The Straits Times/Asia News Network
Singapore Airlines A-380 taking off at Terminal A of Zurich Airport on September 8, 2018 in Zurich, Switzerland. (Shutterstock/Fedor Selivanov)
Singapore Airlines (SIA) will no longer launch flights to nowhere.
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.
These are lunch on board an Airbus A380 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.
SIA chief executive Goh Choon Phong said the new initiatives will allow the airline to engage its fans and customers, even as the number of flights plunged because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
"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."
The Straits Times takes a look at what customers can expect with the three new initiatives, which can be booked on the KrisShop website. The cost of each option will be announced later.
Restaurant A380 @ Changi
An A380 plane parked at Changi Airport will be converted into a restaurant on Oct. 24 and 25. Reservations will start on Oct. 12. An A380 plane can usually seat up to about 470 passengers, but it is unclear how the capacity will be affected by safe distancing measures.
Diners who book this package will get to choose the cabin class they want to dine in.
The menu will feature international cuisines and a Peranakan menu customized for the temporary restaurant. Each meal will come with two free alcoholic drinks and free flow of other beverages.
Diners will get other perks, such as KrisShop discounts and a goodie bag. Those who turn up in traditional heritage wear, such as sarong kebaya, cheongsam or saree, will get an extra gift.
SIA said it will take precautions to reduce the risk of spread of the COVID-19 virus. These measures include cleaning and sanitizing the plane, capping group sizes at five, implementing safe distancing and doing a temperature check.
Both crew and diners will be required to wear a face mask at all times when on board, except when eating or drinking.
Inside Singapore Airlines
This tour of the SIA Training Centre will take place on Nov. 21, 22, 28 and 29. Bookings will open from Nov. 1.
Visitors will get to talk to pilots and cabin crew about their training and see SIA's flight simulators.
They can also take part in craft activities and buy in-flight meals.
Those who opt to pay extra can even try out the flight simulator that pilots use for training, enjoy a wine appreciation session or go through a grooming workshop conducted by SIA's cabin crew trainers.
Parents can opt for an add-on option to send their child for a junior cabin crew experience. The children can dress up in the SIA sarong kebaya uniform, learn customer service skills and act as cabin crew members in a mock-up of the A380 business class cabin.
Those who are missing the in-flight dining experience on board an SIA plane can opt to recreate it in their homes, with bookings opening from Oct. 5.
The meal, created by SIA's panel of international chefs, is paired with a choice of wine or champagne. Every menu will include SIA's satay dish.
It will come with a first class or business class amenity kit and instructions on how to heat and plate the dishes.
Customers can pay more to book the services of a private chef who will reheat, plate and serve the meal in their homes.
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