SINGAPORE AIRLINES – Enormous Technical Problems Flight Booking Cancellations

Written by Your VIPTRIP Team on December 14th, 2012

Independent News Agencies/INA: Latest reports show that Singapore Airlines  struggles with long haul flights – Latest Cancellations on Auckland-Singapore route. Difficult economic situation. Huge Losses.

New speculations about Air New Zealand taking over Auckland – Singapore route after being pushed out of Hongkong-London and Auckland -Beijing routes.

Globe-trotters are grumbling ahead of the layovers and longer flying times they will face when Singapore Airlines C6L.SG +0.18% gets rid of the last of the super-long-haul flights—its nonstops connecting Singapore to both New York and Los Angeles.

The direct flights between the wealthy financial hub and the U.S. will be terminated by the end of next year, the airline said Wednesday. CEO Goh Choon Phong said that the carrier “remains very committed to the U.S. market” and would continue its Los Angeles flights through Tokyo and New York flights through Frankfurt.


High fuel prices and fewer people paying premium fares persuaded Singapore Airlines to cut back on ultralong-haul flights. The WSJ’s Jeffery Ng explains why airlines may be better off aiming for the lower end of the market.

Though the nonstops were long—18.5 hours to Newark’s Liberty Airport and 16 hours to Los Angeles International Airport—for some, they were the only way to fly. With Thai Airways THAI.TH +3.24% ending direct service between Los Angeles and Bangkok earlier this year, Southeast Asia’s two main aviation hubs are now without nonstop service to North America.

Shala Surani Sluijser, a Singaporean retired private banker, said she opts for nonstop flights whenever the option is possible. “The last time we flew home with a two-hour layover in Frankfurt, I was tired and cranky,” Ms. Sluijser said. “The waiting time at Frankfurt was not welcome.”

Ms. Sluijser has traveled multiple times on the direct flight between Singapore and the New York area, but had

The airline said Wednesday that it would be cutting its nonstop flights to the U.S., removing the two services by the end of next year. The airline is upgrading its fleet, ordering more A380 superjumbo jets, but it is also retiring its five A340-500 jets, the only ones capable of such a flying range.

While Singapore Airlines declined to comment on demand and profitability for the two routes, it has explained that fuel prices remain high and volatile—posing a challenge for ultralong-haul operations.

The all-business route between Singapore and the New York area had attracted a steady following of fans. In addition to getting there faster and more refreshed, there were added luxuries—fully flat beds, gourmet meals and myriad entertainment options.

“For people who do business, it raises the hassle factor dramatically, especially when it comes to scheduling meetings. Everything gets pushed back,” said Abhay Pande, a managing director at Citigroup‘s C -0.64% investment banking arm. An American based in Singapore, Mr. Pande travels on the route three to four times a year, and just landed in Singapore from Newark on Wednesday.

“The flight seems pretty full, utilization is usually above 80%,” Mr. Pande said. “It is surprising that they can’t seem to make money from the flight, though the fuel efficiency factor probably makes it hard.”

Other recent expatriates to Singapore—particularly those with big families—are similarly disappointed. The nonstop service had helped some ease transitions and relocation pains.

For Lainie Dalby and her husband, who recently relocated for a job with Johnson & Johnson JNJ -0.30% in Singapore, traveling with five children between the ages of 4 and 13 was made significantly easier with nonstop service. She had flown the Singapore-Newark flight on three different trips this year.

“It will be a totally different experience the next time we return home not to have this flight available to us,” she said. “I haven’t looked at other options. I know it will mean a much longer travel schedule and a rougher time adjusting to the time difference.”

Responding to queries from The Wall Street Journal, the airline said Thursday that it hadn’t yet received negative reaction from customers, but retained “confidence in the market for premium travel,” according to a spokesman.

In stopover terms, the decision leaves Singapore a notch behind Tokyo and Hong Kong, both of which offer nonstop service to North America. But airport authorities in Singapore, backed by the government, heavily promote the city-state as the regional aviation hub of choice and Changi International Airport has racked up more than 370 “best” awards from travel trade groups and publications since opening in 1981.

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