Singapore Airlines'' new A380: A class beyond first

The first of 19 firm orders from SIA, the new A380 is also fitted with 60 business-class and 399 economy class seats, for a total of 471. This less crowded configuration compares with an Airbus recommended average of 525, and an Air France configuration of 538 in three classes.

The new A380 will take off on its first operational flight on the Singapore-Sydney route on October 28. The airline will take delivery of another three of these super jumbos next year, the first of which will be deployed on one of the carrier''s three daily flights to London Heathrow from the first quarter of the year.

The SkySuites

The facilities provided by the Singapore Airlines SkySuites will allow the airline to separate itself from rivals, who will be offering convertible seat/beds in their first-class cabins. Located on the main deck these 12 Suites will be referred to as the Class R, or the Singapore Airlines SkySuite.

This newly introduced class, not to be called, or confused, with a First Class, will also offer a personal 23 inch LCD screen with 1280 x 768 pixels in each suite, surround sound and, as stated, a flat bed.

Located on the main deck are also 311 economy class (Y) seats in a 3-4-3 configuration. The business class (J) will include 60 seats located on the upper deck. These seats, along with those of the economy class, will match those of the upgraded classes introduced on the Boeing 777-300ER. The business class seats will be laid out in a 1-2-1 configuration, while an additional 88 economy class seats on this deck will come in a 2-4-2 configuration.