"Just because it you have never been on the SIN
flight when it has been full doesn't mean its never full."
I never said it could not be, but since I have been on it numerous times in its short history of only a few months, it seems that a pattern is forming as to the loads. If I was on it and it was full all the time I would be more inclined to think that it was full most of the time. See how patterns work?
Right now the addition of those aircraft cost SIA a lot of cash, they are not cheap. If they are operated on a route that is not profitable or only slightly profitable, it will take a hell of a long time to pay them off while depreciating them on their balance sheet. Were they outright purchased or are they under a capital lease through Airbus Capital? If they are leased, they pay xxx,xxx a month for them, whatever the figure may be, that is most likely confidential if they are under capital lease and no one here knows what the price may be. The A345 was built around comfort and not economics. SIA Sacrificed a lot of additional seats at the expense of a more pleasant experience for the customer. That is great for us who get to fly in it, but means that the potential earning for each flight is less than if it was jammed with your traditional econ. Yes the fare is more costly, but this can only offset some of the cost. Since SIA now has a expensive plane with less possible revenue seats aboard, they have a challenge on their hands. SIA Must fill a greater percentage of seats on the A345 than they would have to on a A345 configured with a standard economy. The fare differences helps somewhat.
Even if loads were 100% every day in and day out, it is STILL impossible to generate the same yield off the route than if the plane had a regular configuration and not exec economy with more legroom, stand up snacks areas, etc. The fact that less passengers are aboard with a large portion of fixed or slightly variable costs mean a lower net profit margin % for this route.
The higher fares for this route (and the soon to follow EWR
) route are an attempt to offset the increased per pax fuel consumption, pilot and FA
wages, etc that are associated with operating an aircraft with this type of configuration. A good portion of each of these aspects (jet fuel, wages, airport slots, etc) are fixed to a point. Fuel consumption would be roughly similar if 1 person was aboard or 75 people were aboard. Increase the fare for each person, and you can offset these fixed costs while accommodating less pax.
I just find it hard to belief that SIA, or anyone for that manner, can calculate these numbers exactly enough to be generating the absolute maximum profit off these flights. So many variables are involved from pax loads to current jet fuel prices to wind conditions that can change everything in a minute. The idea of putting less people onto a plane to provide more comfort and luxury to travelers is absolutely wonderful for us as pax, but it violates the time tested laws of economics that airlines have been living by for years. Cram as many in as possible and you will most likely be looking at more profit.
It is certainly too early to tell on our end (all of our speculation) and on SIA end. Pax trends cannot be forecasted on such a small time scale, and the uncertainties of jet fuel prices can change everything. It does appear, in MY
EXPERIANCE aboard SQ19 and SQ20 is that pax loads are not 100%, and maybe not even 85%, and it makes it a lot harder to generate profit when less seats are filled on an aircraft with relative high costs to the low number of seats on board.
As a result, even the idea of acquiring new aircraft to serve this route is subject to thousands of factors, from maintaining costs of having a one company fleet to pax loads and expected yields. It is more than a science to predict and forecast these things.
On a side note, I do hope that the service continues well into the future. I would have to say by far that SQ19 is my favorite flight by a longshot. I encourage everyone here who has yet to experience this flight to go out and do it, you will be happy you did. (I do not work for SIA so don't say I am trying to sell it to everyone)