Last November, Singapore Airlines revealed the details of their new A380 Suites & business class products. The airline is currently in the process of taking delivery of five new Airbus A380 aircraft, which they’re using to replace their first five A380s that they received about a decade ago (which are being retired). Since these planes feature new cabins, Singapore Airlines intends to reconfigure their existing A380s with the new cabins between 2018 and 2020.
What are Singapore’s new A380 cabins like?
Overall I was reasonably impressed by both products, but not blown away. Business class was a marginal improvement over their old business class product. I rank it as number eight on my list of the world’s nine best business class seats. The seat is spacious, though still has the downside of requiring you to sleep at an angle towards the side of the plane in order to be able to fully stretch your legs.
On the plus side, one cool new feature is that the center seats in each row can form a double bed, which is nice if you’re traveling with someone.
Singapore’s new A380 Suites look amazing, and there are just six of them in a 1-1 configuration. Unfortunately I found that the design was somewhat style over substance, so parts of it left me disappointed.
Existing routes for Singapore Airlines’ new A380s
As it stands, Singapore Airlines flies their new A380s to Sydney, London, and Hong Kong. Specifically, the following frequencies have the new planes:
- Singapore Airlines flies the A380 daily between Singapore and Sydney on the SQ221/SQ232 frequency
- Singapore Airlines flies the A380 daily between Singapore and London on SQ322/SQ217 frequency
- Singapore Airlines flies the A380 daily between Singapore and Hong Kong on SQ856/SQ861 frequency
Singapore Airlines’ next routes for the new A380s
While Singapore Airlines hasn’t officially announced this, the airline has quietly updated the seatmaps for some upcoming flights to reflect the new A380. Specifically, it looks like Singapore Airlines will operate new A380s to Zurich and Shanghai as of August 2, 2018. Specifically, the following frequencies will feature the new A380s:
SQ830 Singapore to Shanghai departing 9:45AM arriving 3:05PM
SQ833 Shanghai to Singapore departing 4:50PM arriving 10:20PM
SQ346 Singapore to Zurich departing 1:25AM arriving 8:15AM
SQ345 Zurich to Singapore departing 11:45AM arriving 5:55AM (+1 day)
It’s hardly surprising to see these as the next cities to get Singapore’s most premium planes, since these are some of Singapore Airlines’ most premium routes. I’d note that the updated cabins on these routes are subject to change, given that these are newly delivered aircraft, and delays are possible. However, Singapore Airlines is one of the most reliable out there when it comes to updating seatmaps, so I think odds are excellent that the plane types will stick.
Redeeming miles for Singapore’s new A380 Suites & business class
If you want to redeem Singapore KrisFlyer miles for these routes, here are the redemption rates for one-way travel in premium cabins:
- Singapore to Shanghai:
- Business Class: 35,000 miles (Saver), 65,000 miles (Standard)
- Suites: 50,000 miles (Saver), 95,000 miles (Standard)
- Singapore to Zurich:
- Business Class: 85,000 miles (Saver), 120,000 miles (Standard)
- Suites: 115,000 miles (Saver), 210,000 miles (Standard)
While I haven’t searched award availability on every date (that’s way too cumbersome with KrisFlyer), based on searching a few dates it looks like in general:
- There’s some Saver level business class award availability on the new plane to Shanghai and Zurich
- There’s some Standard level Suites award availability on the new plane to Shanghai
- I wasn’t easily able to find any confirmable Saver or Standard award availability on the new plane to Zurich, though you can always waitlist
Singapore KrisFlyer is transfer partners with Amex Membership Rewards, Chase Ultimate Rewards, Citi ThankYou, and Starwood Preferred Guest, so there are lots of ways to earn these miles.
It looks like the destinations for Singapore’s five new A380s will be Hong Kong, London, Shanghai, Sydney, and Zurich. I think that’s about all you could possibly fly with five A380s, so I’m afraid we likely won’t see anymore routes with the new cabins until Singapore Airlines starts reconfiguring their existing A380s (hopefully) later this year.
I don’t think there are any real surprises here. The good news is that the new products are a solid improvement over the (already excellent) old ones. The bad news is that we’re seeing the number of seats in Suites cut in half, which makes it even tougher than before to score an award seat.
Singapore Airlines’ only route to the US that’s operated by an A380 is to New York JFK via Frankfurt, and it looks like it will be a little while longer before that route gets the new cabins.