Airline reviews Singapore Airlines Fleet & Seats

Singapore Airlines Fleet & Seats

Singapore Airlines 747 Economy seat 31A Bulkhead Singapore Airlines 747 Economy Class bulkhead seat 31A

Singapore Airlines fly a very modern fleet now dominated by Boeing 777 and the Airbus A380. In fact you'll have to try hard to get on any other plane, although there are a few Boeing 747s left which do a few routes to Oz, Airbus A340s fly the Pacific and to Seoul, and A330s do some of the short hops up the peninsular. However Singapore Airlines now have an exclusive widebody fleet.

Singapore Airlines' new twin-desk Airbus at Toulouse on the Reveal day, Oct 15th 2007
A380 Singpore Airlines new twin-deck Airbus

The airline has a history of labeling its fleet according to plane makes. The existing 747s used to be dubbed "Megatop", while the Boeing 777s were called "Jubilee". The 5 Airbus A340s were named "Leadership,", and the 747 cargo versions were called "MegaArcs".

This naming convention has been dropped (simply due to the new Chief Executive, who disliked the practice), however most outstations still refer to their flights by SIA name, not that of the firm that built the metal, and as a result at checkin you'll still be asked if you want to ride upstairs on the "Megatop".

Economy seats have a pitch of 32 inches - an inch bigger than British Airways, and also with slightly more padding, so they feel more comfortable. The headrests slide up, and the wings fold in, giving a decent sleep.

Business class used to be called Raffles Class, although that name has been dropped (but still remains on the boarding cards). Most planes have the "Space Bed". A flat bed for business class, it doesn't quite go flat, but instead you sleep at a 10% incline. Still, it is quite a nice seat, with plenty of flat places to put drinks on, special noice-reducing headphones, and a slide up screen between the seats to separate you from your neighbour. The remote for the TV is hidden in the right hand armrest, while the table is in the left hand one. The TV screen is alas on the back of the seat infront of you (except for the bulkhead seats) and even though it unclips for a better viewing angle, it still feels like watching TV from half way across a room.

Singapore Airlines A380 Economy Seat 44ABC - Economy Class Row 44 A380 Singapore Airlines new twin-deck Airbus at Toulouse on the Reveal day, Oct 15th 2007
Singapore Airlines A380 Economy Cabin Seats 44ABC

Singapore Airlines A380 Superjumbo (Airbus A380-800)

Singapore Airlines A380 Economy Seat 31 Row - Economy Class Row 31 A380 Singapore Airlines new twin-deck Airbus at Toulouse on the Reveal day, Oct 15th 2007
Singapore Airlines A380
Economy Seat Row 31
Singapore Airlines is the launch customer for the twin-deck Airbus A380, and this is absolutely the jet you want to be on long-haul. It it well worth while checking the schedules when you book your ticket to make sure you get on this jet.

Singapore Airlines A380 seating plan has First Class in the nose, then three cabins of economy on the lower deck, while the upper deck has a small economy cabin at the rear, but is otherwise full of Business Class.

The Singapore Airlines A380 seating configuration is brand new, and even in economy the travel experience is so different to any other you will get long-haul, it is worth paying a premium to travel on this aircraft. They are most common on the Singapore to Sydney route (on the SQ221 & SQ220) plus the Singapore to London (SQ322 & SQ317) routes. All have The new KrisWorld - eX2 entertainment system, and of course all seats have a seatback TV. All seats also have access to laptop power so you can plug in a laptop, however Singapore Airlines, on their A380s, have fitted sockets that fit all types of worldwide sockets, except those in use in Singapore and the UK. This has bemused those flying on the flagship route from Singapore to London since the A380 started flying, and the cabin crew now carry adaptors.

Singapore Airlines A380 Economy Class Seats 54HJK row 54- Economy Class Row 54 A380 Singapore Airlines new twin-deck Airbus at Toulouse on the Reveal day, Oct 15th 2007
Singapore Airlines A380 Economy Class seats 54HJK
A380 Seatmap
Singapore Airlines A380 Seating Plan
Interactive colour seating chart for A380 Singapore Airlines, with pictures of every seat in every cabin layout for the SQ A380-800.
airreview > Seatmap > Singapore > A380

Singapore Airlines A380 Economy Class looks just like standard economy in any plane, however Singapore's A380 offer's some special features. Not least is the size - 399 people are crammed in the back. A Singapore Airlines A380 economy review will focus on the pitch which is only 32 inches, but width is 19 inches - a tad wider than normal. The seat also reclines 115 degrees - again slightly bigger

Singapore Airlines A380 Economy Seat 48D - Economy Class seat 38D A380 Singapore Airlines new twin-deck Airbus at Toulouse on the Reveal day, Oct 15th 2007
Singapore Airlines A380
Economy seat 48D
than expected - and thanks to a well designed seat back even when the seat is fully reclined it doesn't feel as if it is rammed into the knees of the person behind. There is a 10.6 inch seatback screen - which is pretty large for the class - a USB port for games, music (and for working using the inbuilt word processing software) and a video in plug. Be warned however that pairs of seats (or 2 out of 3 sets) share a laptop power supply. This can cause fights with your neighbours. Under the flip-out screen is your reading light: this is a little LED, which works well in avoiding any light spilling into your neighbours seat.

In Singapore Airlines Economy Class A380 there are several cabins to choose from which will impact on your enjoyment. On the main deck seats are in a 3-4-3 pattern. The forward cabin has a bulkhead having extra legroom at row 31 with a window and a flip out TV screen, but this is a basinette (child cot, or screamer) seat. Single travellers may well avoid. Row 48D is an totally unique aisle seat with double the normal legroom thanks to an escape hatch for the basement sleeping booths being infront of it. It has a flip out screen and is very popular. The next cabin back has an emergency exit at row 44, but no window, and two crew seated infront of you. In the rear cabin row 54 has a window, loads of legroom, and only one crew member. 54A&K are is the definate seats to get if you want a window and you are on your own. A Singapore Airlines A380 review must mention that at the back rows 60 to 63 get progressively narrower, and should be avoided.

Singapore Airlines A380 Economy Seat 81HJK - Economy Class Row 81 A380 Singapore Airlines new twin-deck Airbus at Toulouse on the Reveal day, Oct 15th 2007
Singapore Airlines A380 Economy Seat Row 81

Singapore Airlines A380 Economy Seat 71ABC - Economy Class Row 71 A380 Singapore Airlines new twin-deck Airbus at Toulouse on the Reveal day, Oct 15th 2007
Singapore Airlines A380
Economy Seat Row 71
Upstairs there is just one cabin, which is smaller and more intimate than the lower deck, and it has four toilets for 88 people, as opposed to six for the 311 downstairs. A new Singapore Airlines premium economy cabin was designed for this area, but it was abandoned late in the rollout stage. It is in a 2-4-2 configuration. Row 71 is an emergency exit with no window, and a crew member infront of you. Singapore airlines A380 best seats are in Row 81 for couples. It is an emergency exit with lots of legroom, a window, and is in 2+2. There is another twin pair behind it, but that suffers from light and from queues for the loos if privacy is important.

Singapore Airlines A380 Business Class has a unique seat. It's similar to the new seat used on the 777s and retro-fitted to a few 747s, but wider. There are 60 seats in two cabins, in a 1+2+1 format, all on the upper deck. The forward section, in rows 11 to 16 is highly favoured, as it is smaller and service here is faster.

Singapore Airlines A380 Business Class Seat 20A - Row 20 Business Class A380 Singapore Airlines new twin-deck Airbus at Toulouse on the Reveal day, Oct 15th 2007
Singapore Airlines A380
Business class seat 20A
The toilet in front of row 11 is vast, going most of the way above the cockpit. On the other side the space has however been wasted with some cupboards.

Singapore Airlines Business Class A380 seats have a width of 34 inches - which leads many people to complain that they are "too wide" - indeed, in turbulence, you need to wedge yourself in with cushions. Customer opinion is divided on this however: the general feeling is it is better to be too wide than too narrow, and all reviews of the seat in flight show that the crew are happy to come around with extra cushions to wedge you in. The fixed back shell on every seat can be extended with lift up screens at the sides.

Singapore Airlines A380 Business Class Seat 11A - Row 11 Business Class A380 Singapore Airlines new twin-deck Airbus at Toulouse on the Reveal day, Oct 15th 2007
Singapore Airlines A380 Business Class Seat 11A

The business seat has a pitch of 55, and a recline of 130 degrees - but this really a meaningless statistic, because if you pull the back of the seat down, it becomes the first half of a bed. You then flip down another triangle which becomes a fully flat bed.

4 Star Rating: Recommended Singapore Airlines A380 First Class rated 8 / 10
4.5 Star Rating: Highly Recommended Singapore Airlines A380 Business Class rated 9 / 10
5 Star Rating: Very Highly Recommended Singapore Airlines A380 Economy Class rated 10 / 10

A Singapore Airlines A380 Business Class review always note that this is far more comfortable than the old spacebeds, but beware: you have to wedge your feet into the triangle infront of you to sleep if you are over 5'6" tall, and also there's no gradually reclinging the seat.

Singapore Airlines A380 Business class self-serve snack bar - A380 Singapore Airlines new twin-deck Airbus at Toulouse on the Reveal day, Oct 15th 2007
Singapore Airlines A380
Business class self-serve snack bar
You have to get up and have the bed made for you, so you can't slump further and fall asleep as a good dinner takes effect. On a full A380 after dinner the aisles are rammed with people standing around while the beds are flipped.

Singapore Airlines A380 Business Class Row 11 and Row 17 (Seat 18D & Seat 18G) are longer, without a triangle to put your feet into, but oddly, the beds do still have this cutout, so you end up having to still sleep at an angle. Every Singapore Airlines A380 Business Class seat has a 15.4 inch widescreen TV, a USB port for games, music (and for working using the inbuilt word processing software), a video in phono plug, and a computer network socket (for future expansion should Singapore add inflight internet).

Singapore Airlines A380 First Class cabin is unlike any other First Class cabin. The Singapore Airlines A380 First Class cabin has 12 seats are in separate cabins, in a 1-2-1 layout.

Singapore Airlines A380 Business Class Seat 11A - Row 11 Business Class A380 Singapore Airlines new twin-deck Airbus at Toulouse on the Reveal day, Oct 15th 2007
Singapore Airlines A380
Business class seat 11A

Singapore Airlines A380 First Class suites are a little bit like Emirates, in that there is a closed cabin, but it is much more comfortable. All of the seats get 2 windows, except for 3A&K which get three, and are favoured as you don't have to lean forward to admire the view. The cabins are 81 inches long, and 35 inches wide, which sounds rather like a rabbit hutch, but in context actually works. It is designed by leading French luxury yacht designer Jean-Jacques Coste of Coste Design. Singapore Airlines First Class A380 suites have two sliding doors, and screens which slide down either giving a view of a mesh, or a blackout screen.

Singapore Airlines A380 First Class Suite Seat Row 3 - Row 3 First Class Seats on A380 Singapore Airlines new twin-deck Airbus at Toulouse on the Reveal day, Oct 15th 2007
Singapore Airlines A380
First class seats in double bed mode

Singapore Airlines A380 First Class Suite Seat 3A & 3K - Row 3A First Class Seats on A380 Singapore Airlines Oct 2007
Singapore Airlines A380 First class seat 3A
The bed flips down, and isn't part of the seat: it is 78 by 27 inches, and comes with a full duvet and cushions, designed by French fashion house, Givenchy. All seats have a 23 inch widescreen TV. Beside the seat under a curved flip-up pannel there is a USB port for games, music (and for working using the inbuilt word processing software) a computer network plug, and a video in phono plug.
Singapore Airlines A380 First Class bathroom / Washroom / toilet Oct 2007
Singapore Airlines A380
First class bathroom
The best bit of this cabin is that for couples traveling together, the beds in the middle two seats can be converted to a double bed, but with one proviso: this is actually two single beds side by side, with an annoying plastic divider that comes up to the top of the matress. The dividing screens are also only 6'3" high, so it is possible for a tall person walking by to see in, which is not always a positive comment in a Singapore Airlines A380 First Class review. Often on the Singapore Airlines A380 London to Singapore route, reviews mention that the crew will frequently pass by in the night looking over the top of the screen to see 'if you want something', which is quite frankly annoying.
Singapore Airlines Boeing 747-400 at Singapore
Singapore Airlines Boeing 747-400 at Singapore

Singapore Airlines Boeing 747-400

Economy seats on a Singapore Airlines 747 Economy, Row 39 on a 747-400
Singapore Airlines used to have a vast fleet of Boeing 747s. Now, only seven Boeing 747-400s are left - a vast reduction from the 47 that few in the 1990s, and even 27 in the 2000s. Singapore Airlines was, at one time, the world's largest operator of the 400 variant with the elongated top deck. The few remaing will be retired shortly, and replaced with 777s or A380s.

Economy seats are in a 3-4-3 pattern. With the bulkhead and emergency exit seats there are also fold out video screens and a table, which is pretty nice, although beware that this eats into your seat width. It is possible to book seats in advance, if you are a Krisflyer Gold, and it is well worth it, to get enough legroom for a giraffe, and to be able to get out of your seat without problems on a long flight.

Economy seats on a Singapore Airlines 747 Economy, Row 49 In a 747 emergency exit seat
In 747-400s row 31 (or 32 in HJK) gets a bulkhead, but may also get a fold out cot, so you may be blighted by children. Row 39 (or 41 on 747-200s) gets lots of legroom with an overwing door - but no window! Row 49 is best, as it gets an emergency exit, a window, and no cot. It's also not over the wing - and is by far the best selection. Beware of booking window seats in rows 35, 36, and 37, as these seats get a blanker in the window to allow control cables to run down to the wing.

All 747s now have Spacebed seats for Business class, in a 2-2-2 pattern downstairs, but if you ask to be in the "Megatop" (What a silly name! You feel a right berk asking for it!) which is the upstairs section, with seats in a 2+2 pattern. Children won't be seated here it's much quieter, plus you can get a lot of attention from the cabin crew.

Economy seats on a Singapore Airlines 747 Singapore 747 Raffles 11K The best Busines class seat
The window seats here benefit from a huge cubby hole low down under the window, which is large enough for a carry on case. However the windows here slope so much its impossible to get a decent view of the ground. You should also aim for a bulkhead seat, which means you can get out of the window seat even when the person next to you is snoozing.

Row 11 is right at the front by the cockpit, and has video screens that are screwed to the bulkhead, which makes them unpopular, however they are very private. Row 17 is by the emergency exit with miles of legroom, and gets fold out video screens, which means it is by far the best choice (although the seats on the left get crew members sitting looking at you, which can be a drawback).

Business class seats on a Singapore Airlines 747 Sept 2009 Business 747 Spacebed, upper deck 17A
Avoid row 20, right by the stairs, which is also next to the galley so you spend the entire flight listening to the crew yacking, and they tend to give you a bit too much attention here. Note that on the left (seats A&C) in row 17, 18 & 19 (upstairs) the window lights are never turned off (because of the stairs) and you should avoid these seats.

Singapore Airlines Boeing 777-200 / 777-300

Singapore Airlines use a 72 strong fleet of 777s, with 12 being the longer-boddied 777-300 type, and the rest being the longer-range 777-200s - which in turn are divided into three more subfleets (777-200 (both with and without first), and 777ER (with spacebeds)). This archane description actually matters quite a lot - particularly as the Raffles class seats can vary considerably.

Singapore use the 777-200s for flights to Brisbane (see below for seats) and Perth (without spacebeds). For 2 of the 3 flights to Melbourne a 777-300 (with Spacebed seats for Raffles (business) class) is used.

Economy seats on a Singapore Airlines 777 Singapore 777 Raffles 11K Non Spacebed seats

Singapore's 777-300 have Wisemen 3000 with video on demand, so it is worth looking out for these, as many of the 777-200s still do not.

Economy seats are in a 3+3+3 pattern, which allows for a lot of width. (Emirates, for example, fly with 4 in the middle section, giving much narrower seats).

Raffles (Business) class seats on a Singapore Airlines 747 Business class 777 Spacebed seats
In the 777-300 there is an emergency exit with extra legroom in rows 31 (but with no window), 36 & 50 (with a window). Row 49 for D,E,G is the bulkhead, giving a fold out TV screen. In the 777-200 row 31 is a bulkhead with two windows (but fixings for a cot - beware of children being seated here), while row 51 is an emergency exit, with no window (although there is one in the door ahead of you) and no cot fixings. Due to the large 2x2 toilet pod at this exit being designed for a 2+4+2 layout, rows 50 and 51 have only 2 seats abreast giving vast ammounts of space. Sleep is however difficult due to people queuing for the loos. Regular travellers know to ask for these seats on daytime journeys, however you can beat the system by pre-booking them if you check in on the Internet up to 2 days beforehand. Staff in Brisbane and Sydney have taken to blocking these seats from regular use - if you are a Gold Krisflyer member you can ask the supervisor at Business Class checkin to free up the seat for you.

For Business class seats are usually in 2+3+2 pattern. It is however vital to check which aircraft variant you will be on to work out what type of seat you are on, and to ensure you get the Spacebed with an extended length of 78 inches and seat width of 27 inches.

Singapore 777 at Singapore bound for Brisbane Jan 2004 Singapore 777 at Singapore

For the 777-200 type with a First class section, Raffles is in 6 rows (seat numbers 11 to 17, with a galley & an exit half way between). Row 15 is an emergency exit. 777-200s without First (used to Brisbane) have Raffles starting at the front of the aircraft in row 11 (a bulkhead, with the video screen for seats in this row on the bulkhead) which then goes back 4 rows, but not alas with Spacebed seats. In the unusual dual-class 777-200ER (with no First) all the five rows of Spacebed Raffles seats are in a 2+2+2 pattern, giving a vast wide isle. The 777-300s (used to Melbourne) have all Spacebed seats, starting after First & the second entrance door, with 7 rows of 2+3+2.

On the 777s with First, these spacious seats are in 2 rows of 2+2+2.

Singapore Airlines Airbus A340-500

Singapore 777 at Singapore bound for Brisbane Jan 2004 Singapore A340-500 on test at Singapore
Singapore has five brand new Airbus 340-500 used for nonstop flights from Singapore to the USA, Los Angeles and Newark - (SQ37/38 and SQ21/22). The flight time is a little over 16 hours to LA and an amazing 18 hours to New York, arriving on the other side of the world at exactly the same time as takeoff.

The five A340-500s are configured in a unique way, with just one class, Business Class. It has 100 SpaceBeds in a 2-2-2-seat layout, with a larger seat pitch of 64".

The old Airbus A340-500 was Singapore Airlines only attempt so far to launch a Premium Economy Class. When first delivered it had 117 Executive Economy Class seats in a 2-3-2 configuration with a seat pitch of 37" and 9" video monitors. Alas, Premium Economy Class on Singapore Airlines was a total marketing failure: passengers just wouldn't pay the extra, and it was uncomfortable on an 18 hour flight anyway. As a result all the A340 aircraft in the SQ fleet were converted to a fully business class layout.

Older Airbus 340-300s have now been phased out. They offered Economy seat in a 3-4-3 pattern, which with a marginally wider body of a A340, means that the seats are very wide, and bulkhead & emergency exit seats also still have the fold out video screens and a table - nice.

Singapore A380 at Sydney Sept 2005 Singapore A380 flies - if only in model form at Sydney airport

There's a lot of history - and bad feeling in the US - behind these aircraft. In 1991 SIA stunned the airline world when it told McDonnell Douglas that its new, much anticipated wide-body aircraft, the MD-11, did not meet SIA's long-haul performance specifications. It canceled a two billion pound order and opted for the Airbus A340-300 instead. Singapore was proved to be right, with those airlines which stuck with the MD-11 (such as Thai) wishing they'd made the change.

A second strange little factoid: The A340-500 is the only aircraft in the Singapore Airlines fleet with a so-called corpse cupboard, designed to store the body of anyone who dies in flight.