APEX Insight: Heading into APEX Asia in Singapore, we take a closer look at the APEX members leading the way in the region and whom are playing key roles in the growth of flag carrier Singapore Airlines. The airline is boosting in-flight Wi-Fi with Inmarsat’s GX connectivity, bidding to acquire Tigerair and bringing back the world’s longest nonstop flight in 2018.
Things are looking up for Singapore Airlines. Recent announcements show the flag carrier is focused on expansion: boosting in-flight connectivity, expanding its route network, possibly acquiring a subsidiary airline, and a rumoured “unprecedented” super first class “living space” designed by B/E Aerospace, valued at $260 million that could contend with Etihad Airways’ First Apartment as the most luxurious suite in the skies.
Heading into APEX Asia, November 16–17 at the Singapore Expo Convention and Exhibition Centre, along with Future Travel Experience’s Asia Expo, November 17–19, here’s what you need to know:
Global Xpress is Here
See what all the Global Xpress (GX) buzz is about in Singapore where Inmarsat will showcase its entire range of connectivity solutions. Singapore Airlines is the launch customer of GX-powered connectivity, slated to arrive in the second half of 2016. To deliver seamless connectivity from the Ka-band satellite network, Singapore Airlines has selected APEX members: SITA OnAir (high-speed broadband services), Honeywell (JetWave antenna) and Zodiac Inflight Innovations (ARINC-791-compliant radome) to enable onboard web browsing, plus mobile phone, text and data services on its long-haul fleet. Learn more about Inmarsat’s future-proof connectivity solutions at APEX Asia:
The Sky is the Limit! Future-Proofing In-Flight Technology | Nov. 17, 3:30–4:00 p.m.
Chuck Albright, director, Airline Market Development, Aviation, Inmarsat
World’s Longest Nonstop Flight to Resume in 2018
In 2013, Singapore Airlines dropped its nonstop routes from Changi Airport to New York and Los Angeles due to fuel expenses, but announced last month they would be resumed by 2018. The flag carrier has cited Airbus’ ultra-long-range (ULR) A350 aircraft, which is lighter, more fuel efficient and has a flight capability of 19 hours, as the reason for restarting the abandoned route. Singapore Airlines has committed to converting seven of its 67 A350-900s on order to the ULR variety, for which it will be the launch customer. By reinstating its Singapore to Newark route, Singapore Airlines will reclaim the longest nonstop flight in the world: 18 hours and 55 minutes (15,345 km) from Emirates’ Dubai to Panama City flight: 17 hours and 35 minutes (13,800 km), which currently holds the title.
While Singapore Airlines has its sights set afar in the US, it also has plans to foster regional expansion. In a bid for the remaining 44.2 percent stake in Tigerair (of which SIA already owns 55.8 percent), it hopes to take the low-cost-carrier wholly under its wing. The acquisition of Tigerair would mean 16 destinations in the Philippines, Thailand, Malaysia, India, Hong Kong and China, added to its route network. “We believe that full integration with the SIA Group represents the best option to strengthen Tigerair’s future growth prospects by allowing for more commercial and network integration, and operational and backroom synergies,” said Goh Choon Phong, CEO of Singapore Airlines.
To Singapore and Beyond
Following joint ventures with All Nippon Airways and Air China, Lufthansa has inked a deal with another Asian carrier, Singapore Airlines, to expand its network in the APAC region. The revenue-sharing agreement will also involve both legacy carriers’ subsidiaries: Lufthansa’s Swiss International Airlines and Austrian Airlines, and SIA’s SilkAir for flights between Singapore and Europe plus 20 other codeshare routes.
Also growing its APAC network is American Airlines. With its new Boeing 787 Dreamliner and through a partnership with Japan Airlines, it will fly nonstop flights from Los Angeles to Tokyo and Osaka. Other Asian routes include Dallas to Beijing, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Seoul.
Vision for the Future of Asian Air Travel | Nov. 16, 1:30–2:15 p.m.
Joe Leader, CEO, Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX)
Joe Leader will also be moderating a panel on how regional and low-cost carriers are meeting the demands of the APAC market:
Airline Passenger Experience: Perspectives from Asia | Nov. 17, 2015, 9:00–10:00 a.m.
David Meyer – Category manager, Qantas Airways Limited
Dodo Su – Products and Services Management Division, China Southern Airlines