By Lina Saigol
Rave reviews for airline food? That could be about to happen.
Singapore Airlines /zigman2/quotes/208369943/delayed SG:C6L -0.23% has launched a waiting list for onboard meals on two of its grounded Airbus A380 double-decker jumbo jets, after tickets sold out within 30 minutes of bookings opening on Oct. 12.
The zany concept comes as airlines look for novel ways of raising cash to make up for lost revenues, amid an unprecedented collapse in demand for travel during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Economy-class tickets for a meal at the stationary “Restaurant A380 @Changi” cost SG$53.50 ($39), premium economy is SG$96.30 ($71), and business is SG$321 ($236).
Diners seeking a luxury experience can book a suite for SG$642 ($473).
“Singapore Airlines /zigman2/quotes/209786298/composite SINGY -0.87% can confirm that all seats that were initially made available for its Restaurant A380 @Changi dining lunch experience were reserved within 30 minutes of bookings opening on 12 October 2020, ” the airline said in an emailed statement.
The idea has proved to be so popular that Singapore Airlines has launched additional dates for lunch and dinner on Oct. 24 and Oct. 25, Oct. 31 and Nov. 1.
“Given the demand, we are pleased to open up additional seatings to accommodate those who are interested in this unique dining experience,” said Lee Lik Hsin, Singapore Airlines executive vice president-commercial.
In September, Singapore Airlines, which is cutting 20% of its workforce, due to the pandemic, had considered launching a “Flight to Nowhere,” but scrapped the idea after it came under fire from environmental campaigners, including Singapore-based organization SG Climate Rally.
“We do not agree with the proposed ‘flights to nowhere’ initiative for two reasons: First, it encourages carbon-intensive travel for no good reason and second, it is merely a stopgap measure that distracts from the policy and value shifts necessary to mitigate the climate crisis,” SG Climate Rally said in a statement on Sept. 14.
Diners visiting Singapore Airlines’ onboard restaurant can watch a movie while sampling a menu designed by Singaporean chef Shermay Lee.
Those who miss out on the offer can do it all at home. For the price of SG$888 ($652), they can have Singapore Airlines’ tableware delivered, along with champagne, slippers and amenity kits.
Several carriers, including Taiwan’s Eva and Japan’s All Nippon Airways, have gone ahead with sightseeing tours that start and end at the same airport.
Separately, Singapore Airlines is offering a range of experiences, from flight simulation and wine-appreciation classes to craft activities for children. There is also a workshop where passengers can learn how to achieve the “Singapore Girl” look, as they are guided through a demonstration on makeup application and creating a chignon hairstyle.