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Based at Singapore Changi Airport, Singapore Airlines is the national carrier of Singapore. Using a fleet of wide-body Boeing and Airbus aircraft, including the A380 of which Singapore Airlines was the launch customer, Singapore Airlines operates an extensive network across Asia, North America, Australasia, Europe, Africa and the Middle East. Singapore Airlines joined the Star Alliance on 01-Apr-2000.
Location of Singapore Airlines main hub (Singapore Changi Airport)
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1,545 total articles
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SilkAir is planning to upgrade its in-flight product in 2014 as the Singapore Airlines (SIA) full-service regional subsidiary starts to transition to a Boeing 737-800 fleet. SilkAir will also continue to grow rapidly in 2014 in line with the SIA Group’s increased focus on Asia.
But SilkAir has seen profitability slip in recent months as competition has intensified in the regional market within Asia. A 12% capacity increase through the first seven months of the current fiscal year has not been absorbed, resulting in a drop in load factor and clouding SilkAir’s short-term outlook.
The forthcoming product upgrade is designed to further differentiate SilkAir from LCCs and cement its position as a leading full-service regional carrier in the Southeast Asia region. But SilkAir has decided against following Cathay Pacific regional subsidiary Dragonair in improving its business class seat.
Corporate travel demand in the Southeast Asia-Europe market appears to be on the rebound but competition continues to intensify as more carriers jockey for a slice of the corporate spending pie. There are also signs of improvement in the much smaller Southeast Asia-North America corporate travel market, which has become more competitive as Singapore Airlines (SIA) pulls its exclusive non-stop services to Newark and Los Angeles.
Capacity levels for non-stop services between Southeast Asia and Europe are up only slightly on a year-over-year basis as Asian carriers have been focusing more on expanding regionally. But the number of players in the non-stop market is expanding while one-stop capacity via the Middle East continues to grow, putting pressure on the overall market.
The competitive pressures could keep premium and corporate fares from increasing as demand returns.
(updated following 13-Nov-2013 analyst briefing to include additional comments on SIA yields, Scoot and joint venture with Tata)
Singapore Airlines (SIA) has reported higher profits for the three months and fiscal first half ending 30-Sep-2013. But the carrier’s operating margin was once again low, particularly by SIA standards, as it continues to see a drop in yields.
Market conditions for SIA remain unfavourable. Competition in Southeast Asia has been intensifying while the cargo and long-haul passenger markets remain relatively weak. But the group has been trying to position itself for higher growth and profitability over the long term through a series of major strategic changes.
The last of several major strategic initiatives came towards the end of the most recent quarter as SIA unveiled plans to launch a joint venture full-service carrier in India with Tata. The new Indian carrier, which is expected to launch in 2014, follows the 2012 launch of Singapore-based long-haul low-cost carrier Scoot and an acceleration of expansion at regional full-service subsidiary SilkAir. Scoot is not yet profitable and SilkAir has seen its profitability decline in recent months but over the long-run the SIA Group will have a stronger portfolio with a potential for a return of higher profits.
SIA, Jetstar & Tigerair drive Myanmar-Singapore growth but visa restrictions remain major impediment
The Myanmar-Singapore market is facing potential over-capacity as more flights are added, led by low-cost carriers. Tigerair launched services to Yangon in Oct-2013 while Jetstar Asia and Golden Myanmar have both unveiled plans to add capacity on the Yangon-Singapore route.
Passenger numbers between Myanmar and Singapore have increased by about 50% over the last two years. But capacity levels are now up nearly 100%.
Without a waiver of current visa restrictions it is unlikely the market will be able to absorb the additional capacity. Singapore has not approved a proposal from Myanmar to lift visa restrictions although Myanmar is the only Southeast Asian country for which Singapore requires visas. A visa free environment is particularly important for the LCCs, which are eager to stimulate demand on the Yangon-Singapore route.
American Airlines’ decision to launch service from its Dallas/Fort Worth hub to Hong Kong and Shanghai is a strategic move to bolster its historically weak positioning in the US-Asia market, and is occurring at a time when some carriers in those markets are enjoying particularly favourable results on their service to North America and are rapidly expanding.
American is also positioning itself to capitalise on the growing demand between Asia and Latin America by funnelling passengers through its largest hub for connections onwards to Central and South America.
The moves by American – which also include axing its service from New York JFK to Tokyo Haneda due to unfavourable operating times – also show a diminished emphasis on Japan as a traditional stop-over as direct services become an imperative to attract and retain high-yielding business passengers.
Scoot has unveiled plans to launch service to Perth, which will become the Singapore Airlines long-haul low-cost subsidiary’s 12th and final destination to be served as part of its initial six-aircraft 777-200 operation. Scoot has quickly expanded since launching in Jun-2012 but after placing into service its sixth 777 in Nov-2013 will take a one-year hiatus from expanding until its first of 20 787s arrive in late 2014.
In an unusual but logical move, Scoot has decided to lease its sixth 777 from SIA and keep the aircraft in SIA configuration. This enables the carrier to save on retrofit costs but will lead to higher per seat costs until the aircraft is replaced with a 787-8 in 2015.
Scoot has emerged as an important tool to expand SIA’s already leading presence in the key markets of Australia and Greater China. Perth will be Scoot’s third Australian destination while its other previously announced new upcoming destination, Hong Kong, will be Scoot’s sixth destination in Greater China. The carrier also serves Bangkok, Seoul and Tokyo.
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