Singapore Airlines on Monday said travel demand is rebounding and the momentum in bookings is picking up as the carrier unveiled upgraded lounges at the Changi airport here under the airline’s SGD 50 million project to further boost its products and services offerings.
Reflecting a rebound in travel demand, Singapore Airlines (SIA) Group’s load factor jumped 18 per cent in April and is expected to further increase in the coming months. The group comprises Singapore Airlines and low cost carrier Scoot. “We actually see momentum of bookings picking up for the coming months… We also have seen very healthy pick up in the corporate side of the business ever since Singapore opened fully from April.
“We removed the VTL (Vaccinated Travel Lane) limitations and all of the (COVID) testing (requirements)…,” Lee Lik Hsin, Executive Vice President Commercial at Singapore Airlines, told reporters here on Monday. With the upgradation, SilverKris and KrisFlyer Gold lounges at the Changi airport can accommodate around 1,150 customers within their 6,100 square metres. The SilverKris Lounge has three sections — the Private Room, the First Class and Business Class sections.
The SIA Group operates over 1,000 flights per week from Changi airport. The refurbishment and expansion of Singapore Airlines’ lounges was planned before the pandemic under the SGD 50 million project which started at around August 2019, to further strengthen the airline’s products and service offerings. Singapore Airlines has a total of 12 SilverKris lounges across the world and out of them, currently 7 are operational, including the one at Changi airport.
Marvin Tan, Senior Vice President Customer Services & Operations at Singapore Airlines, said the opening of the upgraded lounges comes at an “opportune time” when travel demand is rebounding after reopening of borders in Singapore and around the world. Regarding the upgraded lounges, he said, “we have a 30 per cent increase in both space and seats compared to what we had pre-pandemic”.
Over the last couple of months, travel demand has rebounded very strongly, he said, adding, “to have these lounges (at Changi Airport) opened now as travel picks up, particularly ahead of summer, I think it is a very opportune thing for us”. In a release, Goh Choon Phong, Singapore Airlines Chief Executive Officer, said that extensive customer engagement and research have gone into the design of the new lounges.
“Opening these lounges at this time signals our commitment to SIA’s premium brand and growth strategy. It reinforces our position as Changi Airport’s anchor airline, and reflects our confidence in Singapore’s future as a pre-eminent global air hub,” he said. Earlier this month, while announcing its financial results for the year ended March 2022, SIA Group said the VTL (Vaccinated Travel Lane) was a “game changer”. VTL, which has now been done away with, had facilitated quarantine-free mass travel.
“By deploying capacity and increasing services in an agile manner, SIA and Scoot were among the first to launch flights for all VTL points. This allowed the carriers to capture the pent-up demand for air travel as it returned,” it had said. At the end of March this year, Singapore Airlines had 123 passenger planes and 7 freighters, while Scoot had 53 passenger aircraft.