Singapore Airlines tries to woo elite travelers with new suites upgrades

"The new cabin products are the culmination of four years of work, involving extensive customer research and close partnerships with our designers and suppliers".

IN BRIEF | While Singapore Airlines' new Airbus A380s will feature all-new first class suites and business class seats, premium economy passengers won't notice a great deal of difference from the airline's Airbus A380s already flying today. Four years and USD850 million in the making, the new cabins will grace the airline from next month.

British Airways, with 469 seats, will be the only carrier with a lower A380 seat count after the revamp.

Singapore Airlines is also improving its business class, premium economy and economy products in the newly fitted A380s, the first of which will start flying from Singapore to Sydney on December 18. We've broken down the perks you can expect from each cabin below.

While the suites are for singular use, couples can have two suites joined together and turned into a double bed as each suite features removable walls - though lets face it, luxury is best enjoyed solo.

Passengers in suites will get a bigger screen - 32 inches in full HD, versus 23 inches previously - that can be angled differently for viewing in seat and bed modes.

Suites also have a full-sized wardrobe and two bathrooms, one of which has a sit-down vanity counter.

Business Class flyers can look forward to a similar level of comfort and luxury from the redesign. The leather chair in their room-in-the-sky can also swivel and recline flexibly. The Business Class seat is upholstered by Poltrona Frau as well.

Unlike some other Business Class cabins, you won't find a social area or bar area if you want a change of scenery from your seat. The Singaporean carrier is a major player in the highly competitive "Kangaroo route" between Australia and Europe.

"We are very good at doing a lot of premium things for our customers in a cost-effective manner", the CEO told Reuters on the sidelines of an event to unveil the seats. Each leather-finished seat is 19.5 inches wide, with eight-inch recline and a seat pitch of 38 inches to offer some extra leg room. The offerings are for Airbus A380, which is a part of the over $800 million investment as it attempts keeping top clients in the midst of the recession from other competitors in the industry. The seats are configured in a 3-4-3 design. Leveraging on advanced technology and ergonomics, seats offer more legroom and back support, with a six-way adjustable headrest with foldable wings.

The first-class suites have also been improved. Each seat is also equipped with a power supply, USB ports, personal storage space and ergonomically designed footrests. All existing planes will be retrofitted with the new design.

Singapore Airlines is the A380's launch customer and the aircraft's second largest operator.

Speaking at yesterday's programme, Phong said, "We are confident that the results will genuinely "wow" our customers, and ensure that we continue to provide them an unparalleled travel experience".