Remember that talk about Singapore Airlines (SIA) launching flights to nowhere, in which you can buy a ticket and fly to uhh, nowhere and back to Singapore in three hours? The national carrier is no longer going ahead with that plan.
But members of the public can still experience the airline’s service – albeit on the ground – through three other initiatives that will be launched in the coming weeks, SIA said on Tuesday (Sept 29).
These are lunch on board an Airbus A-380 jumbo jet, a tour of SIA’s training facilities and home delivery of meals from its first class and business class menus.
SIA said it developed these experiences after conducting a market study and a review that looked into factors such as environmental implications and financial viability.
It said it had initially considered launching flights to nowhere, but canned the idea after the review.
“There has been a lot of interest in our customer engagement initiatives over the last few weeks, and I would like to thank everyone for their great ideas and suggestions,” he said.
“We are very encouraged by and grateful for the enthusiasm and passion that we have seen.”
A three-hour lunch in the economy class cabin of a Singapore Airlines (SIA) Airbus A-380 will cost $50.
For those who want a better experience, the price goes up to $600 for lunch in the ultra first-class suites.
Meanwhile, a behind-the-scenes tour at SIA’s training facility will cost $15 for children between three and 12 years old, and $30 for adults.
Various add-ons, such as $500 for a flight simulator experience for up to three participants, can also be bought on top of the basic tour tickets.
Getting food delivered to the doorstep, though, will be more expensive. Prices will start from $288 for a business-class meal for two and $448 for a first-class meal. These meals will come with a bottle of wine and amenity kits.
The prices stated exclude the 7 per cent GST that customers will also have to pay.
The details were announced by SIA on Thursday (Oct 1), following its decision to launch three new initiatives to engage customers on the ground amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
These initiatives will be done on a limited basis, although a spokesman said SIA will assess the demand before deciding whether to launch additional programmes.
Makansutra founder K.F. Seetoh said many people are unlikely to be willing to pay $288 or $448 for vacuum packed food for two, that they have to heat up themselves, even if delivered to their homes.
And while he acknowledged that SIA engages top chefs to design the menus, the meals here are prepared by caterers and not the chefs themselves.
Mr Aaron Wong, who founded the Milelion website which tracks how to best make use of flight rewards, expects the in-flight dining and tours to be more popular than the home delivered meals.
He said: “The tour is a rare chance for the public to get a first-hand look behind the scenes at SIA’s training facilities, which would be impossible for non-media during regular times.”
With the Covid-19 pandemic accelerating the retirement of the A-380 plane worldwide, there may also be fewer opportunities “to experience the largest aircraft in the world”, he said.
These are the various offerings: