Declining yields and international competition were the catalyst for the airline’s improvement initiatives to reverse the fortunes of a disappointing 2017 financial result. A new revenue management system, new pricing structure and centralised pricing unit combined with process efficiencies, less waste and improved fuel savings has seen the Singapore Airlines Group’s net profit jump a massive 148.1% to S$893m for its 2017/18 financial year. ‘We’ve seen higher load factors and passenger revenue (even though yield dropped 1%), and a 5.3% increase in freight,’ explains the airline’s regional VP southwest Pacific, Philip Goh, who was in Auckland this week.
In the New Zealand market, improved connectivity is providing shorter travel time for Kiwis with significantly reduced connection times when travelling onto other points in South East Asia as well as India and Europe, SQ’s general manager New Zealand, Simon Turcotte says. Of its 100-plus wide-body aircraft on order, Christchurch is in the first 20 of the new planes. The airline has changed the days of its Wellington service to Singapore (now via Melbourne) to focus more on a weekend service, departing Wellington Tuesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday; and from Singapore on Monday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
Earlier this month the airline announced its regional wing, SilkAir, will upgrade its cabin products as part of a multi-year initiative that will see it merged into SIA. New lie-flat seats in Business Class, and the installation of seat-back in-flight entertainment systems in both business class and economy will ensure a consistency across the airline’s full-service network. There will also be transfers of routes and aircraft between the different airlines in the portfolio. SIA’s low cost product, Scoot, has increased its network, offering 27 destinations to India, South East Asia, China as well as two new European ports – Athens and Berlin. ‘It’s an important part of our portfolio,’ says Turcotte. ‘Baggage can be checked all the way through, the kg allowance is the same and our full service customers receive a hot meal. ‘And, Scoot is now part of the KrisFlyer programme.’