Oh the delicious drama of the airline industry. It puts the Bold and the Beautiful to shame with its endless alliances and divorces, avant-garde product design, cheap gauche relatives and a whole lot of money.
Today’s twist? Singapore Airlines has announced it has engaged the BMW Group subsidiary DesignworksUSA, and UK and Singapore-based James Park Associates (JPA), to develop the next generation of in-flight cabin products that will be rolled out from the second half of 2013.
Singapore Airlines has always been known for its superior innovative product, but has come under criticism for failing to maintain its edge in recent years, as other major Asian carriers Cathay Pacific and Korean Air have invested significantly in their on-board products. With this announcement Singapore is stepping up to match or outdo its competitors.
The press release is coy about the products and designs to be implemented or whether older aircraft will be refurbished, only confirming the new cabins will be rolled out on the airline’s to-be-delivered Boeing 777-300ER aircraft.
Will we see Singapore’s sceptical executives introduce premium economy? Will we see upgraded lounges or new ticketing and ancillary revenue initiatives? Will its new products allow it to maintain its industry leading cost per available seat kilometer (ASK) of 4.58 cents? Time will tell.
Competing carriers have been given an easy ride as Singapore has focused its attentions on averting an airline disaster with Tiger Airways, maintaining profitability, and launching Scoot. Now Singapore is rearming. Gird your loins players, in 2013 the game is back on.
The full SQ statement can be found here.