Singapore Airlines (SIA) said it aims to court loyal customers with its new aircraft as it strives to stay competitive in a cost-sensitive Philippine market.
“It’s a market that’s very price sensitive. That’s a challenge. One of our biggest challenges is to make sure we’re competitive in the market,” SIA General Manager Balagopal Kunduvara told reporters in a press briefing at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 3 on Tuesday, July 3.
He added, “There’s a small segment in the Philippine market who look for luxury, who are very loyal customers. It’s very important that we reward these customers to show our loyalty to them as well.”
The Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner, one of the 49 firm-ordered by SIA, arrived on Tuesday at the NAIA Terminal 3. The latest in Boeing’s Dreamliner series, the 787-10 features a longer fuselage than earlier Dreamliner models, allowing it to carry about 40 more passengers or a total of 330 seats in a standard two-class configuration. Boeing explained on its website that this additional capacity provides airlines “the lowest operating cost per seat of any widebody airplane in service today”.
SIA’s Mr. Kunduvara said that with four daily flights, the airline is aiming to increase the seats to “about 1,000 to 1,200 per day” with the acquisition of the new planes.
“So our objective is to get up to 80% to 90% load factor without compromising too much of our yield,” Mr. Kunduvara said.
The new aircraft will operate two flights to and from Singapore and Manila every day, adding to SIA’s three other daily flights which uses the 777/A333.
SIA was the world’s first airline to take delivery of the 787-10 in March this year. Osaka and Perth were the first scheduled destinations served by the new aircraft in May. — Denise A. Valdez