We would like to share the interview with Singapore Airlines İstanbul Station Manager, Mr Chuan Kai Lim. It seems like Singapore Airlines will keep its place at forefront for coming years in aviation business as well. Mr Lim shared his ideas about aviation in Turkey and the position of Singapore Airlines with us.
We would like to thank Mr Lim for his kindness and warmness, we admired his energy.
-Can you introduce yourself and your position at Singapore Airlines?
I am Station manager in Singapore Airlines for about 3yrs now. I have been moving around from Singapore Changi airport to managing operations in Shanghai Pudong International Airport. It is my privilege to be working here in Istanbul with such a wonderful team supporting me.
-How is passenger profile in Turkey?
There is a fair share of business and leisure travels. Singapore Airlines passengers on the Singapore/Istanbul/Singapore flights are mainly international. Turkish passengers only account for 20% of the load.
-You have weekly 4 flights for winter schedule, how is your loads?
Load information is considered confidential and I am sorry I cannot provide absolute data. However, I can confirm that the loads are encouraging. As such,Singapore Airlines hopes to step up frequencies from next year to daily flights in Summer and five times weekly in winter using B777 equipment.
-What do you think about codesharing with other airlines? You have Turkish Airlines as code share partner , how this affected your flights?
Code sharing is a good way for participating carriers to expand their networks and increase their flight frequencies so that the customer has more choices.The code share agreement between Turkish Airlines and Singapore Airlines is a winning combination for both airlines.
-Krisflyer, your mileage program is Star Alliance partner. What are advantages/disadvantages of being a part of Star Alliance as an airline?
Our Krisflyer (KF) program allows members to earn KF miles when they fly on Singapore Airlines, SilkAir or any of our airline partners, which include airlines in the Star Alliance network. Members also enjoy special promotions and earn miles when stay , charge, call, book, drive or shop with our extensive network of over 170 global non-airline partners.
The PPS Club is exclusively for our most valuable members. It is a world of prestige and luxury, with a greater level of preferential treatment and special attention designed to make your travel experience more comfortable and convenient. The key added advantage to our PPS membership is
a. 25% tier bonus on KF miles
b. Guaranteed reservation in economy class
c. Increased check-in baggage allowance
Advantage: Krisflyer members can redeem their mileage across the network of all STAR Alliance members (1,316 destinations in 192 countries). Apart from more choices, customers will be able to use the lounges of the member airlines
Disadvantage: There are really no disadvantages for our customers.
-Airline business is growing towards west to east, like all economic activities,what do you think about coming 5 or 10 years future? What will be Singapore Airlines’ plans for near future?
While economic activity shifts between regions and growth varies, Singapore Airlines is committed to providing our customer with the highest level of services at the best value at all times. Singapore Airlines Group with its portfolio of airlines: (Singapore Airlines, Silkair, Scoot and TigerAir) will be able to offer services for different market segments. To improve network reach, Singapore Airlines is fostering more partnership with other airlines.
Singapore Airlines will continually innovate to ensure we stay at the forefront and of course maintain the level of in-flight services that other airlines talk about and adopt new technologies available to improve service and efficiency. This has helped Singapore Airlines to become one of the most awarded airlines in the world.
Singapore Airlines will take delivery of the new Airbus 350 aircraft in early 2016. A new cabin product, the Premium Economy will be progressively introduced from 2015. Our culinary panel of world-renowned chefs, working with our catering partners will ensure the most gastronomic delights are served. Technologically new sales tools will be introduced to ensure our people are equipped to delivering prompt and efficient service. There are also many other product offerings from Singapore Airlines, which we are very, excited to share in the near future.
Singapore Airlines currently operate passenger services to more than 60 cities in over 30 countries. Silkair, our regional arm, offers more than 30 destinations to Asia.
Aviation is a very volatile business, no one can predict what will happen in 5 or 10 years time. Only one thing is for sure, that more and more people will use aircraft for their global travel and Singapore Airlines will be committed to staying at the forefront of the airline industry.
-Lufthansa purchased Swiss and Austrian Airlines, British and Iberia cooperated under the name of IAG, Etihad is shareholder with Alitalia. Globally there is a merge between airlines. Does Singapore Airlines has any plans like this?
Singapore Airlines Group currently owns 100% of Singapore Airlines, Silkair, Scoot and Singapore Airlines Cargo. Singapore Airlines also has equity participation in TigerAir, Virgin Australia and Vistara. Singapore Airlines also work closely beyond code share like the cooperation between Singapore Airlines and Scandinavia Airlines and Singapore Airlines and Air New Zealand.
Singapore Airlines maintains an open mind to partnership if it meets the strategic goals of our Group. Apart from airline operations, the Singapore Airlines Group has more than 20 subsidiaries and associated companies including those involved in engineering services.
-Singapore Airlines is a brand for quality , it is not easy to get this name but it is more difficult to keep the service best. What do Singapore Airlines do to be always a distinction of quality?
Singapore Airlines focuses on three main pillars: Service, Network, Product. Having a positive mindset and the focus on striving for excellence, so that the passenger is happy and returns to Singapore Airlines. This continuous strive for excellence is the drive that makes us where we are today. Singapore Airlines is the most awarded airline in the world. To stay ahead, Singapore Airlines is always innovating to ensure our product and services are relevant and exceed the changing expectations of our customers
-As marketing figure Singapore Girl is a global icon, the couturier Pierre Balmain designed Sarong Kebaya, your uniforms, flight attendants are taking attraction where ever they go, they are mostly Asian , is there any carrier opportunity as flight attendant for a Turkish Girl?
It belongs to our DNA that all flight attendants have to be Asians, not necessarily all from Singapore, but also from neighboring countries. As such, there are no plans to recruit Turkish nationals as our flight attendants at this time.
-What is your favorite thing about Turkey?
The diverse culture and people.
-What is your “must see” about Singapore?
Local well known Kopitiam or hawker centre. It is the one place people from all walks of life, rich or poor, old or young will go and enjoy delicacies
-How did you find life in Turkey as a foreigner?
Interesting and enriching. I have learnt to not only adapt but also love and treasure this country and its people.
-Life in Turkey or Life in Singapore what is your choice?
Turkey is a very nice city to love in and the people are absolutely wonderful. That being said, my family and friends are still in Singapore and it is still home to me.
Edited by Zeynep Kali