Flights from Delhi to Changi Airport with Singapore Airlines just shot up a notch with the introduction of the Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner. We loaf our way to Singapore to try out the all-new Business Class. By Simon Clays
It’s not every day that one of Singapore Airlines’ Delhi departure gates gets turned into a party zone. It’s not the norm for passengers to get more than their boarding pass and a smile before they take to the skies. Today, there’s cake, samosa, chai, soft drinks, balloons, and SIA bigwigs in attendance. There’s even an impromptu flash mob with a Bollywood dance performance, courtesy of the airline’s ground staff.
The other passengers are as perplexed as I am with all the commotion. And I’m in the know. I’ve been invited to experience the inaugural flight of Singapore Airlines’ brand-spanking new aircraft, the Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner.
Really? All this fuss for a new plane? It’s only when I’m on board, sipping on a glass of chilled champagne, that I realise it’s time to eat those words. Fortunately, they go well with sparkling wine.
The new Dreamliner is a Champagne Charlie of a jet, actually. Everything’s noticeably bigger—windows, seats, screens, leg room, and even the cabin height. There’s an extra bit of space to breathe, especially in Business Class, where a forward-facing 1-2-1 arrangement allows hermits like me access the aisle without having to conduct any human interaction whatsoever.
It’s not that I’m anti-social; there’s just a lot to fiddle with, and many ergonomic storage spaces wherein you can stow your belongings like an obsessive squirrel. The seat transforms into a fully-flat bed. And I mean fully. This thing works. If you ever deploy it, that is. I suspect I would have done so, had the flight been any longer. Instead, I recline and lose myself in the airline’s new screen and KrisWorld system. It’s a marvel. An 18-inch flatscreen game changer packed to the rafters with neat content.
Of course, there’s a raft of new movies, cameras, and route updates, but strangely, it’s the video games that engage me. This system’s ramped up a notch— much better graphics and a higher-end interface mean better games and more engaging player experience.
Time slides by, as does the flight. And that’s another fabulous boon of the new Dreamliner—its new, more powerful engines mean we’re landing ahead of schedule. Possibly too soon, as I’ve still not cracked the game. I’ve always maintained that it’s the journey, not the arrival that’s important. Singapore Airlines’ new Dreamliner clearly agrees.