SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Singapore Airlines Ltd, the world’s first carrier to receive the largest version of the Dreamliner jet, said it will invest $350 million to equip its initial 20 aircraft on order with new cabin products.
Singapore Airlines is the biggest customer for the Boeing Co 787-10 aircraft with 49 on order.
It plans to use the 337-seat plane as the backbone of its medium-haul fleet on flights of up to eight hours, with services to be introduced on flights to Osaka, Japan and Perth, Australia in May.
It will offer new fully-flat seats, all with aisle-access in the 787-10 business class cabin. Some services to key corporate markets like Australia, Japan and South Korea have lacked that level of comfort when the airline has used its older regional fleet of Airbus SE A330s and Boeing 777s.
The fuel-efficient jet will help Singapore Airlines lower its cost base, improve its product for business travelers and return to major capacity growth at its premium brand after years of being more focused on expanding in the budget sector.
The carrier last year launched a three-year transformation program designed to help it compete more effectively against Chinese and Middle Eastern rivals and low-cost carriers.
Reporting by Jamie Freed and Aradhana Aravindan; Editing by Edwina Gibbs