Singapore Airlines Limited (SIA; SGX: C6L) is the flag carrier airline of Singapore with its hub at Singapore Changi Airport. The airline uses the Singapore Girl as its central figure in corporate branding.
The Singapore Airlines group includes many airline-related subsidiaries. SIA Engineering Company handles maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) business across nine countries, with a portfolio of 27 joint ventures, including with Boeing and Rolls-Royce. Singapore Airlines Cargo operates SIA's freighter fleet and manages the cargo-hold capacity in SIA's passenger aircraft. It has two subsidiaries: SilkAir operates regional flights to secondary cities, while Scoot operates as a low-cost carrier.
Singapore Airlines was the launch customer for the Airbus A380, the world's largest passenger aircraft. It ranks amongst the top 15 carriers worldwide in terms of revenue passenger kilometers, and is ranked 10th in the world for international passengers carried. Singapore Airlines was also the launch customer for the Boeing 787-10 and started scheduled flight to Osaka.
The Singapore government, which holds a golden share via the Ministry of Finance, has regularly stressed its non-involvement in the management of the company, a point emphasised by Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew when he declared that the aviation hub status of Singapore Changi Airport will be defended, even at the cost of SIA. However, he was personally involved in defusing tensions between the company and its pilots, warned the airline to cut costs, and made public his advice to the airline to divest from its subsidiary companies.
Branding and publicity efforts have revolved primarily around flight crew, in contrast to most other airlines, who tend to emphasise aircraft and services in general. In particular, the promotion of its female flight attendants known as Singapore Girls has been widely successful and is a common feature in most of the airline's advertisements and publications.
The Singapore Airlines logo is a bird, inspired by a silver kris, which comes from the keris, a dagger from Southeast Asia prominently featured in the region's myth and folklore. The keris is central in Singapore Airline's branding, such as the SilverKris lounge and the KrisWorld entertainment system. The logo is featured on the tailfin and in the airline's collaterals, and has remained unchanged since Singapore Airlines' inception from the split of Malaysia–Singapore Airlines. The logotype and stripes underwent a minor tweak in 1987. The livery had a recent change, which saw the "Singapore Airlines" logotype enlarged and moved towards the front and the "bird" logo on the tailfin enlarged, in a similar fashion to the livery variant used on the Airbus A380. However, the stripes and the "bird" remain the same.
Singapore Airlines flies to 62 destinations in 32 countries on five continents from its primary hub in Singapore. It has a strong presence in the Southeast Asian region, which together with its subsidiary SilkAir, connects Singapore with more international destinations in the region than any other Southeast Asian airline.
After the Asian Financial Crisis in 1997, Singapore Airlines discontinued flying to Kagoshima, Berlin, Darwin, Cairns, Hangzhou and Sendai. Toronto was discontinued in 1994. During the SARS outbreak in 2003/04, Singapore Airlines discontinued flying to Brussels, Las Vegas, Chicago, Hiroshima, Kaohsiung, Mauritus, Vienna, Madrid, Shenzhen and Surabaya. In addition, Singapore Airlines discontinued flights to Vancouver and Amritsar in 2009, and Sao Paulo in 2016.
Singapore Airlines used to operate two of the longest flights in the world, both direct flights from Singapore to Los Angeles and Newark with Airbus A340-500 aircraft. All A340-500 were phased out in 2013 and direct flights to both destinations have been terminated. Nonstop service to Los Angeles was terminated on 20 October 2013 (the airline continues to serve Los Angeles from Singapore via Tokyo-Narita) and nonstop service to Newark was terminated on 23 November 2013 in favour of the Singapore-New York JFK route via Frankfurt.
In 23 October 2016, Singapore Airlines restarted its nonstop service from Singapore to the USA with the launch of its new Singapore-San Francisco route. The route flies A350-900 aircraft and includes Business, Premium Economy and Economy classes.
The airline has a key role on the Kangaroo Route. It flew 11.0% of all international traffic into and out of Australia in the month ended March 2008. India and Australia are served by highest number of destinations with 6 each.
SIA has taken advantage of liberal bilateral aviation agreements between Singapore and Thailand, and with the United Arab Emirates, to offer more onward connections from Bangkok and Dubai respectively.
AirAsia, a low-cost airline based in Malaysia, accused Singapore Airlines of double standards, when it claimed that the Government of Singapore has attempted to keep it out of the Singapore market, although there has been no official word that Singapore Airlines has objected to the entry of AirAsia. Singapore Airlines has, instead, welcomed the liberation of the Singapore-Kuala Lumpur route which it dominated together with Malaysia Airlines for over three decades, accounting for about 85% of the over 200 flight frequencies then operated. A highly lucrative route for LCCs due to its short distance and heavy traffic as the fourth-busiest in Asia, bringing Singapore Airline's capacity share on the route down to about 46.7%, Malaysia Airlines' down to 25.3%, and increase to 17.3% to the three LCCs now permitted on the route, and the remainder shared by three other airlines as of 22 September 2008. Singapore Airline's capacity share will drop further from 1 December 2008 when the route is opened up completely to liberalisation, when it announced plans to share its capacity with sister airline SilkAir. Malaysia Airlines, the main opponent to liberalisation of the route and deemed to be the party which stands to lose the most, will continue to codeshare with both Singapore Airlines and SilkAir on the route.
On 14 October 2015, Singapore Airlines announced plans to resume the world's longest non-stop flight between Singapore and Newark – a 15,300 km (9,500 mi), 19-hour route that the airline had dropped in 2013. According to the airline, the route would be accommodated after the acquiring of new Airbus A350-900ULR aircraft in 2018. A340-500 aircraft were formerly employed to serve this route until their retirement in 2013.
Singapore Airlines currently operates an all wide-body aircraft fleet of four aircraft families: Airbus A330, Airbus A350, Airbus A380, and Boeing 777, Boeing 787, totalling 114 registered aircraft as of 31 March 2018.
Singapore Airlines offers five classes of service – suites, first class, business class, premium economy class, and economy class. Major upgrades to its cabin and in-flight service were announced on 17 October 2006, constituting the first major overhaul in over eight years and costing the airline approximately S$570 million. Initially planned for the Airbus A380-800's introduction into service in 2006, and subsequently on the Boeing 777-300ER, the postponement of the first A380-800 delivery meant it had to be introduced with the launch of the first Boeing 777-300ER with the airline on 5 December 2006 between Singapore and Paris.
On 9 July 2013, Singapore Airlines, in collaboration with two design firms, James Park Associates and DesignworksUSA, unveiled the next generation of cabin products for First, Business, and Economy class, which will enter service onboard new Boeing 777-300ERs and Airbus A350s. London was the first city served with the new product in September 2013. The product was later extended to all Boeing 777-300ERs.
Singapore Airlines Suites is a class available only on the Airbus A380-800. The product was designed by French luxury yacht interior designer Jean-Jacques Coste and consists of separate compartments with walls and doors 1.5 m high. The leather seat, upholstered by Poltrona Frau of Italy, is 35 in (89 cm) wide (with armrests up and 23 in (58 cm) wide when armrests are down) and a 23 in (58 cm) LCD TV screen is mounted on the front wall. The 78 in (200 cm) bed is separate from the seat and folds out from the back wall, with several other components of the suite lowering to accommodate the mattress. Windows are built into the doors and blinds offer privacy. Suites located in the centre can form a double bed after the privacy blinds between them are retracted into special compartments between the beds and in the frame of the partition.
Introduced on 9 July 2013, the "New" First Class is offered on refitted Boeing 777-300ERs. Features include a 24-inch in-flight entertainment screen with video-touch screen handsets, arranged in a 1-2-1 configuration, adjustable in-seat lighting, and passenger control unit, inside a fixed-shell cabin with an 35 in (89 cm) wide seat, foldable into an 80 in (203 cm) bed.
The "Other" First Class is offered only on Boeing 777-300 and unrefitted Boeing 777-300ER aircraft. Designed by James Park Associates, it features a 35 in (89 cm) wide seat upholstered with leather and mahogany and a 23 in (58 cm) LCD screen. The seats fold out into a flat bed and also arranged in a 1-2-1 configuration.
Business Class was formerly known as Raffles Class until 2006. The latest version of the Business Class, the "New" Business Class, was unveiled on 9 July 2013 and is available on refitted Boeing B777-300ERs and the Airbus A350-900. Features include power socket and ports all in one panel, stowage beside the seat, two new seating positions, arranged in a 1-2-1 configuration and an 18-inch in-flight entertainment screen. The seat has a recline of 132 degrees and can be folded into a 78 in (198.1 cm) length bed.
Long Haul Business Class is available on Airbus A380 and unrefitted Boeing 777-300ER, as well as refitted Boeing 777-200ER aircraft, where a fully flat bed is available in a 1-2-1 configuration featuring 30 in (76 cm) of seat width. These seats are forward-facing, in contrast to the herring-bone configuration used by several other airlines offering flat beds in business class. The leather seats feature a 15.4 in (39.1 cm) diagonal screen size personal television, in-seat power supply and 2 USB ports. The product was voted the world's best business class by Skytrax in 2011.
On eight Airbus A380 aircraft, the first of which entered service in October 2011, Singapore Airlines extended the business class cabin to run the entire length of the upper deck, compared to the original configuration which shares the upper deck between 16 rows of business class and 11 rows of economy at the rear.
Medium and Short Haul Business Class is available on all Airbus A330-300, Boeing 777-300 and all unrefitted Boeing 777-200 aircraft, configured in 2-2-2 layout and with iPod connectivity, only available in the A330. The Business Class seat is lie-flat at an 8-degree incline, featuring Krisworld on a 15.4 inch screen.
On 28 March 2018, the new regional Business Class was unveiled following the delivery of the first Boeing 787-10. The new seats are arranged in a forward-facing 1-2-1 staggered configuration, providing every passenger a direct aisle access. Each seat measures up to 26 in (66.0 cm) in width and can be reclined into a 76 in (193.0 cm) fully-flat bed. There are also adjustable dividers at the centre seats to provide passengers with a "customised level of privacy".
On 9 August 2015, Singapore Airlines introduced an all-new premium economy class, with the seats manufactured by Zim Flugsitz, to be installed on its Airbus A380, B777-300ER and Airbus A350-900 aircraft. The product was first flown from Singapore to Sydney, Hong Kong and Auckland and has been progressively rolled out to other routes. Premium Economy seats have 38-inch pitch (compared to a 32-inch pitch in standard economy), at 18.5-19.5 inches wide with an 8-inch recline. They also feature a 13.3 inch high-definition touchscreen LCD monitor and a Book-the-Cook Service.
The latest redesign of the Economy Class seat was unveiled on 9 July 2013 alongside new first and business class products. Features include increased legroom, slimmer seats, an adjustable headrest, and an 11.1-inch touch screen inflight entertainment system which is also controllable with a video touch-screen handset as well as brand new KrisWorld software. The new seats were originally announced to only be available exclusively onboard factory-fresh Airbus A350-900 and refitted Boeing 777-300ER, but following customer feedback, Singapore Airlines announced it would refit all older 777-300ER aircraft with new cabin products as well.
The previous generation Economy class seats on unrefitted Boeing 777-300ER, Airbus A380-800, and Airbus A330-300 are 19 in (48 cm) wide, have in-seat power and have a 10.6-inch personal television screen which has a non-intrusive reading light under it, which can be used by folding the screen outwards. These are configured 3-4-3 on the lower deck of the Airbus A380, 3-3-3 on the Boeing 777, and 2-4-2 on the Airbus A330, as well as the upper deck of the Airbus A380. Other features include an independent cup holder (separate from the fold-out table), a USB port, and a power socket, as well as an iPod port exclusively on board the Airbus A330.
Singapore Airlines introduced a similar design on board the Boeing 777 aircraft through their ongoing cabin retrofit program. The Boeing 777-300 was the first model to undergo refit and had introduced the product on the Singapore–Sydney route on 22 July 2009. They are equipped with slightly smaller 9-inch screens (which are however larger than the 6.1-inch VGA screens on unrefitted aircraft) and AVOD in each seat. The seats are installed onboard all B777-200ERs and all but one B777-200.
Older economy class seats are only available on one un-refitted Boeing 777-200. They have VGA 6.1-inch personal television screens with AVOD, footrests, adjustable headrests with side-flap "ears" and adjustable seat reclines. Baby bassinets are available at some bulkheads. These older Economy Class seats with the Wisemen 3000 system were introduced with the Boeing 777-200ER in 1997, for use alongside the existing Economy Class seats with the non-AVOD KrisWorld (at that time on board the airline's Boeing 747-400s and A340-300s, having been introduced in 1995) and the older-generation early 1990s seats without KrisWorld (at that time on board the airline's A310-200s and A310-300s). The first few aircraft were delivered without AVOD, as of 2015, there are no more aircraft without AVOD. After the first Boeing 777-200ER was delivered on 5 May 1997, this Economy Class seat was installed in all subsequent aircraft deliveries (including newer -SP* series Boeing 747-400s), as well as in refitted existing Boeing 747-400s in late 1997 and early 1998.
Singapore Airlines offers a wide array of food options on each flight. Regional dishes are often served on their respective flights, such as the Kyo-Kaiseki, Shi Quan Shi Mei, and Shahi Thali meals available for first class passengers on flights to Japan, China and India, respectively.
SIA has also introduced a Popular Local Fare culinary programme offering local favourites to passengers in all classes flying from selected destinations. The dishes featured in this programme included Singaporean hawker fare such as Teochew porridge, bak chor mee, Hainanese chicken rice, etc. Satay (beef and chicken skewers) is also featured on certain routes.
Passengers in Suites, First and Business class may choose to use the "Book the Cook" service, where specific dishes may be selected in advance from a more extensive menu. Premium Economy class passengers may also choose to use the "Premium Economy Book the Cook". This service is only available on selected flights.
KrisWorld is Singapore Airlines' in-flight entertainment system, introduced in 1997 on Boeing 747-400, Airbus A310-300, Airbus A340-300 and Boeing 777-200 aircraft. KrisFlyer overhauled Singapore Airlines' in-flight experience with a new, cheaper entertainment solution that would supersede the very primitive Thales entertainment systems on offer at that time by Virgin Atlantic and the Emirates Google Doodle for its 5th anniversary.
The original KrisWorld introduced 14 movies, 36 television programmes and 5 cartoons, as well as many Super Nintendo games, KrisFone and fax, text news and flight path in all classes. The original KrisWorld was subsequently upgraded to feature Wisemen 3000, an audio and video on-demand version of the KrisWorld system featuring exclusively in First and Raffles Class cabins, then progressively being introduced into Economy Class in 747 cabins and selected 777 cabins.
In 2002, Singapore Airlines introduced a re-branding of the KrisWorld system. Named Enhanced KrisWorld, it featured additional movies, television programming, music and games, and was installed on Boeing 747-400 and selected Boeing 777-200 aircraft. Connexion by Boeing, an in-flight Internet service, was introduced in 2005. Live television streaming was proposed on Connexion, but this service was discontinued in December 2006. From October 2005, Singapore Airlines began offering complimentary language lessons by Berlitz. and, starting December 2005, live text news feeds.
In 2007, a new KrisWorld based on Red Hat Enterprise Linux was introduced, featuring a new interface, additional programming and audio and video on demand as standard. Widescreen personal video systems were installed in all cabins, including 23-inch LCD monitors in First Class, 15-inch monitors in Business Class, and 10.6-inch monitors in Economy Class. The new KrisWorld is available on Airbus A330, Airbus A380 and Boeing 777-300ER. Features include
A $400 million brand new KrisWorld entertainment system was unveiled in 2012. This comes from a major deal with Panasonic Avionics, who will provide the latest Panasonic eX3 systems. The eX3 system features larger screen with much higher resolution, wide touch screen controllers, new software, and, above all, in-flight connectivity. Singapore Airlines launched their in-flight connectivity in August 2012. Passengers are now able to make phone calls, send text messages and access the internet for a fee. The new eX3 systems are unveiled alongside the new cabin product, and is available on the Airbus A350-900 and refitted B777-300ER. In-flight connectivity is offered on the aforementioned two aircraft as well as select Airbus A380s.
As of 4 Jul 2017, Singapore Airlines has launched an all-new Singapore Airlines HighFlyer program for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) to get more mileage out of flights on company business. The new corporate travel program is designed to reward both corporates and employees when they fly with Singapore Airlines and SilkAir. Corporations will earn HighFlyer points while employees continue to earn KrisFlyer miles each time an employee flies with Singapore Airlines or SilkAir, making it a more rewarding way to travel for business.
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