SINGAPORE Airlines (SIA) today announced it would invest US$325 million to upgrade the cabins of 19 of its B777-300ERs by September 2016, even as it noted in its financial report yesterday that the aviation market will remain challenging, with intense competition in many areas and economic uncertainty in key markets.
First class passengers can expect seats with a fixed-back shell design and curved side panels for added privacy, an ergonomically sculpted cushion and adjustable headrest, customised in-seat lighting, and seats 35 inches in width with an increased bed length of 82 inches.
In business class, seats will feature a greater recline at 132 degrees, an improved ergonomic seat cushion, two new seating positions and more stowage space.
Economy class seats will come with more personal space, leg room, new backrest cushions with side bolsters for better support and an ergonomically sculpted headrest cushion.
SIA’s latest KrisWorld in-flight entertainment system will also be upgraded with the latest hardware offerings and an intuitive graphical user interface.
SIA reported an operating profit of S$259.3 million (US$207.8 million) for the financial year ending March 31, 2014, up 13.1 per cent over the year before.
The group’s parent airline, SIA, recorded an improved operating performance of S$69 million, a 36.9 per cent rise to S$256 million. However, SilkAir reported an operating profit that was S$62 million lower as passenger carriage growth fell behind capacity increases.
SIA carried 18.6 million passengers, 2.3 per cent more than the last year, although passenger load factor fell by 0.4 percentage points to 78.9 per cent due to higher passenger capacity. SilkAir saw a four percentage point drop in passenger load factor to 69.6 per cent.
According to the release by SIA: “Passenger bookings in the current quarter are expected to match the planned increase in capacity. However, yields are expected to remain under pressure due to promotional activities undertaken to support loads and other airlines offering aggressive fares while increasing capacity.”
Fuel prices are expected to remain high.