Singapore Airlines (SIA) is confident of the market potential of its newly launched Singapore-Sao Paulo flights.
SQ68 departed from the Lion City on Monday, March 28, 2011, kicking off the thrice-weekly service via Barcelona. Goh Choon Phong, SIA chief executive officer, told Business Traveller: “We’re the only airline flying direct from Southeast Asia to South America via Barcelona, and this is something we’ve worked very hard with our Star Alliance partner Spanair to achieve.”
The Spanish carrier’s JK code is also found on these ultra long-haul flights.
Goh reported that besides travellers from Singapore, those from Indonesia and China as well would be attracted to visit the destination. “There is even a good number of people in Shenzhen who like to travel. Our subsidiary Silkair can bring them to Singapore from where they can catch the Sao Paulo flight.”
There is also promising customer base between Barcelona and Sao Paulo, Brazil’s acknowledged commercial hub, according to SIA’s top executive. SIA is the first airline to fly to Sao Paulo from the Catalan city’s new Terminal 1 of El Prat Airport.
Goh observed that SIA's entry into South America, particularly Sao Paulo, was timely as it was Brazil's largest city which regularly hosted some 90,000 events a year, including the Formula 1 event later this year, and was the winner of the bids for the 2014 FIFA World Cup and 2016 Summer Olympics. "And trade ties between Asia and South America are building up," he said.
An earlier report on the new route (see news), carried by businesstraveller.asia, said the Singapore-Sao Paulo link would likely be the first of many more South American routes by the airline because of an Open Skies Agreement (OSA) signed between the city-state and Brazil last year. Qatar also flies to Sao Paulo as well as Argentina (see news), while Air Nippon Airways is codesharing with TAM between Tokyo and Sao Paulo via London.
The Boeing B777-300ER, utilised on the route, features SIA’s new-generation first class, business class and economy class seats and products, including the KrisWorld IFE which boasts more than 1,000 on-demand options.
For more details, visit www.singaporeair.com
Margie T Logarta