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Old January 1st, 2007, 07:11 AM   #41
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Jan 1, 2007
SIA promises more luxury with new aircraft
Bigger monitors, wider seats, more legroom but the airfares cost more

By Aviation Correspondent, Karamjit Kaur

WITH a 76-cm wide seat which unfolds into a flat bed, and a 15.4-inch personal LCD monitor, I was ready for luxury in business class.

But it was the small improvements and enhancements in economy that delighted me when I flew Singapore Airlines' new Boeing 777-300ER aircraft to Hong Kong and back recently.

Like how the handset for the in-flight entertainment system was stowed below the screen instead of at the side of the armrest. Furthermore, boxes holding the equipment for the entertainment system - normally found under every seat - were removed, giving more legroom.

Even the headphones were better - not too rounded at the top so they fit more comfortably and with just one wire from the right side instead of two.

It all added to less clutter, less fuss and overall, a more pleasant flight.

Many passengers also enjoyed the 10.6-inch LCD monitors - about four inches bigger compared to normal screens in economy class.

Economy-class seats in the new Boeing aircraft are 48cm wide, just 2.5cm to 5cm more than the seats in other SIA planes. But it makes a difference and passengers get more legroom too because seat backs are a little thinner.

When a seat is reclined, it also moves forward slightly so as not to encroach too much into the space of the passenger behind.

Professor Phillip Kimble, 71, a 1.88m tall psychology lecturer at the California State University, Fresno, said: 'On other flights, I am used to having my knees knock against the seat in front but here, I still have some space left.'

He gave the new aircraft and SIA's $570 million bundle of new offerings, two thumbs up: 'It's one of the best planes I have ever flown in.'

SIA, which already has six of the 19 B777-300ERs it ordered, is counting on happy passengers like Prof Kimble to be willing to pay 10 to 20 per cent more in airfares for the extra comfort and luxury.

The plane which entered into commercial service on Dec 5, also flies to Paris, Milan and Barcelona currently.

The flight to and from Hong Kong was almost full, with only a handful of seats empty. It seemed as if passengers were quite happy to part with the extra cash, although not all knew when they booked their flights that they were paying more to fly in the new aircraft.

Marketing and business development manager Donald Goh, 43, who was travelling with his wife and 11-year-old son, paid more than $600 for each return economy ticket.

He said: 'I thought the fare was higher because it was peak season. Still, I have no complaints because I know I am paying for quality.'

Business-class passengers paid more than $2,500 each for a return flight.

The higher fares make up for the loss in capacity from all the extra space, especially for first and business class passengers.

SIA's B777-300ER aircraft can carry 278 passengers, compared to 332 in a similar-size aircraft.

Business-class seats are 76cm wide, or 25cm more than normal, and are arranged four abreast, instead of six in a similar-size aircraft.

They are almost like a private cubicle with sliding screens for the two passengers seated in the middle of each row, who are not separated by the aisle.

There is also new storage space near the LCD monitor and under the seat in front, and a personal mirror for that final hair and make-up check for women before landing.

The one thing I found a little annoying though, as did Mr Julian Claxton, 33, managing director of RISQ security management in Sydney, was that the seat reclined to a maximum of 130 degrees, compared to 180 degrees for SIA's existing spacebed in business class.

If you want to go any lower, you have to get up and manually to unfold the seat into a flat bed.

Once unfolded, the bed with a separate cover and extra pillow was more comfortable than business class seats in other SIA planes that become totally flat with the push of a button.

Mr Claxton said: 'Overall, I give this seat eight out of 10, and the other spacebed seven.'

Watching movies and playing games were more enjoyable with the bigger 15.4-inch LCD monitor.

The new products on SIA's B777-300ERs represent the airline's first major revamp of aircraft cabins in nearly a decade and aim to widen the service gap between it and its competition - such as British Airways, Qantas, Cathay Pacific and Emirates.

Does SIA have a winning formula? My verdict after the Hong Kong trip, is that it does.

There are areas for improvement of course but as business-class traveller Paul Hill, 51, a New Zealander, said: 'I wish I could fly this aircraft all the way to Brisbane where I am going.'

[email protected]

ROOM TO MOVE

'On other flights, I am used to having my knees knock against the seat in front but here, I still have some space left.'
PROFESSOR PHILLIP KIMBLE, who is 1.88m tall

Copyright © 2007 Singapore Press Holdings. All rights reserved
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Old January 11th, 2007, 11:59 PM   #42
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This story was printed from TODAYonline

Rolls-Royce gets SIA deal

Will provide maintenance service for engines of carrier's Boeing 777 fleet

Friday • January 12, 2007

Singapore Airlines (SIA), the world's biggest carrier by market value, signed an agreement for Rolls-Royce Group to provide engine-maintenance services for its fleet of 58 Boeing 777 aircraft.

United Kingdom-based Rolls-Royce, Europe's biggest aircraft-engine maker, will provide the services through a company partly owned by the carrier's plane maintenance unit, SIA said yesterday.

No financial details were revealed.

SIA is the world's biggest operator of Boeing's 777 planes. It began taking delivery of six extended-range 777-300ERs in November last year and expects to have 10 in service by the middle of this year.

Chief executive Chew Choon Seng said last month that the carrier might buy more Boeing 777 aircraft so that it could continue to grow if there are further delays in the delivery of Airbus' A380 superjumbo jets.

"The agreement builds on the long-standing relationship between SIA and Rolls-Royce," the carrier said in its statement.

As well as powering SIA's 58 Boeing 777 planes, Rolls-Royce's Trent 800 engines will also power five of its Airbus A340-500s.

Other models of the Trent family of engines will be used for the airline's 10 Airbus A380s and 19 Airbus A330-300s for delivery from 2009.

Shares of SIA ended up 10 cents, or 0.6 per cent, at $17.90 yesterday on the Singapore Exchange. The stock has risen 42 per cent in the past six months, compared with the 26 per cent gain in the Bloomberg Asia Pacific Airlines Index. — Bloomberg

Copyright MediaCorp Press Ltd. All rights reserved.
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Old January 13th, 2007, 05:08 AM   #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by babystan03 View Post
This story was printed from TODAYonline

Rolls-Royce gets SIA deal

Will provide maintenance service for engines of carrier's Boeing 777 fleet

Friday • January 12, 2007

......As well as powering SIA's 58 Boeing 777 planes, Rolls-Royce's Trent 800 engines will also power five of its Airbus A340-500s.........

— Bloomberg

Copyright MediaCorp Press Ltd. All rights reserved.
Will??
The first of SIA's Trent-powered "Leaderships" (this nick has since been dropped) was delivered more than 3 years ago and all five have been in service for almost 3 years now.
No other A340-500 is on SIA's order pipeline.

Btw, its the Trent 500 and not the 800 that powered the A345s.

Last edited by phenom; January 13th, 2007 at 05:18 AM.
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Old January 21st, 2007, 05:13 AM   #44
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Jan 21, 2007
Singapore Girl 35 years later
Kasmah Abdul Hamid, the stewardess in SIA's first-ever ad, says it was pure luck that she was featured

By Nur Dianah Suhaimi

FORMER Singapore Airlines (SIA) stewardess Kasmah Abdul Hamid, 55, was back home for a two-week visit when she saw a picture of her 20-year-old self in the newspaper.



Last week, The Sunday Times featured SIA's first advertisement, released 35 years ago, along with a feature story asking whether it was time to retire the Singapore Girl icon.

The ad showed the profile of a young Asian woman with her lips parted slightly. 'This girl's in love with you,' the slogan gushed.

Ms Kasmah was that girl.

She quit SIA in 1979 when she married a German businessman.

Now she owns an interior decor shop in Germany and has two daughters, aged 25 and 21.

But all these years, Ms Kasmah had never known that particular ad was actually SIA's first.

She found out only when The Sunday Times told her in an interview last week.

'Other girls had their pictures taken for ads, too. We never thought very much about appearing in ads. It was just another part of the job,' she said.

As with many things in her life, she attributed her appearance in the historic ad to luck.

Born into a big family, Ms Kasmah - the fourth of nine children - was given an English education solely because the Malay school near her home had no vacancies.

Her father registered her at the next nearest school, which taught in English.

The rest of her siblings were educated in Malay schools.

After completing her O levels, she worked briefly as a bus warden, but the 19-year-old Kasmah wanted a proper job.

'Coincidentally, SIA was looking for stewardesses at that time. Since I could speak English, I just applied,' she said.

By chance, she wore a brown and white sarong kebaya and put on a wig for her job interview. Despite dropping her personal documents during the interview, she landed the job.

Just six months later, she was selected to be photographed for SIA's first ad. The photo shoot, which was conducted at the East Coast beach, took about three days.

'I was told to walk on the beach and look like I was in love,' she said.

'I was only 19 and came from a conservative Malay family. I had no idea about love or looking in love. So I just walked like a mule,' she said.

Many other photo shoots followed, and she lost track of how many of pictures of her became SIA ads.

The only ad poster she has today is one of her with a Siamese cat.

In the 1970s, when other kampung girls had little prospect of leaving the country, she got to see the world.

'In those days, the turnaround periods could stretch up to a week,' she said.

'I had time to take a train up to Oxford when SIA flew to London. When we flew to Osaka, I took a train to Kobe.'

Things changed after she met her future husband through a mutual friend in Dubai. Her erratic flying schedule and costly long-distance telephone calls prompted the couple to get married quickly.

She quit her job after the wedding and moved to Saudi Arabia, where her husband was working. The couple settled down in Germany in 1994.

Said Ms Kasmah: 'I cannot imagine how my life would have turned out if that Malay school my father first approached had a vacancy. I would not have been able to see the world.'

[email protected]


'This 35-year-old icon has come a long way in bringing fame to our national airline. She definitely does not deserve to be chucked away like some old car that has outlived its use.'
SENIOR SALES CONSULTANT TAN LIN NEO, 48, giving her view on whether the Singapore Girl icon should be scrapped

Copyright © 2007 Singapore Press Holdings. All rights reserved.

Jan 21, 2007
Readers express support for SIA Girl

COMPANY CEOs, former flight stewardesses, expatriates and foreign visitors wrote to The Sunday Times last week to express their support for the Singapore Girl.

Their response was triggered by a Sunday Times feature last week, discussing whether the Singapore Girl should be shelved to make way for a more modern branding icon.

While women's groups and media academics say she represents the 'subservient Asian woman' stereotype, creative industry experts feel she should be given a makeover.

Online forums have also been flooded with discussions.

Many of those who wrote to The Sunday Times were appalled that some experts reommended scrapping the Singapore Girl.

Senior sales consultant Tan Lin Neo, 48, thinks the Singapore Girl deserves more respect.

'This 35-year-old icon has come a long way in bringing fame to our national airline. She definitely does not deserve to be chucked away like some old car that has outlived its use,' she said.

British expatriate and managing director Mark Carpenter, 43, never found Singapore Airlines' ads sexist or demeaning to women.

'In fact, my wife applauds the image of the Singapore Girl and loves the standards of perfection they set for their appearance,' he said.

Some readers are concerned that the kebaya, which has become an important part of the country's identity, will be junked.

Mr Michael Miller, a visitor from the UK, said it is irrelevant that no one in Singapore wears the kebaya any more.

'No one in London dresses like the beefeaters, the colourful guards at the Tower of London. Nor do our soldiers go into battle wearing uniforms like the Household Cavalry, but these two images are among the key attractions for visitors to London,' he said.

The problem with SIA is not the sarong kebaya but the ads, said Ms Cheryl Chong, founder of a Shanghai mobile phone content firm.

'The problem is the shallow portrayal of the Singapore Girl. The advertising for Singapore Airlines has become an embarrassment,' she said.

Despite wanting the Singapore Girl to stay, some do concede that her makeup needs an update.

Personal assistant Jessica Leong, 36, suggests something more subtle than the 'screaming red lipstick and over-the-top blue eyeshadow'.

However, former stewardess April Tan, 38, believes the Singapore Girl should not be touched.

'Some old things earn their authenticity through the years and are better kept as they are.'

Nur Dianah Suhaimi

Copyright © 2007 Singapore Press Holdings. All rights reserved.
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Old January 21st, 2007, 04:27 PM   #45
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I think I just found the very first Singapore Girl ad which Mrs. Kasmah appeared at:



Courtesy of:Björn Larsson and David Zekria

Visit their website at:http://www.timetableimages.com
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Old April 17th, 2009, 11:00 AM   #46
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SIA passenger numbers dive in March
Published: 2009/04/17

SINGAPORE: Singapore Airlines (SIA) said yesterday that passenger numbers plummeted in March as the global downturn continues to weigh on travel demand.

The airline carried 1.28 million people last month, down 23 per cent year-on-year, the company said in a statement.

It added that passenger load factor (PLF), how much seating capacity is used at a given period, fell 11.4 percentage points to 69.4 per cent.

"The current global economic slowdown has weakened travel demand," SIA said in the statement.

"Consequently, all route regions registered declines in PLFs," it said.

SIA reduced capacity by 9 per cent last month due to lower demand, with the airline using smaller planes and terminating flights to Los Angeles via Taipei and Osaka via Bangkok as well as the service to Amritsar in India.

It said cargo carried by the airline in March fell 18 per cent year-on-year and freight load factor dropped 4.3 percentage points to 58.5 per cent. - AFP
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Old July 16th, 2009, 10:42 AM   #47
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Makeover for SIA's B777

16 Jul 09

A SEVERE business downturn which has hit its bottomline is not stopping Singapore Airlines from upgrading its product offerings.

The airline said on Thursday that seven of its Boeing 777-300s aircraft will get a makeover and be retrofitted with new seats and in-flight entertainment systems, among other improvements.

The work will be progressively done from now until year-end.

For competitive reasons, SIA did not want to reveal the upgrading costs.

As part of the changes, economy class seats will receive new covers.

In the premium classes, bigger seats and entertainment screens will replace the existing ones, the airline said.

In business class, for example, the entertainment screens will measure 15.4 inches, instead of just 6.5 inches now.

SIA said in a statement: 'The cabin renewal programme, launched in spite of the business challenges the world's airlines are facing, is an investment in improving our customers' travel experience.'

The changes are also being made in response to customer feedback, the airline said.

When upgraded, the aircraft will be deployed to Sydney and Shanghai, as well as to the Middle East.

http://www.straitstimes.com/Breaking...ry_403942.html
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Old July 16th, 2009, 01:25 PM   #48
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Originally Posted by RafflesCity View Post
Makeover for SIA's B777

16 Jul 09

A SEVERE business downturn which has hit its bottomline is not stopping Singapore Airlines from upgrading its product offerings.

The airline said on Thursday that seven of its Boeing 777-300s aircraft will get a makeover and be retrofitted with new seats and in-flight entertainment systems, among other improvements.

The work will be progressively done from now until year-end.

For competitive reasons, SIA did not want to reveal the upgrading costs.

As part of the changes, economy class seats will receive new covers.

In the premium classes, bigger seats and entertainment screens will replace the existing ones, the airline said.

In business class, for example, the entertainment screens will measure 15.4 inches, instead of just 6.5 inches now.

SIA said in a statement: 'The cabin renewal programme, launched in spite of the business challenges the world's airlines are facing, is an investment in improving our customers' travel experience.'

The changes are also being made in response to customer feedback, the airline said.

When upgraded, the aircraft will be deployed to Sydney and Shanghai, as well as to the Middle East.

http://www.straitstimes.com/Breaking...ry_403942.html
Oh my gosh, finally, but are they just replacing the seat covers for economy class? Cause you know, if you have nice seats but small screens, i dunno. Anyone can enlighten me here?

This is good news though.
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Old July 16th, 2009, 01:58 PM   #49
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Im sure, by "new seats and in-flight entertainment systems" they meant the current products on board their 77W, A380 etc.

So the product is not that new.
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Old July 17th, 2009, 11:28 AM   #50
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Im sure, by "new seats and in-flight entertainment systems" they meant the current products on board their 77W, A380 etc.

So the product is not that new.
Well, definitely better than the old interior

I'm hoping they introduce something new, for e.g. they introduced iPod connection on their A330 - but their 773ER and A380 don't have the iPod connection.
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Old July 31st, 2009, 08:15 AM   #51
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SIA cuts pay after S$307m loss
Friday July 31 2009

SINGAPORE, July 31 — Singapore Airlines (SIA) will cut staff pay by 10 per cent after unveiling a net loss of S$307 million (RM736.8 million) in the April-June quarter — only its second-ever quarterly loss. It had recorded a net profit of S$358.6 million in the same quarter last year.

The pay cuts, set to affect an estimated 12,000 staff, are based on a formula linked to losses agreed with staff unions.

Battered by an economic downturn that has dealt a severe blow to first- and business-class traffic in particular, the airline now fears it could end the financial year on March 31 in the red.

SIA, which went public in 1984, has never posted a full-year loss. Before this, it suffered a quarterly loss only once, of S$312 million when SARS hit in 2003.

SIA said yesterday: “The group's first-quarter performance reflected the adverse business conditions for airlines. If these conditions continue, the group expects to make a loss for the full year.”

Still, its cash balance remains strong and the airline does not foresee the necessity to raise capital, the statement said.

The twin impact of the economic slump and the H1N1 flu outbreak, as well as the cost of hedging fuel, hit revenues, which fell 30 per cent to S$2.87 billion in the three months to end-June compared with the same period a year earlier.

Expenditure was down 15.8 per cent to S$3.19 billion, but in the end, the group recorded an operating loss of S$319 million, against a profit of S$343 million last year.

The parent airline alone — excluding SilkAir and SIA Cargo, as well as subsidiaries SIA Engineering and Singapore Airport Terminal Services (Sats) — suffered a quarterly operating loss of S$271 million.

This is where it hits employees.

Under agreements that SIA has signed with its three unions, staff pay can shrink by between 2.5 per cent and 10 per cent if the airline reports an operating loss of at least S$50 million in any quarter. All of the monthly variable component (MVC), which makes up 10 per cent of an employee's total pay, gets cut if losses exceed S$200 million, as they have in this case.

The MVC cut will be effective for three months. For new cabin crew, who earn a basic salary of S$1,300 a month, for example, the cut amounts to about S$130. Top management, who are already earning between 10 per cent and 20 per cent less, with effect from this month, will not be subjected to more cuts, SIA said.

Union heads contacted by The Straits Times took the news in their stride.

Captain P. James, president of the Air Line Pilots Association-Singapore said: “When we inked the agreement, we were prepared for the possibility that the full 10 per cent of the MVC could go. Of course we were hoping it would not come to this but it has and we will honour the agreement. There are no two ways about it. We hope the company will continue in its relentless efforts to bring back business so that the cuts are temporary.”

Alan Tan, president of the SIA Staff Union, which represents cabin crew and other rank-and-file staff, said: ‘These are tough times and we have to look at the big picture. If we must cut salaries to save jobs, then we must. There is no choice.”

Still, it will be difficult for staff who are already on a shorter work month scheme which affects total pay, he said.

For cabin crew especially, more than half of their take home pay comes from allowances, so the less they fly, the less they earn. Now that the pay cuts will kick in, Tan said he will speak to management about restoring the normal roster.

SIA said yesterday that the steps taken so far to cut staff costs, as well as the new MVC cuts, will save it an estimated S$60 million in the current financial year.

Losses per share for the quarter were 26 cents, down from earnings per share of 30.3 cents a year earlier. Net asset value per share grew fell slightly to S$11.76 as at June 30 from S$11.78 as at March 31.

SIA shares closed 18 cents higher at S$13.52 yesterday. — The Straits Times
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Old July 31st, 2009, 09:34 PM   #52
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SIA not ruling out further reduction in capacity
Published: 2009/08/01

SINGAPORE: Singapore Airlines (SIA), the world's second-biggest carrier by market value, may consider further capacity cuts after saying it may have its first annual loss in 24 years.

"If the traffic drops off further and market conditions result in further discounting of fares, then we will have to review the situation," chief executive officer Chew Choon Seng said here yesterday. "If things hold at this level, then we will persevere and carry on."

The deepest recession since World War II and the spread of the swine flu pandemic cut travel and pushed SIA to its first quarterly loss in six years. It said on Thursday it will cut salaries for more than 12,000 employees after earlier reducing management pay and parking planes.

The carrier on Thursday reported it had a net loss of S$307 million (S$1 = RM2.44) in the quarter ended June, compared with a profit of S$358.6 million a year earlier, due to "adverse business conditions". If that prevails, the airline may have its first full-year loss since listing in 1985, it said.

The carrier said in February it will slash seat capacity 11 per cent and take 16 passenger planes out of its fleet beginning in April. The carrier has also altered its network and reduced the frequency of services such as its all-business class flights.

SIA flew 20 per cent fewer passengers in the three months ended June from a year earlier, and filled an average 71.6 per cent of available seats, lower than the 84.3 per cent it needed to break even, according to its statement on Thursday. - Bloomberg
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Old August 9th, 2009, 08:36 PM   #53
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Singapore surrenders on US route

Matt O'Sullivan
August 10, 2009 .
SINGAPORE AIRLINES has stopped short of objecting to Virgin Blue's tie-up with US carrier Delta Air Lines on the Australia-US route, but has called for regulators to reconsider the planned deal if it leads to higher fares and fewer flights.

Singapore Airlines has long had ambitions to fly between Australia and the US but has recently resisted lobbying aggressively for authorities to open the route further amid a severe downturn in travel. It has little interest - in the short-term, at least - in entering a market that has gone from a cosy duopoly to an aggressive four-airline contest in less than a year.

Emphasising that liberalisation of the route has been ''left on the backburner'', Singapore Airlines said that the Virgin-Delta application should be reconsidered or the trans-Pacific opened to even more competition if it resulted in fewer flights or higher fares.

''If a partnership between airlines leads to fewer flights or an artificial floor on fares … then it begs the question if consumers would be better off from such an arrangement,'' the airline said in a submission to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.

Air New Zealand and the Singapore Airlines-backed Tiger Airways have been vocal in their opposition to the deal, but Qantas, the biggest operator on the route, has said it would not oppose it.

Virgin and Delta unveiled plans last month to form a revenue-sharing agreement under which a steering committee would manage aircraft on the trans-Pacific route.

Delta has said it does not expect a decision from regulators in the US on its proposed tie-up for up to a year. Industry officials believe US regulators will prove the biggest hurdle to the deal.

The two airlines argue in filings to regulators that without the joint venture their ability to compete against Qantas and United Airlines across the Pacific will be ''considerably weakened''. They argue it will not reduce competition.

Australian governments have repeatedly rejected Singapore Airlines' attempts to gain entry to the route. But the Rudd Government has been careful not to publicly show its hand on whether it supports the entry of airlines from other countries, such as Singapore Airlines.


http://business.theage.com.au/busine...0809-ee7d.html
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Old August 10th, 2009, 09:52 AM   #54
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I don't understand. Why doesn't SQ uprightly object? Qantas, I can understand, because they probably don't want to invite Virgin Blue objecting to its joint venture with BA.
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Old August 17th, 2009, 01:11 AM   #55
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SIA offers option for older staff to retire early
Monday August 17 2009

SINGAPORE, Aug 15 — Singapore Airlines (SIA) is offering older staff the option to retire early – the latest in a slew of measures to trim excess manpower and costs.

The voluntary scheme, subject to company approval, is open to Singapore-based employees aged 50 and above, who have been with the airline for at least 15 years.

In all, more than 1,000 are eligible, said SIA spokesman Nicholas Ionides in response to queries from The Straits Times. They comprise support staff, administrative officers, managers and above, as well as pilots, he said.

Successful applicants will receive a lump sum depending on their age, Mr Ionides said, without giving further details.

The Straits Times understands that the company has set a cap of between 22 and 25 months’ pay on the total payout. This means that a captain who earns about S$10,000 (RM24,300), for example, could receive over S$250,000.

It is believed that some of the unions are now in negotiations with management to increase the cap.

When contacted, Mr Alan Tan, president of the SIA Staff Union, which represents cabin crew and other rank-and-file staff, declined to comment.

A staff member who did not want to be identified said: “In the end, we have to decide for ourselves if the scheme is worthwhile. For someone in his early 50s, it may not make sense but another guy with two or three years more to go might think differently.”

SIA’s offer comes just weeks after the airline, hit by a global recession which has impacted travel demand, reported a S$307 million loss for the April to June quarter. The last time it made a three-month loss was in 2003 when SARS struck.

Back then, early retirement was also offered but SIA would not say how many people opted for the scheme at the time.

To cope with the current crisis, the airline plans to ground 16 aircraft and cut capacity by 11 per cent in the 12 months to March next year. A few aircraft have already been taken out of the operating fleet.

Apart from this latest initiative, other measures already in place include a shorter working month scheme, voluntary no-pay leave as well as pay cuts.

Management took the lead with cuts of up to 20 per cent. For all other staff, pay has been cut by 10 per cent, with effect from this month. The company said recently that the steps taken so far to cut staff costs will save it an estimated S$60 million in the current financial year, which ends in March next year.

Industry experts say that while there are some signs that the crisis could be bottoming out, recovery is not expected until next year.

For carriers like SIA that depend on first- and business-class travellers for almost half their revenues, the challenge is to win back customers, who as a result of the crisis, have either downgraded to economy class or to other less expensive airlines, including budget carriers. – Straits Times
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Old August 23rd, 2009, 02:07 PM   #56
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Bomb Threat on Singapore Airlines Flight Sparks Probe

By Ed Johnson

Aug. 20 (Bloomberg) -- Australian police are investigating a bomb threat against a Singapore Airlines Ltd. flight to Melbourne today, the airline and police said.

The carrier’s call center in Mumbai received a telephone call from someone claiming there was a bomb on board a flight from Singapore to Melbourne International Airport, airline spokeswoman Susan Bredow said by telephone.

Crew members on board flight SQ227 were alerted and carried out safety checks, she said. They determined the call was a hoax and informed passengers about an hour before the aircraft landed at 6 a.m. local time that a threat had been made, Bredow added.

The Boeing 747-400 aircraft, carrying 190 passengers and 20 crew members, landed safely, she said. As a precaution, safety checks were carried out on a later Singapore to Melbourne flight, SQ237, which also landed safely, the airline said in an e-mailed statement.

After both planes landed, “detailed security checks confirmed that the threat was a hoax,” the airline said.

The Australian Federal Police said it was notified of the bomb threat at about 2:15 a.m. and was investigating.
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Old September 3rd, 2009, 09:53 PM   #57
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SIA delays A380 jetliner deliveries
Published: 2009/09/04

SINGAPORE: Recession-hit Singapore Airlines (SIA) said yesterday it had agreed with Airbus to defer the delivery of eight A380 superjumbo jetliners by six to 12 months.

The airline, which posted its first quarterly loss in six years during the June quarter, already has nine A380s in operation with two more due for delivery in the current financial year.

"The revised schedule will see the 12th aircraft delivered in October 2010 rather than April 2010, while the 19th aircraft will be delivered in January 2012 rather than January 2011," the airline said in a statement.

SIA said in July it lost S$307.1 million (S$1 = RM2.45) in the April to June period. - AFP
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Old September 4th, 2009, 08:09 AM   #58
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So SIA already has 9 of them! I didn't know that. Where do they fly them to?
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Old September 4th, 2009, 10:16 AM   #59
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Old September 13th, 2009, 11:12 PM   #60
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Good old days may be over for SIA
Monday September 14 2009

SINGAPORE, Sept 13 – One year after the global economy went into a tailspin, taking with it the airline business, the global carriers appear to be levelling out from their steep dive.

True, business is nowhere near where it was a year ago, but demand for air travel is slowly picking up. There is no doubt that the industry will recover. But the good old days may be over for top-tier carriers like Singapore Airlines (SIA) which made hay by living off the front-end of the cabin, earning as much as 40 per cent of their revenues from first- and business-class customers.

The last 12 months have been rough for SIA and others like it.

Many travellers have downgraded from business to “cattle class”, and from premium to cheaper carriers.

Investment bankers – planeloads of them used to fill SIA’s Airbus 345 aircraft on its non-stop flights to Los Angeles and New York – are out of work or have taken hefty cuts in pay and perks.

Companies have slashed travel budgets and trimmed costs, for example, by extending the number of flying hours required to enjoy a business- class seat, or moving to an economy class-only policy.

The competition is also catching up.

Whereas low-cost carriers like AirAsia, Jetstar Asia and Tiger Airways once drew mostly budget travellers, they now see briefcase-toting folk in shirt and tie.

This trend prompted American Express to add AirAsia to its list of partner carriers – its first such tie-up with a low-cost carrier. Flyers can now use their Amex card to pay for AirAsia flights.

Peter Kapoor, Amex’s regional vice-president of merchant services, said recently: “Within our customer base, there are corporations that find budget carriers relevant, given the current economic recession and the recent opening up of more shuttle flights between Singapore and Malaysia.”

Aviation analyst Shukor Yusof of Standard & Poor’s Equity Research believes that even when the storm passes, it would be foolhardy to think people will go back to the way things were.

Companies that have changed their travel policies see the benefits to the bottom line, and travellers who have “gone low-cost” find it is not so bad after all.

Shukor said: “The business landscape has changed considerably; I don’t see things ever being the same again.”

Jetstar Asia seeto think so too and is thinking about going long-haul, thus joining Malaysia-based AirAsia X which took to the skies two years ago. The latter currently flies between Kuala Lumpur and destinations in Australia, China, India, South Korea, Japan, the Middle East and Europe.

Even the experts who are more optimistic about premium airlines’ prospects, like Berthold Trenkel, Asia-Pacific president of travel management company Carlson Wagonlit Travel, expect that it will take three years at least before things rebound to pre- crisis levels.

Going forward, the challenge for SIA is not just to fill seats. There will always be a market for top-end carriers and nobody really expects them to fall from the sky.

The bigger challenge is to attract travellers who will pay the premium fares that the airline charges.

In its latest report on the health of the premium air travel market, the International Air Transport Association (Iata) said that in June, first- and business-class ticket sales fell by 21.3 per cent compared to the same month last year.

The good news is that the fall was less steep than the 23.6 per cent drop in May.

However, the better results were achieved at the expense of much lower yields as airlines sought to boost cash flow by making more cheaper seats available.

Iata’s data shows that revenues from this segment are about 40 per cent lower, year-on-year.

Trenkel, who flew SIA to Paris recently, paid about $5,500 for his return business-class ticket, more than $1,000 cheaper than the fare a year ago.

While views differ on the long-term impact of the current crisis on high-end carriers, experts agree that airlines will have to work very hard to recover their lost business – traffic and yield-wise.

At the operational level, efforts are ongoing at SIA to cut costs and better manage the business.

The airline has introduced a slew of measures, from voluntary leave to compulsory no-pay leave, shorter working months and pay cuts, to deal with the downturn.

To better match demand with capacity, it also plans to ground 16 aircraft in the current financial year, which ends on March 31 next year.

SIA will also defer delivery schedules for its last eight Airbus A380 superjumbos, by up to a year.

The airline, which already has nine of the double-decker giants flying, will collect another two before the end of next March, as planned.

But over and above all these moves, SIA needs to think long and hard about whether its business model and strategies are sustainable in the long term.

Post-crisis, will there still be a market for the all-business-class flights to the United States, for example?

Will people pay $20,000 to fly to London in a private suite on the A380, given that a first-class ticket on another equally high-class carrier costs about half that amount?

Instead of putting all its eggs in the premium basket, the airline could focus more on Tiger Airways – which it owns 49 per cent of – to cash in on the growing low-cost travel market.

Ditto for its regional arm SilkAir. In the financial year just ended, Tiger and SilkAir contributed only about $40 million of SIA Group’s total operating profit of $904 million.

SIA could also do more to engage loyal customers and keep them happy. Whether this is by making it easier for people to redeem their miles – which some say is becoming increasingly troublesome with SIA – or embracing new media like Facebook and Twitter, the airline cannot afford to take customer loyalty for granted.

Industry analysts say the situation is dire. SIA, which lost $307 million in the April-June quarter, could be looking at a full-year loss this financial year. If that were to happen, it will be the first since the company went public in 1984.

As the world starts to recover from the economic meltdown and countries claw their way out of the recession, the real challenge has only just begun for SIA. The aim is not just to fly, but to soar. – The Straits Times
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