Singapore Airlines has welcomed the overwhelming demand for its parked Airbus A380 pop-up restaurants, stating that all available seats were reserved within 30 minutes of bookings going live.
Last month, the airline announced that it would convert two of its grounded super jumbos into temporary pop-up restaurants at Changi Airport, in an attempt to stimulate revenue during the prolonged COVID-19 aviation crisis.
The restaurants are due to open their doors for customers on 24 and 25 October, and the airline has said seats were entirely sold out within 30 minutes.
Around half the seats on each Airbus A380 were available for restaurant customers, in line with social distancing guidelines, according to Singapore Airlines.
Prices started at just US$40 for a meal and a seat in the economy cabin, and went up to US$472 to sit and eat in a first-class suite. Customers also had the option to pay in frequent-flyer points.
Passengers will reportedly be offered goodie bags as they dine, and those who wear traditional clothing on their experience will receive additional gifts.
Due to the overwhelming demand, the airline said it planned to open a waiting list on Monday evening for interested customers who missed out on a seat.
The company will study the waiting list and see how it can “potentially accommodate some of those who are still interested in this unique dining experience”, according to vice president of commercial operations Lee Lik Hsin.
In addition to the A380 pop-up dining experience, Singapore Airlines is also selling a range of first and business class meals for customers to enjoy at home.
The meals come packed with videos, guides on how to heat and plate the dishes, and even a “specially curated” playlist, all to simulate the onboard experience.
Further, the airline will also offer tours of its training centre, as well as flight simulator experiences, to the public, as a means to recoup some of its extensive losses seen in light of COVID-19, and cater to travel-hungry customers who are stuck at home.
Notably, the airline has also publicly changed its tune on its previously announced ‘flights to nowhere’, after it copped backlash over environmental impact concerns, instead opting for these measures on the ground.
Singapore Airlines has taken a harder financial hit than most, according to analysts, as it has no domestic network to rely upon until international conditions improve.
Goh Choon Phong, CEO of Singapore Airlines, said, “With COVID-19 drastically reducing the number of flights operated by the SIA Group, we have created unique activities that would allow us to engage with our fans and customers during this time.”