SIA drops Vancouver service

16 Feb 2009

Vancouver becomes the latest victim in Singapore Airlines’s (SIA) cost-cutting campaign.

The carrier has announced indefinite suspension of its three-times-weekly service between Singapore and Vancouver, via Seoul. The last flight will be on April 25, 2009.

SIA has been serving the sector for over 20 years, but  prevailing economic conditions and poor route performance forced the decision, officials said.

They added that arrangements are being made to notify those customers affected by the change, and to offer them alternative travel solutions. Those currently holding tickets issued prior to the notice – released Saturday, February 14 – for SIA flights after April 25 between Singapore and Vancouver, or Seoul and Vancouver, will be eligible for a refund without penalty or fee for unused travel.

This will now mean that Singapore passengers will have to get to Vancouver via SIA’s other services through US gateways such as LA, San Francisco, Houston and both Newark and JFK in New York, then head onwards using its Star Alliance partner airlines in North America. The airline still offers 42 trans-Pacific weekly flights. They could also fly on Cathay Pacific’s Hongkong-Vancouver service.

European clients could take advantage of SIA’s code share with Air Canada to Toronto and Montreal from European cities.

In recent months, SIA has had to respond to decline in demand and escalating operation expenses, reducing frequency on its regional and London sectors as well as suspending its all-Business Class flights to New York and Los Angeles.

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Margie T Logarta

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