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Singapore Airlines puts the spotlight on product enhancements

Christian Stenkewitz, General Manager Gulf for Singapore Airlines Ltd talks to Charmaine Fernz about product enhancements, anniversary celebrations and an overall market view….

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Christian Stenkewitz, General Manager Gulf for Singapore Airlines Ltd

This year is an important year for Singapore Airlines as the carrier is celebrating its 70th anniversary around the network. The celebrations will include a range of activities, promotions, customer and trade events as well as with the launch of new cabin products on-board the brand-new Airbus A380, the first of which will be delivered over the next months. The new aircraft will feature redesigned first and business class seats and cabins. Singapore Airlines has managed to strengthen its leadership position globally with continued investment in customer service, new cabin products, upgraded lounges and a new premium class economy.

Market overview

Focusing on market performance, the Gulf and the Middle East regions have seen challenging conditions over the last year as a result of muted demand in both corporate and leisure segments and because of significant over-capacity, all of which have been putting pressure on yields. Notwithstanding these external circumstances, the management is optimistic that 2018 will see noticeable improvements with forward booking indicators showing encouraging growth.

The Gulf region and the Middle East are important markets for us. As Stenkewitz puts it: “We are looking back at 41 years of direct services between Singapore and Dubai, a record that we are proud of and a connection we have been and that we will be committed to. On our daily flights between Dubai and Singapore, we are deploying the Boeing 777-300ER aircraft in a four class cabin configuration.”

The aircraft will offer four seats in first class, 48 seats in business class, 28 seats in premium economy and 184 seats in economy class.

Product Preview

The premium economy product has been a trendsetter in Dubai and Singapore Airlines is the only carrier that is offering this product from Dubai to Singapore; and one among very few carriers offering premium economy to destinations across South West Pacific, South East Asia and North Asia.

As a product, it is ideal for customers willing to pay the little extra for a more exclusive and personalised travel experience that comes with additional perks such as more legroom (38 inches vs. 33 inches seat pitch in economy class), priority baggage, Book the Cook menus, free flow Champagne and much more. Premium Economy has proven particularly popular among corporate travellers from both multi-national companies as well as small and medium size businesses.

Stenkewitz further explains: “On the leisure front, we see encouraging demand from premium FIT segment to destinations in Australia and New Zealand. Notwithstanding, the growth we witness, Premium Economy is a relatively unknown product in this region, as most airlines are currently not offering this cabin which is positioned between economy and business class. As a result the product awareness is limited and our team is making it a point to promote the product aggressively to both our trade partners as well as to the end consumers.”

With more and more airlines introducing Premium Economy globally, it is progressively becoming a more commonly known product.

The Way Ahead

Looking ahead, 2018 promises to be another exciting year for the Singapore Airlines Group, as we embark on expanding and leveraging our group airlines’ combined route networks and products. Together with sister airlines SilkAir and Scoot, we will be able to offer customers more destinations than ever before with convenience of a single ticket. The next year will also see numerous product and service innovations being rolled out.