Singapore Airlines is the national airline of Singapore. Headquartered at Airline House, its chief hub is located at Singapore Changi Airport. It holds the merit of being one among the only four airlines in the world to receive a 5-star rating by Skytrax. Recently, the airline was ranked 33rd in Fortune's World's Most Admired Companies. The airline is the launch customer of the Airbus A380 aircraft, which is popularly called 'superjumbo'. Due to its world-class safety and services to its passengers, the airline is recognized as a prominent brand name in the civil aviation industry. It has managed to maintain a record of consistent profitability, since its inception. Check out the history and profile of Singapore Airlines in the following lines.
The history of Singapore Airlines can be traced back to October 1937, when Malayan Airlines (MAL) was incepted by the Ocean Steamship Company of Liverpool, the Straits Steamship Company of Singapore and Imperial Airways. The airline's first flight, using an Airspeed Consul, took off from the British Straits Settlement of Singapore to Kuala Lumpur, on April 2, 1947. From May 1, 1947 onwards, the airline started plying regular weekly flights from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur, Ipoh and Penang. The following decade witnessed the rapid expansion of the airline. At that time, the airline was provided technical assistance from British Commonwealth carriers, which included BOAC and Qantas Empire Airways.
The fleet of Malayan Airways expanded in the 1950s, with the introduction of a large number of Douglas DC-3 aircrafts. The airline was re-christened to Malaysian Airlines in 1963, when Malaya, Singapore, Sabah and Sarawak formed the Federation of Malaysia. Consequently, Malaysian Airlines acquired Borneo Airways. After the separation from the federation in 1966, the airline underwent another name change - this time, its name was changed to Malaysia-Singapore Airlines, abbreviated as MSA. In the following year, the airline expanded rapidly. It included few more routes and aircrafts.
Malaysia-Singapore Airlines was separated as two different entities in 1972. Consequently, they formed two different airlines - Singapore Airlines and Malaysian Airlines System. Following the separation, Singapore Airlines decided to retain all of the MSA's ten Boeing aircrafts, which included the B707S and 737s. It retained its international routes as well. Thereafter, the company carried out advertising campaigns, which helped create a strong brand image in the market. The stewardesses of the airline were projected as the iconic Singapore Girls, beautifully clad in the sarong kebaya uniform.
The first non-stop air services between Singapore and the USA were started by Singapore Airlines in 2004, when it began plying non-stop trans-Pacific flights to the aforementioned destinations, by using the Airbus A340-500 aircraft. The flight from Singapore to Newark is recorded as the longest scheduled commercial flight in the world, with a flying time of 18 hours, each way. To make journey from Newark to Los Angeles even more comfortable, the airline has converted its five Airbus A340-500 aircraft from a 64 Business Class/117 Premium Economy Class configuration to a 100-seat all- Business Class configuration.
SilkAir, a fully owned subsidiary of Singapore Airlines, operates scheduled passenger flights from Singapore to 29 cities in Southeast Asia, South Asia and China. Singapore Airlines currently holds 49% share of the low-cost airline 'Tiger Airways', which operates scheduled passenger flights from Singapore to 19 destinations in eight countries around the region. Singapore Airlines Cargo, a wholly owned subsidiary of Singapore Airlines, operates air cargo services to 36 cities in 18 countries, making it world's third largest cargo airline in terms of freight tonnes kilometers (FTK).
In addition to this, Singapore Airlines has also entered a joint venture with TajSATS Air Catering, International Engine Component Overhaul Private Limited and Singapore Aero Engine Services Private Limited. SIA Engineering Company Limited, Singapore Airport Terminal Services Limited and Virgin Atlantic Limited are also the subsidiaries of Singapore Airlines.
In order to keep its passengers amused throughout the ride, Singapore Airlines introduced its in-flight entertainment system - KrisWorld - in 1997. In October 2006, Singapore Airlines announced the upgradation of its in-flight services. Onboard, the airline provides world-class services to its passengers. Its suite class, the highest class of seats, offers a queen sized bed to its passenger, thereby offering a luxury ride by air. Since the airline has always ensured excellent services to its passengers, it has received a number of awards for the same. Coming down to ground, the airline ensures maximum ease for its passengers - they can now check-in two to 48 hours prior to flight departure.
Destinations And Fleet
Currently, Singapore Airlines flies to 65 destinations in 35 countries on five continents. Apart from its destinations in Southeast Asia, East Asia and South Asia, trans-Pacific flights are also operated by the airline, which includes two of the world’s longest non-stop commercial flights to Newark, New Jersey and Los Angeles, California, respectively. In the present time, the airline operates wide-bodies fleet. The current fleet of the airline consists of 108 aircrafts, namely Boeing 777-300ER, Boeing 777-300, Boeing 777-200ER, Boeing 747-400, Airbus A380-800, Airbus A340-500 and Airbus A330-300.