SIA plans product investment as profit soar

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SIA's new business class seat
SIA’s new business class seat

Singapore Airlines has unveiled plans to invest US$325 million to upgrade the cabins of its Boeing 777-300ER aircraft.

The announcement comes after the airline reported double-digit growth in profits for the 2013-14 financial year, and follows an initial roll-out of new cabin products that started last year.

SIA first introduced the new seats and in-flight entertainment systems in September 2013, after taking delivery of the first of eight new B777-300ERs. The upgrade programme announced today (9 May 2014) will see the same products retro-fitted to the airline’s 19 existing B777-300ERs. Installation work is expected to begin early in 2015, with all aircraft completed by September 2016.

“Feedback about our next-generation cabin products has been extremely positive and our customers have been asking for them to be fitted on more aircraft,” said SIA’s executive vice president of commercial, Mak Swee Wah.

“This significant investment demonstrates our commitment to constantly enhancing our products and services, and further demonstrates our confidence in the future for premium full-service air travel.”

The new products will be added to SIA's fleet of Boeing 777-300ERs
The new products will be added to SIA’s fleet of Boeing 777-300ERs

The revamped cabins include new seats in all three classes, including a 208cm-long flat-bed seat in first class,  a 198-cm flat-bed in business class and economy class seats with more legroom. All seats feature the new KrisWorld in-flight entertainment system, with touchscreen monitors and handsets.

The new products are already available on SIA’s daily services to London Heathrow and Tokyo Narita airports, and will be progressively rolled out to new long-haul routes in future.

This latest product investment comes after SIA posted an operating profit of SG$259m (US$207m) in the 2013-14 financial year, 13.1% up year-on-year. Group revenue increased 1.0% to SG$15.2 billion, mainly due to higher passenger sales. SilkAir however, posted a sharp year-on-year drop in operating profits, from SG$97m to SG$35m.

SIA carried 18.6m passengers in the 12-month period, up 2.3%, but passenger load factors dipped slightly (-0.4 percentage points) to 78.9%.

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