Airline Spotlight: Singapore Airlines

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Photo credit: BriYYZ
Photo credit: BriYYZ

Singapore Airlines Limited (SIA) is the flag, or national, carrier of the country of Singapore. The hub of Singapore Airlines operates out of Changi Airport Singapore on Airport Boulevard in the city-state of Singapore.

SIA is the world’s most awarded airline. And in December of 2010, the International Air Transport Association announced that Singapore Airlines was the second largest airline in the world, with a value of 14 billion U.S. dollars. Singapore Airlines Limited is among the top 10 airlines in the world in terms of passengers carried on international flights and is one of the top 15 carriers in the world in terms of revenue passenger kilometres.

Singapore Airlines was founded as Malayan Airways Limited in 1947, but the company changed its name to Malaysian Airways in 1963 when Singapore, Malaya, Sarawak and Sabah formed the Federation of Malaysia. The name was changed again, to Malaysia-Singapore Airlines, in 1966, and remained under that name for the following six years. In 1972, Singapore wanted to develop more international flights, and Malaysia wanted to focus on domestic routes. This difference in opinion resulted in two separate entities, the Malaysian Airlines System and Singapore Airlines. Singapore Airlines retained the former company’s Boeing 707s and 737s and all of the international routes. The company expanded exponentially from there, advancing to Boeing 727-200s and beyond.

Photo credit: Kliefi
Photo credit: Kliefi

The 1980s brought Singapore Airlines to the U.S., Canada and a number of European cities. Boeing 747-300s replaced the former use of 727-200s, and Airbus 310s and 300s followed shortly after. Airbus 340-300s were later used for long haul flights to San Francisco, Copenhagen, Zurich and Spain. In 2003, Singapore Airlines acquired five Airbus A340-500s, which led them to begin the two longest non-stop routes in the history of aviation. The flights flew directly from Singapore to Newark and Singapore to Los Angeles.

Singapore Airlines acquired its very first double decker Airbus A380-800 in 2007. On Oct. 25, 2007, SIA’s first commercial A380 flight traveled from Singapore to Sydney with 455 passengers on board. The flight received immediate media attention as it touched down at Sydney Airport at 3:24 p.m. Singapore Airlines welcomed its one-millionth A380 passenger on board just 16 months after the aircraft’s maiden flight to Sydney in 2007.

The massive A380 aircrafts still operate on flights to London, Hong Kong, Zurich, Paris, Sydney, Melbourne, Tokyo, New York and Los Angeles. Singapore Airlines currently operates 19 A380 aircrafts and follows Emirates as the second largest operator of A380s.

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About the Author: Courtney McCaffrey

Courtney McCaffrey is a freelance writer and editor based in Wilmington, N.C. In addition to writing, she lives for travel - seeing new places, learning new cultures and surfing new waves.

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