Singapore Airlines’ superjumbo A380 – the world’s largest passenger plane – returned to New Zealand in late 2023. Stuff Travel got an inside look at the mammoth aircraft and its famous first-class suites.
The exclusivity for first-class travellers starts from boarding, as passengers walk down a separate airbridge to get to the double-decker Singapore Airlines’ A380.
Once onboard the world’s largest passenger plane, travellers ascend a flight of stairs to the six suites, which start at NZD$5616 each.
Each suite has plush carpet, a leather reclining chair, a table that pulls out for a in-flight dining and a door to maximise privacy. Instead of overhead storage for carry-on luggage, there is a wardrobe big enough to fit your suitcase and hang suit jackets.
Everything from the lighting to the 32-inch television is controlled by a tablet.
When it’s time for sleep, the flight crew pull the bed out and make it up with sheets and a pillow and the window shades are brought down.
Couples who want to travel together can book adjoining suites, allowing them to sleep next to each other – but still watch their own movies. Each person still has their own seatbelt on the bed.
Passengers are still required to wear a seatbelt when sleeping and one comes strapped to the bed.
There are two bathrooms in the first-class area, one larger than the other, although even the smaller one is about three times the size of the bathroom in economy.
Walking in, you immediately notice a light floral scent. The bespoke fragrance was made especially for Singapore Airlines, from flowers native to the country and seen on the airline’s famous uniforms.
A sit-down vanity counter and full-length mirror allow you to freshen up before you land.
First-class passengers receive lotion, lip balm, facial mist and a fragrance as part of their bathroom amenities.
When it comes to dining, first-class meals are served on bone china atop a table cloth.
Passengers can choose from the in-flight menu, or a main course put together by the airlines’ International Culinary Panel of chefs – which includes former MasterChef Australia judge Matt Moran.
The menu from Auckland includes New Zealand lobster, NZ King salmon, Wakanui beef fillet and lamb loin.
Singapore Airlines’ Airbus A380 flies Auckland to Singapore daily at 3.15pm until March 31, 2024.
The aircraft has 471 seats made up of the six first-class suites, 78 business seats, 44 premium economy seats and 343 in economy. Economy and premium economy are situated on the lower deck.
The only other A380 to fly to New Zealand is one from Emirates, on its route from Dubai to Auckland, and Dubai to Christchurch via Sydney.