Singapore Airlines Reconfiguring All 12 A380s With New Cabins

There’s not much good news nowadays when it comes to A380s, though here’s an exception.

Singapore Airlines is keeping 12 Airbus A380s

We recently learned about Singapore Airlines’ future fleet plans for the A380, as the airline will fly 12 of these planes long term:

  • Singapore Airlines has taken delivery of a total of 24 A380s between 2007 and 2018
  • Singapore Airlines ended its leases on the first five A380s at the 10 year mark, meaning the A380 fleet has 19 aircraft remaining
  • Then it was recently announced that Singapore Airlines would retire seven of its remaining 19 A380s
  • That means Singapore Airlines will have a total of 12 Airbus A380s in the future

Singapore Airlines will fly 12 A380s in the coming years

Singapore Airlines refreshing all A380 cabins

In 2017, Singapore Airlines introduced brand new interiors for its A380s, which represented the first cabin refresh on these planes in about a decade.

While Singapore Airlines had always indicated that it would reconfigure existing A380s with these cabins, the pandemic is causing a lot of airlines to stop investing in cabin upgrades, in order to save money.

Well, there’s some good news on that front. As reported by Mainly Miles, Singapore Airlines is continuing to reconfigure its A380s with new cabins, and odds are good that all A380s will feature new cabins by the time they return to the skies (as of now the airline has pulled all Suites availability through October 2021, suggesting the airline may not fly these planes for the next year).

Where does the Singapore Airlines A380 new cabin project stand?

  • Five A380s were delivered with the new cabins between 2017 and 2018
  • Three A380s have already been reconfigured with the new cabins
  • One A380 is currently being reconfigured, in a project that’s expected to take about eight months; this will be complete by early 2021
  • The other three A380s will be reconfigured after that, so the process would be done within a couple of years at the latest; it could be that Singapore Airlines reconfigures a couple of planes simultaneously, though

Anyway, there’s nothing here that’s shocking — the airline had previously announced plans to reconfigure planes, but of course it was also possible that the pandemic would cause the airline to backtrack on this. Fortunately that doesn’t seem to be the case.

I’d be willing to bet that by the time A380s return to the skies, they’re pretty likely to all feature the new cabins.

Singapore’s reconfigured A380s feature huge Suites bathrooms

What are Singapore Airlines’ new A380 cabins like?

I flew Singapore Airlines roundtrip on the new A380 shortly after it was introduced — I flew from Singapore to Sydney in the new business class, and from Sydney to Singapore in the new Suites. Overall I was reasonably impressed by both products, but not blown away.

Business class was a marginal improvement over the old business class product. I rank it as number nine on my list of the world’s 10 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.

Singapore Airlines’ new A380 business class

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 Airlines’ new A380 business class

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.

Singapore Airlines’ new A380 Suites

Singapore Airlines’ new A380 Suites

Arguably the one major downside of Singapore Airlines’ new Suites is how much capacity is being reduced. While the old Suites cabin had 12 seats, the new cabin has just six seats. As you might expect, this also means that award seats are significantly harder to come by.

Bottom line

With Singapore Airlines shrinking its A380 fleet to a dozen planes, one silver lining is that all of these planes will soon feature new cabins. Eight A380s already sport the new cabins, one is currently being reconfigured, and the remaining three should be reconfigured in the next couple of years, likely before the planes would otherwise return to the skies.

While this is good news overall, unfortunately this isn’t very good for Suites award availability, which will be much tougher to come by (especially for two passengers).