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Singapore Airlines Essay

7843 words - 31 pages

Singapore International Airlines: A Brief GlimpseSingapore Airlines (SIA) is internationally recognised as one of the world's leading carriers and is a pioneer of inflight services such as free drinks and complimentary headsets. As of 1st September 2004, SIA operates 89 passenger aircraft with 16 more on order and another 45 on option. The average age of SIA's passenger fleet is 5 years 1 month thereby having one of the youngest fleet age in the world. The staff strength of the SIA Group worldwide stood at 28,707 at the end of the financial year 2003-2004. The route network spans 90 destinations in almost 40 countries. A recent breakthrough by SIA was its launch of the world's longest non-stop commercial flight from Singapore to Los Angeles which occurred on Feb 3, 2004. In June 2004, SIA created another aviation milestone when it launched non-stop services between Singapore and New York. Furthermore, SIA will be the first airline to operate the world's largest aircraft, the Airbus A380, in the first quarter of 2006.Aviation IndustryThe airline industry is in essence a highly regulated and fragmented industry where the products are perishable once the plane takes off with empty seats, the earning forever.The Asian SceneAir transport has grown in significance over the last decade, especially in the Asia-Pacific region. There can be little doubt that one of the contributing factors is the geography of the region where water barriers between populations with natural affinity to each other facilitate air transport demand.Trouble after TroubleIn the late 1990s, the Asian economic crisis affected airlines in the Asian Pacific region where the currency turmoil and business slowdown caused a great reduction in passenger traffic. Furthermore, a decrease in visits to Southeast Asia occurred with the smoke haze caused by the burning forests in Indonesia . Whilst the airlines were experiencing a relatively bad time, September 11 further aggravated the situation. These terrorist attacks in United States had a significant impact on airline operations, economics and strategies. This culminated into increased insurance and operational costs as security initiatives were stepped up. Furthermore, SARS in the year 2003 dampened whatever little resurgence efforts mustered.The Star Players in the IndustryEven with the onslaught of unfavourable events, Cathay Pacific and Singapore Airlines are the dominant players in the Asia-Pacific region where it is estimated that Trans-Pacific traffic will grow at 6.6% and intra-Asia-Pacific traffic by 5% . As for the supply side of the aircraft market, there are two global heavyweights namely US-based Boeing and European Consortium backed Airbus. The same series of unfavorable incidents have strengthened the buyers' market for aircrafts with significant drops in the price of new and used aircrafts, as the two major suppliers struggled to undercut each other in price to capture the remaining buyers. This has inevitably lowered the...

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