docpepz
Posts: 1706
Joined: Thu May 24, 2001 8:20 pm

SIA's First Class Is Disappearing!

Sat Feb 01, 2003 12:44 am

We all know that SIA prides itself in being an industry leader in service and inflight entertainment. However i feel that a leader in the airline industry needs to have a majority of its flights operated in a 3 class, full service configuration.

However, SIA is progressively taking First Class out from many of its flights. Perhaps for regional flights it's understandable but just 3 years ago who would have thought SIA would be operating Trans Pacific, Trans Atlantic and Europe flights with 2 class aircraft?

Such routes include: Las Vegas, Chicago, Vancouver, Amsterdam 4 times a week, soon to be Manchester 4 times a week, Athens, Rome, Copenhagen, Perth, Adelaide, Brisbane, Christchurch, Hong Kong thrice a week, Seoul thrice a week, Johannesburg, Cape Town, Mauritius, Fukuoka, Hiroshima, Nagoya, Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City... I can't think of many more but I think that is QUITE a lot.

The way things are going, First Class might remain on SQ on just key routes such as Sydney, Melbourne, London, Paris, New York, SFO via HKG, Tokyo, Osaka and LAX.

According to some SIA people, First Class yields are only high in select routes. For Europe, First Class is popular only for London, Frankfurt and Paris. The fact that all their Europe-Singapore flights leave at lunch time (with the exception of LHR-SIN and FRA-SIN) means yield is lower on those flights. Businessmen prefer to leave in the evening. Could that be an explanation?

Also, being a business hub and largest airport in the world, I fail to see why First Class is not offered to Chicago. I would not expect it for LAS, but for ORD? I would find it hard to believe that there isn't enough high yield demand for that flight. The only reason businessmen might not like SQ's ORD service is that its frequency is only thrice a week, thus restricting their schedules. UA, even though it leaves at the ungodly hour of 7am, has a daily SIN-ORD flight.

Anyhow, I believe that if SIA progressively gets rid of First Class from more and more of its flights, it would be difficult for them to say that they're an "industry leader" since the least an industry leader could do is offer a full three class service on a majority of their flights.

But then again, if we observe the routes that SIA operates two class aircraft, their competitors on the route offer a two class service too. Or in other cases, there are no competitors at all, such as SIN-South Africa and SIN-LAS.

What are your thoughts?
 
Guest

RE: SIA's First Class Is Disappearing!

Sat Feb 01, 2003 1:20 am

I think it's a temporarily disappearing. As SIA progressively introducing A380 service from 2006, I'm pretty sure First Class will once again be the focus of SIA.

There's just not enough room to accomodate a full-flat First Class bed on 777.
 
Tango-Bravo
Posts: 2887
Joined: Sun Jun 17, 2001 1:04 am

RE: SIA's First Class Is Disappearing!

Sat Feb 01, 2003 1:28 am

Do most (or all) of Singapore's first class passengers actually pay more to fly in first, or has it become a situation where (as with the U.S. airlines) the first class cabin is mainly occupied by freeloaders traveling on the lowest economy fares who have been upgraded for free due to their "status" or have paid to upgrade with miles earned at hyperinflated rates?
 
keesje
Posts: 8590
Joined: Thu Apr 12, 2001 2:08 am

RE: SIA's First Class Is Disappearing!

Sat Feb 01, 2003 1:30 am

SQ simply concluded that filling the nose with 18 Business Sleepers is more profitable on many routes then 10 First class sleepers.

Can you blame them. This is a business not a status environment ...
"Never mistake motion for action." Ernest Hemingway
 
tsentsan
Posts: 1921
Joined: Mon Jan 28, 2002 10:48 pm

RE: SIA's First Class Is Disappearing!

Sat Feb 01, 2003 1:37 am

I think its not more of SIA's first class disappearing, perhaps its more like, SIA is responding to the business environment where only on routes between major business centres is first class generating revenue. I think nowadays the economies are bad such that business people dont really travel first class unless they r in the top flight of management, and top flight of management usually travel between major business hubs.. eg maybe LHR-JFK etc... So if SIA puts 1st class on less major routes such as SIN-PER, it wont be filled at all. Of all the times I've taken a 3 class 777 SIN-PER or vice versa, the only people I've seen in it are the cabin crew .....
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rupertvander82
Posts: 400
Joined: Tue Dec 24, 2002 10:19 pm

RE: SIA's First Class Is Disappearing!

Sat Feb 01, 2003 1:37 am

I see your point of view, but if an airline finds that their first class does not generate enough revenue, then there is really no point in trying to put them up for the sake of being the 'industry leader'.

But I'm sure First class on Singapore Airlines on the key routes you mentioned remains their pride, and now with less flights that has first, it will be even more exclusive.

Spacebeds now offer lie flat seats, and together with the best inflight service in the world and gourmet meals in Business Class (Raffles), it will deem sufficient for many businessmen whose companies are desperately trying to cut costs. When the economy picks up again, we'll see First implemented across a lot more routes.

Don't forget that SIA's the most well managed airline in Asia, so they'll try to keep their loss free record.

Like Bigo747 mentioned, with the 380s, we'll definitely see something new coming out from SIA for first, and it'll be back on many routes.


Singapore Airlines. Now more than ever, you're a great way to fly.
 
777gk
Posts: 1488
Joined: Mon Jun 19, 2000 3:04 am

RE: SIA's First Class Is Disappearing!

Sat Feb 01, 2003 1:52 am

If Raffles is to be the premium SQ product on a number of routes, the service must be revamped. I flew with them over the summer LAX-TPE-SIN (Raffles) and SIN-HKG (coach), and while I was in the Ultimo seat for the long haul, I experienced the same service passengers in the SpaceBed would receive, and although the crew was generally a little more formal and cordial that a typical CO International crew, I found the CO BF meal service to be far superior to that of Raffles Class and more comparable to the NRT-SFO flight I took last winter with JAL in their First Class product.

The lie-flat seats are the future of premium air travel. There simply isn't enough room on the long haul twins to fill up a huge chunk of fuselage with 8-10 monstrous beds that rarely fly out full of first class fare paying customers. We seat 48 on our 777s in BF, and while the pitch is a little less than I would particularly like, the seat is very comfortable and I would not rate BA, AA, UA, or SQ flat-bed service worlds better than BusinessFirst. Yes, it is a step up, but I'm not so sure the fare difference is justified.
 
SQ772
Posts: 1647
Joined: Wed Nov 07, 2001 5:16 pm

RE: SIA's First Class Is Disappearing!

Sat Feb 01, 2003 1:53 am

Do most (or all) of Singapore's first class passengers actually pay more to fly in first, or has it become a situation where (as with the U.S. airlines) the first class cabin is mainly occupied by freeloaders traveling on the lowest economy fares who have been upgraded for free due to their "status" or have paid to upgrade with miles earned at hyperinflated rates?

No, freeloaders are only apparent on US carriers (and maybe some other non-US carriers as well). SQ has been known to protect its first/business class product integrity fiercely, and will therefore never dilute its upper class service by packing it with freeloaders (unless it's due to operational constraints - even then, there's an SOP that states that they'd rather offload low revenue pax (ie. Y class pax) than upgrade them and dilute their premium class service in the process).

Even SQ's PPS (priority passenger) members sometimes complain that it's extremely difficult to get free upgrades to first/business class.

So, to answer your question, over 95% of SQ's F class passengers actually paid good money to sit in front.
There's always a better way to fly...

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