Singapore Airlines: new flagship first, business lounges open December

December will see a ribbon-cutting at chic new Changi T3 lounges for business and first class flyers.

Photos: Singapore Airlines©, Hirsch Bedner Associates© Text: David Flynn© / Executive Traveller©

Singapore Airlines expects to open four new airport lounges at its Changi T3 hub by December 2021, leading into a better year to come for the recovery of global air travel.

The SGD$50 million makeover was announced in July 2019, with work beginning well before COVID-19, and encompasses sweeping upgrades to four seperate spaces in Singapore Airlines' lounge precinct on the upper level of T3.

Hospitality designers Hirsch Bedner Associates – the largest firm of its kind in the world – were charged with giving each of the flagship lounges "a fresh look and feel that is modern yet homely, while inspiring a sense of timeless elegance."

Singapore Airlines' Regional Vice President South West Pacific, Louis Arul, tells Executive Traveller that the project is now expected to be completed by the end of 2021.

"To facilitate the redevelopment works, we temporarily relocated the SilverKris Lounge on 31 March 2021 through to the end of 2021," Arul says. "As the project progresses we will provide more details on status of the upgrading works in due course."

What can travellers expect to see unwrapped in time for Christmas 2021?

The KrisFlyer Gold Lounge is dedicated to Elite Gold members of Singapore Airlines' KrisFlyer rewards program and Gold-grade frequent flyers of Star Alliance carriers and other partner airlines (such as Virgin Australia) flying in either economy or premium economy class.

As we've previously reported, this once underwhelming lounge has been dramatically transformed: it's not only bigger and brighter, with a greater sense of space and plenty of natural light, it now boasts its own washrooms and showers.

The SilverKris Business Class Lounge is also being expanded, and will feature four distinct zones catering to travellers with different needs.

Customers with a short transit can have a light snack in a relaxed café setting, while those with more time to spend can sample a full selection of Asian and international cuisines in the dining hall, including live cooking stations preparing signature local delights such as laksa and chicken rice.

A highlight of the new Business Class lounge will be a full service bar which doubles as a self-service breakfast station in the mornings.

A rest area with chaise lounges will appeal to travellers who need to catch some shut-eye before their flight – something we're sure will prove welcome for late-night and early-morning departures and transits.

There'll also be 'productivity pods' for privacy while you get down to work. In mid-2020, Singapore Airlines asked visitors to the business class lounge to try out proposed new seating intended for the renovated lounge, and offer opinions and feedback using tablets mounted on stands nearby.

The first of those – shown below left – was a replacement for the older-style sofa chairs, with an extended table for drinks, snacks or a laptop, and what appear to be easily accessible AC/USB sockets located on the table rather than being tucked away out of sight.

Next to this – shown above right – was an evolved version of the 'productivity pods' introduced with the rollout of Singapore Airlines' new-look lounges from 2013 (as seen below), but with a more conventionally-shaped seat plus a taller wrap-around partition and noise-reducing padding inside the pod.

The SilverKris First Class Lounge is the go-to for first class passengers on all Star Alliance partner airlines departing from Changi, along with PPS Solitaire members of Singapore Airlines' KrisFlyer loyalty program regardless of travel class.

(Solitaire is the top tier of PPS, which in turn crowns the KrisFlyer ladder and is based on your spend on first class and business class airfares, but not premium economy or – shudder – economy.)

Early renderings by Hirsch Bedner Associates show a design which draws heavily from Singapore Airlines' foundations as an Asian luxury brand.

It's a world away from the previous SilverKris First Class lounge, which has been shuttered since the first wave of COVID in April 2020.

The Private Room is something else again: an exclusive haven reserved for Singapore Airlines' own first class passengers, including those travelling in the Airbus A380 Suites class.

HBA's drawings hint at an undeniable look of rich elegance, although more subdued than ostentatious: the dining room would not be out of place in one of Singapore's best Michelin-starred restaurants, perhaps perched atop a six-star hotel.

While Singapore Airlines and HBA have not shared any other details, Executive Traveller understands that the lounges will feature some eye-catching crystal light installations crafted by French luxury brand Lalique, which in 2017 entered into a strategic partnership with Singapore Airlines and already provides branded amenities for first class flyers.

Also TBA: will this extensive rebuild provide seperate entries for each of the SilverKris premium lounges?

Under the original layout, the lounges were nested one within the other: the First Class lounge sat at the end of a hallway which cut through the Business Class lounge, while the entrance to The Private Room was again tucked away in a corner of the First Class Lounge.

It's not known if the new SilverKris lounge precinct is going to streamline this Matryoshka Doll-like arrangement.

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