Premium Air Travel is Making a Comeback, says SIA

The premium market in air travel is making a comeback, said Nicholas Ionides, vice president for public affairs at Singapore Airlines.

Speaking to CNBC on Wednesday, Ionides said the carrier was pleased with the strong pick-up in corporate traffic and is upbeat on the long-term outlook for the premium market.

SIA Posts Better-Than-Expected Q3 Profit

"Last year we were asked almost every single day why don't we rip out business class seats and put more economy class seats in because business travelers are trading down to economy," said Ionides. "We have to take a long-term focus and we are seeing business traffic demand, in particular, pick up. So it's looking good."

Singapore Airlines reported a 19.7% rise in quarterly profit on Tuesday, rebounding from two straight quarters of losses. Ionides said reducing capacity helped prevent further losses for the carrier, but added that capacity will be restored this year.

"We had reduced capacity quite a lot. Over the course of this financial year we reduced capacity by about 11% to match demand, " he said. "The good news is that with demand returning quite strongly we're able to start adding that capacity back, so we're restoring services on some areas where we've cut ."

In addition to restoring capacity, the carrier is also expected to reinstate flight services that were cut during the economic crisis.

"Last month we started operating daily services again on non-stop flights between New York and Singapore. Those were reduced to five times weekly during the downturn."

New operating routes for Singapore Airlines are also seen in March and October with the carrier flying to Munich and Tokyo's Haneda Airport.

"There is growth that will start returning this year and that's a good thing."

Related Tags