YYZ4RADD
Topic Author
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History Of UL, SQ And EK..interlinked!

Wed Jan 07, 2004 11:50 am

A bit of history...

SQ....

Singapore air was not a separate airline previously...it was part of MH (Malaysia Airlines) before the late 70's and was known as Malaysia-Singapore Airlines (which was also a good product at that time according to history). Due to the separation of Malaysia and Singapore, the airlines split as well.

This model was picked up Sheikh Maktoum of Dubai (chairman of Emirates) who set about trying model the new Emirates Air in 1987 using two leased Airbuses from PIA and newly employed pilots from SriLankan (Airlanka) at that time. Dubai is following the same model as Singapore albeit with a larger cash reserve than SQ or singapore city will ever have in their holds. Today Emirates has beaten or reached the same level as Singapore.

A latecomer to the scene is Qatar who wants this success story for themselves as well. Investing heavily in half-filled planes on all kinds of routes they are hoping will give them the same success. The Qatari populace lack the same education as Dubai, Sri Lanka or Singapore. The literacy rates in Sri Lanka and Singapore on average for male and female hover around a whopping 95 %, some of the highest in Asia. The same goes for Dubai. In the next 20 years we may see this happen to Qatar as well, but not in the next 5-10 years. Then again who knows, Arab nations tend to make miracles possible ~ look at Dubai.

An interesting story in this is that Sri Lankan when it began in the late 70's was managed by Singapore because the first minister of Singapore was born in Sri Lanka and also holds SL citizenship (Sr. Minister Lee Kuan Yew). After a few years of good management, political ignorance and interference from Sri Lankan govt authorities whose president appointed his own ignorant son to manage Airlanka (political patronage), Singapore Air quit managing Air Lanka The actual cause was stated (by minister Lee) as being over the disagreement of the purchase of two Boeing 747 aircraft. Singapore wanted UL to purchase two 747's like they did earlier. UL management seeing it as a risk, opted to lease used 707's. UL decided to lease these and later opted for 747's. They also picked up many L1011' s from Air Canada and also many 737's as well. The last UL L1011 was retired after the A330's were activated in 1999. Until then they were flying regularly to Zurich, Male and the Middle East.

Today after a 20 year stint, Air Lanka now SriLankan is managed by Emirates. The circle is completed I guess.

When the terrorist attacks happened in July 2001 in Colombo airport. Immediately Dubai and Singapore became hubs for UL and both SQ and EK acted as their subs.

I would not be surprised if one day both UL and EK follow SQ in joining the star alliance. I can only hope!!! They would both make great additions.

Just as a sidenote if you see throughout the world, most island nations concentrate on using their airline and making it a premium product. Examples include Tahiti, Hong Kong, Singapore, Sri Lankan, Dubai (not an Island but close), Bahrein, Cyprus, UK, Austrailia (not an Island but u get my drift), Japan, etc, etc.

Any comments / corrections and additions are appreciated.

Question for Behramjee and SriLankan340? What are UL's current fleet plans. I heard a rumor that they plan to buy more 340's and 330's. Something a few every two months to eventually open up routes like Sydney, Johannesburg, Stockholm, Toronto, New York, Beirut, etc.

By the way they have full landing rights to all these locations. They are supposed to start Beijing this year.

Regards

YYZ4RADD
 
Ryanair!!!
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RE: History Of UL, SQ And EK..interlinked!

Wed Jan 07, 2004 5:19 pm

Lee Kuan Yew holds a Sri Lankan citizenship...? That's a new one...
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Ex_SQer
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RE: History Of UL, SQ And EK..interlinked!

Wed Jan 07, 2004 6:29 pm

An interesting story in this is that Sri Lankan when it began in the late 70's was managed by Singapore because the first minister of Singapore was born in Sri Lanka and also holds SL citizenship (Sr. Minister Lee Kuan Yew).

LKY was born in Singapore on Sept 16, 1923 (http://www.geocities.com/rajeevgm/lky/). Dual citizenship is illegal under Singapore law any Singaporean with dual citizenship is required to give up one citizenship.


Singapore air was not a separate airline previously...it was part of MH (Malaysia Airlines) before the late 70's and was known as Malaysia-Singapore Airlines. Due to the separation of Malaysia and Singapore, the airlines split as well.

Singapore gained independence from Malaysia in 1965. Malaysia-Singapore Airlines remained as an entity until 1972 when they split into SQ and MH. There was a time lag of almost seven years before they split.


The actual cause was stated (by minister Lee) as being over the disagreement of the purchase of two Boeing 747 aircraft.

There was more to it. Air Lanka (as UL was known then) was unhappy that SQ had generous fifth freedom rights ex-CMB to Europe and the Middle East and it felt that it could not grow while having to compete with SQ. Sri Lanka actually terminated the air services agreement and UL and SQ ceased services to SIN and CMB respectively for several months while the dispute was resolved.
 
9V-SVE
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RE: History Of UL, SQ And EK..interlinked!

Wed Jan 07, 2004 6:46 pm

This topic reminded me of something in Lee Kuan Yew's political autobiography, From Third World to First. In the 'Relations with Sri Lanka' section, he mentioned that the SriLankan PM back then in the 70s asked him to help Sri Lanka start an airline. SQ actually loaned some pilots and managers to the new airline but the SriLankan PM decided to buy some aircraft against SQ's wishes, thus the partnership broke up. I would reference the book, but as I just moved back to Singapore I cannot find it.
 
MAS777
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RE: History Of UL, SQ And EK..interlinked!

Wed Jan 07, 2004 9:30 pm

Just a minor correction on the first paragraph...

Singapore Airlines and Malaysia Airlines split in 1972. The countries Malaysia and Singapore came into being in 1963. MSA was indeed an excellent product and had its roots from BOAC. It was decided in 1971 that for national interests MSA could no longer operate for two masters and so the split occured with SIA becoming the International carrier (hence s'I'a) and MAS becoming the domestic 'system' in ma'S'. SIA retained and took further delivery of the 737s and 707s whilst MAS took over the fleet of F27s and a couple of 737s.


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Ryanair!!!
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RE: History Of UL, SQ And EK..interlinked!

Wed Jan 07, 2004 9:41 pm

Yep, the masters in Singapore wanted to expand MSA internationally. But the masters in Malaysia wanted to concentrate on domestic expansion for national interest. This, of course, wasn't in Singapore's favour because by then they were two separate countries altogether and there was no "domestic" market for Singapore to talk about. Unless u are talking about flying from Changi to Seletar and back again. 2 mins flying time?

But really, was SM Lee Kuan Yew born in Sri Lanka?  Big grin
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zizou
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RE: History Of UL, SQ And EK..interlinked!

Wed Jan 07, 2004 9:59 pm

I don't think Lee Kuan Yew was born in Singapore. But I remember reading somewhere, some time ago, he was quoted as saying that Sri Lanka had the potential to become more prosperous than Singapore, on a visit to the teardrop island. Of course this was before all the civil unrest started up and we all know what happened therafter.

YYZ4RADD, SriLankan's current fleet plans is to add two new A340-300s to the already existing fleet. Also, with the Subcontinent flights doing so well, don't be suprised if they add a A320 or two.
 
don
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RE: History Of UL, SQ And EK..interlinked!

Thu Jan 08, 2004 12:39 am

Lee Kuan Yew was never a Sri lankan. As mentioned previously he was born and bred in Singapore. Probably the writer is refering to Mr. Rajaratnam who was the deputy PM of Singapore in 70s and early 80s who may have been born in Sri Lanka (Ceylon at that time).

And Emirates was not started with Sri Lankan pilots. Only two co-pilots, who later became Captains went from UL to EK around 1989, few years after EK commenced operations.

Sri Lankan President's son was never involved in UL in any official capacity even though he was a pilot but his best friend became the first Chairman of UL.

Singapore and Dubai never became hubs for UL and EK and SQ didn't become subs for UL after the terriost attack in July 2001. In fact EK was the first airline to cease its CMB operations after attack despite being the UL's partner/part-owner and they didn't come back for a while. SQ never stopped their flights to CMB but opearted 310s ISO 777s for a while.
 
srilankan_340
Posts: 202
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RE: History Of UL, SQ And EK..interlinked!

Thu Jan 08, 2004 2:05 am

YYZ4RADD

In answer to your query re fleet,

UL have added 2 A340-300's in November'03 4R-ADE & 4R-ADF. This brings the total A340 fleet to 5.
These will aid in UL's expansion/increases in frequencies of flights to Europe/Japan etc. However the first of the original A340's are due for their checks soon. So my guess is that these additional routes will happen sometime mid - latter part of the year.

As far as I heard last, there was no imminent plans for any increase on the A330 fleet of 4.

There is talk of adding 2 A320's pretty soon though. This will aid in the expansion of the short haul destinations that's hapenning right now.(i.e. Mainly India/Pakistan). That would bring the fleet total to 5.

In addition to these UL has bought another Antonov cargo plane to double the cargo fleet to 2!

Hope this helps......


Srilankan_340


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