Singapore Air dates back to1947 when the company was known as Malayan Airways Limited, operating flights to cities in and around Singapore. But in 1971 Malayan Airways split into Singapore Airlines and Malaysian Airline System, and the Singapore Airlines brand took off. Singapore Air now operates 101 planes that average six years and seven months and have 30 more planes on order. Like Emirates, Singapore Air operates the Airbus 380 (19 in operation) and the Boeing 777 (58 in operation). The Group operates 20 subsidiaries within the air travel industry, including SIA Cargo, SIA Engineering Company, SilkAir, Scoot, and Tradewinds Tours and Travel. Both SilkAir and Scoot are airlines that compliment the service of Singapore Air. Singapore Air predominantly serves Europe, Asia, and Australia, but it also flies to four cities in the United States and three in Africa.
Singapore Airline Group’s fiscal year, like Emirates’, ends on March 31. For fiscal year 2012, the company’s profits were down $756 million to $336 million or 69 percent reduction, whereas revenues grew by $333 million to $14.8 billion, up 2 percent from the previous year. Both Singapore Air and Emirates are luxury airlines using Suites (separate from first class), first class, business class, and economy class. First-class passengers can enjoy 23-inch TVs, dining with food served on tableware designed by Givenchy, wines, and champagne. Singapore Air markets that they are the only airline to offer a stand-alone bed, not a converted seat. To complement the stand-alone bed, a sleeper suit, bedroom slippers, and linens also designed by Givenchy are provided. Soft lighting options and premium skin care products and toiletries are also provided.
Customers in first, business, and economy classes also enjoy amenities that exceed most all competing airlines. Hot, moist, hand towels are provided after meals to customers, even those in economy class. Serving all passengers since 1972 is the distinguished “Singapore Girl” that according to the company “is an enduring symbol of our impeccable service standards.”
flydubai was started by the government of Dubai in 2008 and was supported by Emirates during the firm’s establishing phase, but flydubai is not part of the Emirates Group. With the backing of the Dubai government, flydubai ordered 50 Boeing 737-800s at a total price of $3.74 billion. The first planes were delivered in 2009, and flydubai was air bound for Beirut, the first market served. The company quickly grew as additional planes on order arrived. As of early 2013, the company served 52 markets, mostly in the Middle East but also a few select markets in Eastern Europe and India. In contrast to Emirates, flydubai is a discount airline provider much like a Spirit Airlines or AirTran in the USA or Ryanair or easyJet in Europe. flydubai operates 28 planes and 800 flights per week. The average age of aircraft is less than two years. The company does not currently provide financial information to the public.
Middle East Airlines
Middle East Airlines (MEA) began in 1945 in Beirut and served cities in Syria, Cyprus, Egypt, and later Saudi Arabia. The airline provides a local alternative for customers in the Middle East. In 1963, MEA merged with Air Liban and added destinations in the Middle East, West Africa, and Europe. In 2010, MEA accepted delivery of two new Airbus 320 aircrafts and resumed flights to Berlin and Brussels. In 2012, MEA joined SkyTeam and currently serves Europe, Persian Gulf, Middle East, and Africa. Notable destinations include four flights a day to Paris, London, Frankfurt, and Brussels; they also have flights to Rome, Milan, Athens, Geneva, Istanbul, and others in Europe and flights to several cities in Saudi Arabia, Amman, Iraq, Cairo, and Sharm el Sheikh. In total, MEA operates 19 aircraft with an average age of less than four years, has 10 planes on order, and serves 31 markets. The company offers Cedar Class (first class) and economy class. In 2011, MEA had revenues of $637 million with profits of $62 million.
British Airways is a member of the Oneworld Alliance and is the largest carrier based on fleet size in the United Kingdom. The airline currently operates more than 250 aircraft with 50 more on order and serves the entire world. The airline has alliances with several airlines including Comair of South Africa and Sun Air of Scandinavia. The company had revenues of $14.8 billion in 2011. British Airways offers economy class, premium-economy class, business clas, and first class.
Headquartered in Atlanta and a member of the Sky Team Alliance, Delta is a major U.S. airline. Delta has hubs in several U.S. cities as well as in Amsterdam, Tokyo, and Paris. Operating more than 5,000 flights a day and an additional 2,500 flights through Delta Connection, Delta is one of the largest airlines in the world, and one of only a select few to provide service to all six inhabited continents. The airline provides business elite, first class, economy comfort, and economy class. Delta reported revenues of $14 billion and net income of $854 million in 2011.
Airlines started forming strategic alliances in the 1990s to better compete with rival firms. Historically, if an airline did not serve a select market, a customer would either find an airline that did or be forced to purchase two separate tickets. Alliances largely resolve this problem because airlines can jointly benefit having a competitor (now also an alliance member) provide service for that leg of the flight. Other benefits of alliances are more efficient marketing and advertising exposure and frequent-flier programs, which attempt to hook passengers on to one particular airline for all their flying needs.
Three of the largest alliances in the world are SkyTeam, Star Alliance, and Oneworld. SkyTeam is based out of Amsterdam and was created in 2000 by founding members: Delta, Air France, Aeromexico, and Korean Air. The Sky Team Alliance consists of 19 carriers from five continents and carries more than 550 million passengers each year. Based out of New York City, Oneworld was formed in 1999 with founding members: American Airlines, British Airways, Canadian Airlines, Cathay Pacific, and Qantas. Today, 11 airlines operate within the Oneworld alliance and carry more than 335 million passengers annually. The Star Alliance was founded in 1997 by Air Canada, Lufthansa, Scandinavian Airlines, Thai Airways International, and United Airlines. Based in Frankfurt, Germany, the Star Alliance has 28 member airlines and serves 193 different countries with annual passenger numbers more than 670 million, making Star Alliance the largest alliance in terms of passengers served.