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Singapore Airlines makes Aviation History with the A345LeaderShip

Travel News Asia 15 October 2003

Singapore Airlines (SIA) today unveiled the newest aircraft type to join its fleet - the ultra long-range Airbus 340-500. SIA's A340-500 will offer the longest non-stop commercial service in the world with its first flight from Singapore to Los Angeles in February 2004.

This SIA service to Los Angeles will take 16 hours, and the return service from Los Angeles about 18.5 hours. This is a savings of 1.5 to two hours over SIA's current one-stop flights.

"We have named the aircraft the A345LeaderShip to underscore its unique characteristics and SIA's continued commitment to product and service innovation. With the A340-500, we are offering non-stop services over long distances, that translate to greater convenience, comfort and time savings. It is specially designed for today's business travellers," said SIA's Senior Executive Vice-President (Commercial), Michael Tan.

The SIA A345LeaderShip will commence with daily services to Los Angeles, with services to New York City to follow in August 2004. The service from New York to Singapore will shorten travel time by two hours, and from Singapore to New York, by six hours. The New York - Singapore service will take about 18 hours in each direction. 

"We pioneered non-stop services from Singapore to London, and between Hong Kong and San Francisco, and we are doing it again with the A345LeaderShip," added Mr Tan.

The Airline will be setting another marker with the premium configuration of the A345LeaderShip. The aircraft will feature just 181 seats in a spacious two-class configuration comprising Raffles (business) Class and a new Executive Economy Class.

A345LeaderShip Executive Economy Class

This new SIA class of travel will offer 117 Executive Economy Class seats in a 2-3-2 configuration, with a seat pitch of 37" and a seat-back recline of 8". It will also feature a seat width of 20", a leather adjustable headrest, an innovative leg rest and foot rest, and a 9" personal video monitor for in-flight entertainment. In addition, SIA has introduced AC power supply outlets in the Executive Economy cabin.

A345LeaderShip Raffles Class

The A345LeaderShip Raffles Class cabin will feature 64 of SIA's renowned lie-flat SpaceBeds in a 2-2-2 seat layout, with a larger seat pitch of 64".

The SpaceBed offers a bed width of 26" and a bed length of 78", as well as an adjustable headrest, leg rest and lumbar support. The 10.4" personal video monitor will enable customers to enjoy SIA's comprehensive in-flight entertainment system in style, and an AC power supply outlet at every seat will be welcomed by the traveller who wishes to power up his laptop.

Other A345LeaderShip features

Another new feature on the A345LeaderShip will be passenger corners in both the Raffles and Executive Economy Class cabins, where passengers can gather to socialize. In addition, Executive Economy Class will offer an area where customers can help themselves to an array of snacks and drinks.

All seats will also be equipped with SIA's renowned in-flight entertainment system, KrisWorld, which offers over 200 entertainment options including movies, television features, music stations, CD selections, and games. This is available on the latest Matsushita System 3000 AVOD (audio video on demand) platform that enables passengers to pause, fast forward or rewind any audio or video programme at will.

Said Mr Tan, "The interior of the A340-500, from the cabin layout to the seats, has been designed to offer excellent comfort for long-haul business travellers to ensure they arrive refreshed and ready to go."

SIA's frequent flyers (KrisFlyers) will receive double miles for travel on the A345LeaderShip from February until the end of May 2004. A 25 per cent discount is offered on this flight on Raffles Class companion awards, upon the purchase of a regular Raffles Class ticket, during the same period.

The A340-500 service between Singapore and Los Angeles will complement existing services to this business and entertainment capital. SIA currently operates two daily services via Taipei and Tokyo. Tickets on the A340-500 will be available from SIA ticketing offices, SIA website, and travel agents from 16 October 2003.

SIA placed its order for 10 A340-500 in 1998 with five on firm order and five on option. The order was worth US$2.2 billion, including the cost of spares and spare engines. The A340-500 will be powered by four Rolls Royce Trent 553 engines. 

This is the first new aircraft type to join the SIA fleet since 1997, when the Airline took delivery of its first Boeing 777.

As at 26 October 2003, SIA's operating fleet comprises of 51 B777s and 27 B747s, a total of 78 aircraft.

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