Airline Business and Titanic Syndrome

SIA is known worldwide as an airline that consistently maintains its reputation. “We always come up with service for our passengers that is not only good but the best,” explained Yap Kim Wah, senior vice president product and services SIA.

Almost every month this icon of Singapore receives awards. With numerous innovations as well as the commitment of its management, the airline, which was set up in 1972, soon turned into a world-class carrier that serves almost 100 destinations on five continents. As part of Star Alliance, SIA has an even wider reach, with the alliance offering more than 19,700 flights every day to 1,077 destinations in 175 countries.

Undeniably, the mushrooming low-cost carriers, which offer cheap tickets, have had a negative effect on the business of full service airlines. Therefore, in preparation of this, some time ago SIA launched its second brands, SilkAir and Tiger, while SIA itself sticks to its number one service. “Constantly redefine the travel experience and continue the pace of innovation, that is a hallmark of SIA,” said Yap, who joined SIA in 1975.

According to Yap, in the 1970s SIA became the first airline to provide free headsets, free drinks and a selection of food in its economy class. Not long afterward, SIA was also recorded as the trendsetter for various services, namely: it was the first airline to fly London-Singapore non-stop (1984), it was the first to have in-flight telephones (1991), it was the first to launch in-flight trial of e-mail (2001), first to launch audio and video on demand in all classes (2001), world’s longest non-stop flights (2004) and was the launch customer for the A380 (2007).

Service is top priority for full service airlines. Also important are the innovations in service, for example television and games for long-haul flights (eight to 10 hours) so that passengers, especially children, do not get bored. Commitment to continuous quality improvement is a must in today’s competitive era, otherwise an airline’s performance plummets and it’s reputation suffers, which leads to a decrease in the number of its passengers. (Burhan Abe)

The Jakarta Post, October 12, 2010

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