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Singapore Airlines Quit Pakistan?  
User currently offlineAirmale From Botswana, joined Sep 2004, 377 posts, RR: 1
Posted (12 years 1 month 1 week 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 2274 times:

Have SQ quit the Pakistani market permanently, or is the service suspended due to security concerns? Singapore have imposed visas on Pakistani's and it had apparently drastically reduced SQ's loads. Karachi and Lahore were served by their 777-200ER.

SQ started servcie to KHI in 1985 with the 747-300 going onto Europe (Copenhagen and Zurich if Im not mistaken), later the A300 was brought in linking it with Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, the A310-300 replaced that service and connected KHI with Dubai, the service was then jointly served by the A310 and the 747-300, it again became a 747-300 only (sometimes a 742 was brought in) and was replaced with the A340-300 that terminated at KHI, LHE was added in 1999 and the 777 introduced in 2001.

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.....up there with the best!
30 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offline9V-SPK From Hong Kong, joined Aug 2001, 1646 posts, RR: 6
Reply 1, posted (12 years 1 month 1 week 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 2248 times:

Although it was said that SQ will quit Pakistan permanently, however from what I heard SQ will return to Pakistan when the political status there is in better shape. The main reason for SQ to quite Pakistan was the political factors, not load factors. Although both places had 4 flights a week before they suspended which is not much, however it's not a doing-very-bad route, especially Lahore as it is one of the few international routes flying out of Lahore.

Best Regards


User currently offlineEx_SQer From United States of America, joined Apr 2002, 1436 posts, RR: 5
Reply 2, posted (12 years 1 month 1 week 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 2227 times:

SQ sold its assets and laid off its staff. All staff and involved parties were told that it is NOT a suspension this time. Whether or not they eventually return is anyone's guess.

User currently offlineAirmale From Botswana, joined Sep 2004, 377 posts, RR: 1
Reply 3, posted (12 years 1 month 1 week 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 2196 times:

I think its a very hasty and stupid decision by SQ, or they're trying to give too much importance to themselves, I mean who want to Bomb anything Singaporean?


.....up there with the best!
User currently offline9V-SVE From Singapore, joined Nov 2001, 2066 posts, RR: 2
Reply 4, posted (12 years 1 month 1 week 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 2193 times:

But remember that the hijackers of SQ117 were pakistani!

User currently offlineAirmale From Botswana, joined Sep 2004, 377 posts, RR: 1
Reply 5, posted (12 years 1 month 1 week 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 2186 times:

And they decided to react now???


.....up there with the best!
User currently offlineSingapore 777 From Australia, joined May 1999, 1014 posts, RR: 3
Reply 6, posted (12 years 1 month 1 week 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 2151 times:

It's not a matter of who would want to bomb anything Singaporean rather it's more a safety concern than anything else. Yes, it is true that the chances of anything happening are slim but it's better not to have it happen at all if it could be helped.

User currently offlineAirpearl From Malaysia, joined May 2001, 946 posts, RR: 26
Reply 7, posted (12 years 1 month 1 week 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 2146 times:

It's interesting this time in that unlike during the post Sept 11 bombing of Afghanistan, the other Asian airlines didn't follow suit in abandoning Pakistan. TG, CX and MH are all maintaining their schedules into the country. With PIA's schedules to Far East curtailed, I would imagine there's pretty good business for the few airlines who are still flying to Pakistan.

User currently offlineSQ772 From Singapore, joined Nov 2001, 1792 posts, RR: 5
Reply 8, posted (12 years 1 month 1 week 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 2132 times:

I am not too sure where any of you got the idea that SQ was doing well in Pakistan. If it was doing well, or at least making decent profits, you think SQ will pull of the station permanently despite one of their cabin crews being injured by the suicide bombing outside Sheraton?

The route was doing ok when it was previously linked to DXB, but not when DXB was subsequently de-linked. For a period of time after that, it was just KHI, things didn't look too rosy. Then LHE came online in '99, even then, they couldn't fill most of the flights with the A340. They only managed to pack them in when they downgraded it to the A310 for a couple of months in 2000.

AFAIK, MH, TG and CX are not filling their aircrafts either. The possible reason for SQ's pull out could be the dwindling loads out of the Pakistan, and not just security reasons. It could be that SQ wanted to concentrate and deploy its aircrafts on other seemingly more worthwhile routes.




There's always a better way to fly...
User currently offlineKHI747 From United States of America, joined Oct 2000, 1615 posts, RR: 1
Reply 9, posted (12 years 1 month 1 week 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 2111 times:

SQ772.... you seem to be a very enlightened individual on Far-Eastern carriers....i remember your analysis a few months back as to why SQ quit Pakistan. Its interesting that you mentioned that Thai, Cathay and Malaysian are also not doing that well.I would really apprecaite if you tell us exactly all you know on how these airlines are doing at KHI. Coincidentally in the last month or so, i know people who flew all the 3 airlines in and out of KHI. My parents went to KUL in MH...loads were not more then 70%. My grand dad came in from HKG on CX and said plane was 80% full and my friend just flew in from BKK on TG and reported similar loads.

User currently offlineBabaero From Philippines, joined Jan 2002, 462 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (12 years 1 month 1 week 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 2101 times:

Remember its not just pax that fill aircraft.

Cargo out of KHI is still good business. CX still maintain there services despite poor pax figures. but cargo is still good.


User currently offlineEx_SQer From United States of America, joined Apr 2002, 1436 posts, RR: 5
Reply 11, posted (12 years 1 month 1 week 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 2090 times:

I can confirm that SQ wasn't doing too well on its Pakistan route. And SQ772 is right in saying that SQ doesn't make hasty and ill-considered decisions when its bottomline is concerned.

Also, bear in mind that even if other carriers have decent loads into/out of Pakistan, it doesn't mean that they are turning a profit. Loads does not equal profitability.

As far as security is concerned, Singapore and its citizens and companies aren't on the top of any organization's hit list, but the fact remains, as 9V-SVE pointed out, that violence is often random and can affect anyone. It is, after all, hard to explain why Pakistanis would want to hijack an SQ aircraft, but it did happen. Having said all this, Singapore still is an ally of the US, and this doesn't go down well with a lot of people.

Related to this issue as well is that the majority of passengers on SQ's Pakistan flights are not Singaporean, and that SQ does carry a sizeable number of Westerners on any given flight. Given the recent (anti-west) violence, I wouldn't be surprised if SQ's loads into Pakistan took a hit as companies chose not to send people to Pakistan on business unless they had to.



User currently offlineAirmale From Botswana, joined Sep 2004, 377 posts, RR: 1
Reply 12, posted (12 years 1 month 1 week 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 2071 times:

If SQ do return to Pakistan it should be with the A310.


.....up there with the best!
User currently offlineAirpearl From Malaysia, joined May 2001, 946 posts, RR: 26
Reply 13, posted (12 years 1 month 1 week 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 2056 times:

Just wondering, if SQ wasn't doing well in Pakistan, why did they resume their flights at all following suspension after Sept 11? And with larger aircraft as well. Or was it done with the anticipation of traffic - which never materialised with the Indian-Pakistani conflict and the violence and bombings? It's just that this is a strange situation and very unlike SQ to start and stop a service all within a few months. I had expected the other airlines (possibly LX, TG, CX, MH) to follow suit but apparently a second mass exodus of airlines has not happened. That's why I've been tempted to conclude that the others must be doing enough good business to offset any increased risk of operating into Pakistan.

User currently offlineSingapore_Air From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2000, 13739 posts, RR: 19
Reply 14, posted (12 years 1 month 1 week 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 2045 times:

I would think that SIA was expecting more traffic. However, with the unrest in the area at that time / now, I don't know why anyone would want to go there really unless they were visiting relatives.

Though not route specific, in the last Financial year, West Asia and Africa routes performed the worst with a 67.4% load factor.



Anyone can fly, only the best Soar.
User currently offlineSQ772 From Singapore, joined Nov 2001, 1792 posts, RR: 5
Reply 15, posted (12 years 1 month 1 week 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 2040 times:

I am inclined to say that SQ adopted a "wait and see" attitude when it suspended Pakistan after 9/11. The route was not making major losses, but it wasn't turning in huge profits like SQ's Indian routes either.

As to why they upgraded the aircraft to the 777ER, my guess is that the route did not justify having a 3 class config aircraft (A340).

I do admit that cargo out of Pakistan was good initially, but after CX came into the market, SQ was hit, since cgo agents could now send their cargo directly to North Asia via HKG instead of through SIN. On many occasions, cargo ex-Pakistan were stranded in SIN because priority was given to higher yield cargo from Europe, US and Australia. Cargo ex-KHI/LHE were not high yield and comprised mainly textiles, pharmaceuticals, live crabs and the seasonal mangoes bound for N.Asia. Often, KHISQ was unable to secure space ex-SIN for their cargo. CX was able to offer cargo agents a cheaper and direct alternative.

Now for CX. CX only operated into KHI because they had the aircrafts to spare. So instead of letting their aircrafts sit idle in HKG, and incurring high overnight charges, they chose to utilise them on the KHI route. CX experienced high loads out of KHI in the initial months, but the flights were NEVER full. The bulk of passengers ex-KHI were BKK bound, and only a handful went on to HKG. Fortunately, they had traffic rights on both the KHI-BKK and BKK-HKG sectors, and were able to fill the aircraft to the brim on the BKK-HKG sector.

TG was badly hit as CX marketed itself as a premiere carrier with better inflight products as well as the numerous connections to the US and Canada (lots of Pakistani passengers travel to the US and Canada). Many Pakistanis switched to CX as a result. SQ's US and Vancouver bound passengers also switched to CX since SQ only offered 3 flights a week to Canada from SIN. US bound passengers were often unable to get on the morning flights on SQ because the high yield Indian pax were again given priority. Without the morning connection, Pakistani pax had no choice but to go on the evening flights (SQ30 and SQ2). When this happened, KHI was inclined to provide them with hotel accommodation for the day and that ate into SQ's profit margin.

Right from the start, CX made it clear (at least internally) that KHI was not a high yield market and they weren't expecting turn in profits. It was "good to have, but not critical to the company". To them, the HKG-BKK-KHIvv flight meant an additional flight on the very lucrative HKG-BKKvv sector. Why they continue to operate into KHI, well that's anybody's guess. I guess now that SQ has thrown in the towel, there's more reason for CX to stay.

LX's target market is different from CX or SQ altogether. AFAIK, LX operates KHI-DXB, that itself is a huge market. It would not be fair to make such a comparison.

TG and CX might experiencec 80% loadfactor on this route, but that doesn't mean they are making a profit. It really depends on how much passengers are paying for their tickets. If I may say this, Pakistan is not a high yield market for many Asian carriers.



There's always a better way to fly...
User currently offlineKHI747 From United States of America, joined Oct 2000, 1615 posts, RR: 1
Reply 16, posted (12 years 1 month 1 week 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 2025 times:

SQ772....thank you for the indepth analysis of this matter.I tend to agree with you on most things....can you describe what is the mix of pax on SQ's Gulf destinations.I hear that DXB is going really well and i see there B773 there quite often....who primarily uses the route and the main reasons for SQ's success despite EK offering so many flights to SIN.
As far as LX is concerned, i dont know why it even got dragged into this conversation. Their market is different, and since i travel LX many times in and out of KHI each year i know they are doing well.Before 9/11 i was told by an Swissair employee that they wanted to give KHI daily flights....4 weekly at present.They are the ONE & ONLY European airline left so you can imagine they do enjoy some what lack of competition at KHI...


User currently offlineBravo45 From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 2165 posts, RR: 11
Reply 17, posted (12 years 1 month 1 week 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 2010 times:

Well if Pakistan is not a good market for them. Not much worry to us, those who think that this is not the case. The load will certainly shift to PIA and other local private airlines will progress which will be a good thing for us.

User currently offlineAirmale From Botswana, joined Sep 2004, 377 posts, RR: 1
Reply 18, posted (12 years 1 month 1 week 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 1984 times:

Why did SQ drop Karachi-Dubai if it was doing well?


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User currently offlineEx_SQer From United States of America, joined Apr 2002, 1436 posts, RR: 5
Reply 19, posted (12 years 1 month 1 week 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 1978 times:

KHI-DXB wasn't doing "well". It was doing "ok", as per SQ772's post. I know that the route was actually making significant losses in the days before SQ772 joined the company. (now, now, SQ772, don't you even think about taking credit for reversing those huge losses!)

There are several things that you have to bear in mind when analyzing why airlines fly certain routes and why they start and drop those routes. As with any for-profit organization, airlines seek to maximize return on investment, and in most cases it means allocating non-abundant resources in the most optimal manner possible. Sorry if I am sounding like an Econ professor here.

With specific reference to KHI-DXB vv, the following issues come to mind:

KHI-DXB vv was a fifth freedom route for SQ, and they flew this 3x/week. I don't think they had the traffic rights for more flights. When you are a third country carrier, you are at a distinct disadvantage to the home carriers because you cannot offer enough frequencies to attract high yield passengers who will pay more for the convenience of flying whenever they like. In SQ's case, they had to lower fares on KHI-DXB, and this in turn meant that they ended up carrying a lot of low-yield labor traffic, and little high-yield business traffic.

Up till 1996, I think, SQ was flying 3x/week SIN-DXB-CAI vv and 3x/week SIN-KHI-DXB vv. DXB has always been a prominent business center in the Gulf, and its rise in prominence since the mid-90s has been phenomenal. SQ thus decided that DXB would be better served with only non-stop services. They therefore decided that it was a more optimal use of resources to operate SIN-DXB-CAI vv and SIN-DXB-IST vv. That's why KHI-DXB was delinked - returns from non-stop SIN-DXB vv services were a lot higher, and it made sense to use available aircraft to operate on these higher-yielding routes.

In the end it all comes to the bottomline, and what you can make with your available resources. Since the Asian financial crises of 1997-98, SQ has publicly stated that "nothing is sacred" and that it will be "unsentimental" in cutting routes in order to protect its bottomline. While SQ's withdrawal from KHI/LHE was in large part a "security" issue, you can bet your bottom dollar that profits and revenue played a huge part in the decision as well. Apart from KHI and LHE, SQ has also terminated SXF, VIE, KTM, DRW, CNS, HGH, SDJ, MFM, KCH and BKI since 1998.


User currently offlineSQ772 From Singapore, joined Nov 2001, 1792 posts, RR: 5
Reply 20, posted (12 years 1 month 1 week 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 1953 times:

SQ772, don't you even think about taking credit for reversing those huge losses!

If ex-SQer doesn't take credit for KHI, I wouldn't even dream of doing so... besides, I was no where near West Asia when the reversal of "fortunes" occurred.



There's always a better way to fly...
User currently offline9V-SVA From Singapore, joined Aug 2001, 1860 posts, RR: 8
Reply 21, posted (12 years 1 month 1 week 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 1923 times:

SIA quit Pakistan due to poor loads and safety concerns.

9V-SVA



9V-SVA | B772ER
User currently offlineSQ772 From Singapore, joined Nov 2001, 1792 posts, RR: 5
Reply 22, posted (12 years 1 month 1 week 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 1917 times:

What an excellent, to the point summary of all that has been discussed... Bravo 9VSVA! Big grin


There's always a better way to fly...
User currently offlineLutfi From China, joined Sep 2000, 771 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (12 years 1 month 1 week 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 1905 times:

Also, please to remember, CX and TG fly BKK-KHI vv. This is a short enough flight pattern (about 9-10 hours) that the crew can fly it return from BKK.

SIN-KHI vv is significantly longer, such that the crew can't do it. They must rest in KHI.

After a SQ crew was injured, no way did any SQ crew want to stay in a hotel that had been bombed twice. Maybe SQ would have continued, forcing crew to fly, if the flights were very profitable, but why upset your staff for a marginal/ loss making flight...?

For all airlines, Pakistan is a difficult place to fly (security) and low yielding. That's why you don't see too many airlines fly there, or indeed PIA make much of a profit. EK can do it best, with short flight time to DXB


User currently offlineSQ772 From Singapore, joined Nov 2001, 1792 posts, RR: 5
Reply 24, posted (12 years 1 month 1 week 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 1896 times:

Lutfi, do CX crew do a turnaround in KHI? I heard they had their layover in KHI and stayed at the Sheraton as well.


There's always a better way to fly...
25 Lutfi : They used to, but now they layover in BKK and operate KHI as a turnaround sector.
26 Airmale : If Im not mistaken the Swiss Airlines crew also stay at the Sheraton, they havent quit in haste.
27 Ex_SQer : Airmale, from your (repeated) "quit in haste" statements I seem to sense that you are taking this withdrawal of services personally. Don't. Business d
28 Airmale : So do you think SQ may return with the A310, the route was not that bad after all and the Airbus maybe just suited to its requirements.
29 KHI747 : Airmale: Swiss staff does NOT stay in Karachi.Eastbound on ZRH-DXB-KHI, the crew changes in DXB and a new crew takes over for the short DXB-KHI run.Th
30 Lutfi : Airmale. A lot of cabin crew for Asian airlines are young women, under 21. Their parents watch TV, and read the news, and will tell their daughters to
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