The initial schedules for Singapore Airlines Premium Economy product is now live in the GDSen (though I do not see a way to book the premium economy cabin yet) and with that comes new seat maps. The company’s website has the details (based on a sample booking for SIN-SYD in September 2015) and it is definitely an interesting comparison, with more than just the premium economy cabin changing. The new product will be a 2-4-2 seat layout on the main deck of the A380, just behind the Suites and also 2-4-2 on the 777-300ER (77W) between business and economy. Here’s what the maps look like compared with today’s cabin layouts.
Singapore Airlines A380 Premium Economy Seat Map
The new A380 layout shifts the galley and toilet positioning a bit and also replaces seven rows of regular economy seats with five(ish) rows of premium economy. If that space were completely given over to the new seats it would suggest something on the order of 44″ pitch for the premium economy cabin. With the extra galley space and additional bulkhead I’m betting it will be a bit less than that but still a quite proper amount of legroom. And the 2-4-2 seat spacing is comparable to what Lufthansa offers on its A380 with a premium economy section. Other A380 operators with a premium economy cabin, namely BA and Qantas have it as 2-3-2 upstairs.
Singapore Airlines 777-300ER (77W) Premium Economy Seat Map
The revised 777-300ER layout also involves shifting the galleys and lavs around to make space for the new seats. Unlike the A380 version, however, the 77W approach appears to be shrinking the galley and reducing the number of lavs as part of the retrofit. The Premium Economy section will have 4 rows of 2-4-2 seats replacing 5 rows of 3-3-3 with a net change of 46->26 seats in that space. The numbers are not precisely 1:1 as the economy cabin gains back a couple extra seats (48HK) in the new config but it is close. The simple version of the math suggests that there is not quite as much extra space for Premium Economy on the 77W as on the A380 but I’m betting that gets worked out with the galley shifts and that somewhere around 38″ pitch is what passengers will see. The layout is similar to what Air France and Virgin Australia offer while more densely packed than Air New Zealand and Turkish.
Other cabin changes
As part of the retrofit to the 77W cabin the aircraft will gain 6 business class seats and lose 4 first class seats. But don’t go blaming that on the addition of premium economy. At least not directly. Looking at the maps shows that all the repositioning is occurring forward of the exits so the addition of premium economy seats does not necessitate the changes. Then again, dropping a bunch of coach seats and a need to optimize sales probably does necessitate the change, particularly given questionable demand for long-haul first class in many markets. And the business class product is darn nice; having more of it should not be too much of a problem for most folks.
Finally, there is the lav situation. I alluded to it before but, based on the published seat maps, it seems that economy class passengers don’t really need to go to the bathroom very often.
The new layout has only three lavs labeled in the economy section compared to six in the old layout. The seating capacity is only dropping from 228 to 212 (28+184) so it is not like there are going to be all that many fewer passengers who need to use the toilets on board. But it really does look like the carrier is halving the number of options for that. On the plus side, the premium cabins do get an extra lav on the 77W. The A380 does not see any adjustments to the lav placements with this retrofit.
Never miss another post: Sign up for email alerts and get only the content you want direct to your inbox.