Singapore Airlines will start flying its retro-fitted Airbus A380 aircraft to Auckland from October next year featuring its new suites the airline says more closely resemble an hotel room than an aircraft cabin.
The six suites are now on the upper deck of the plane. The aircraft flying to Auckland now has 12 suites in the lower deck of the plane.
Each of the new suites is furnished with a separate full-flat bed with adjustable recline and leather chair, enabling customers to lounge in it or rest in bed without the need to convert the bed from a sitting position.
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For couples travelling together, the beds in the first two suites of each aisle can be converted to form a double bed.
When not in use, the bed can be stowed completely, creating even more personal space, the airline says.
Each suite also has a 32-inch full HD monitor that can swivel for the different viewing angles, a full-sized personal wardrobe, customised handbag stowage compartment,, specially designed carpet and a feature wall with mood lighting.
There's a good passenger to pan ratio too. There are two ''stylishly furnished'' lavatories, one of which has a sit-down vanity counter.
The new suites were designed by Pierre jean Design Studio and manufactured by Zodiac Seats UK.
The planes have been remodelled throughout with more seats, boosting capacity by 3.1 per cent to 471 seats.
The new cabin products and inflight entertainment system, launched in 2017, are part of an US$850 million ($1.2b) investment aimed at delivering more space, privacy and comfort as the airline faces more competition from Middle Eastern carriers which are laying on luxury.
Beside the six suites, the remodelled superjumbos have 78 business class seats, 44 premium economy seats and 343 economy class seats.
Singapore Airlines general manager New Zealand, Kenny Teo, said deployment of the retrofitted A380 was further reinforcement of Singapore Airlines' commitment to the New Zealand market. It was entering its 44th year here and since forming a deep commercial alliance with Air New Zealand has stepped up flying or deployed new aircraft to Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.
"The deployment of the A380 will not only deliver more seats to the market during the peak season to help cater for growing demand, but will also deliver greater comfort in every cabin,'' he said.
"The six suites on board the aircraft more closely resemble a hotel room than an aircraft cabin, our new Business Class seats provide greater space and privacy, as well as the option to turn the middle two seats into a double bed.''
The new A380 business class was designed by JPA Design of the UK and manufactured for Singapore Airlines by JAMCO Corporation of Japan.
Measuring 25 inches (63.5cm) in width, the business class seat reclines directly into a comfortable full-flat bed (198cm or 78 inches).
Premium economy comes with a contemporary and stylish design configured in a 2-4-2 layout.
Each seat is 19.5 inches wide, with eight-inch recline and seat pitch of 38 inches.
The economy cabin is configured in a 3-4-3 format with the seats designed and built by RECARO, which the airline says offer more space and greater comfort.
Singapore Airlines was the first airline to fly the A380, the world's largest commercial aircraft. It started flying commercially in 2007.
While the double decker is popular with passengers, the economics of the big four-engine plane don't work for most airlines.
When its main customer, Emirates, decided to drop orders of the plane earlier this year Airbus said it would end production in 2021.