inputs — no exceptions. Additionally, the software will only be activated after taking into account data from both sensors on the 737-8.”
All 737-8 pilots have completed dedicated training on this aircraft and are undergoing additional training to familiarise themselves with the new enhancements from Boeing, the flight control software, and any situations that they might face during the flight.
The plane has been independently certified fit to fly by aviation safety regulators around the world, including Singapore, the United States, Brazil, Canada, the United Kingdom and the European Union.
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