Joined: 24 Dec 2006
|Posted: Wed Oct 10, 2007 10:14 am Post subject: A380 is a game changer in aviation industry: SIA
|By Asha Popatlal, Channel NewsAsia | Posted: 09 October 2007 1722 hrs
SINGAPORE: The new A380, which will be delivered on 15 October after a two-year delay, will change the aviation industry, said Singapore Airlines (SIA).
About 30 SIA pilots have been trained to fly the A380, and by the end of the year, that number will increase to 50.
The airline has been facing a seat crunch due to the Airbus delay as it was committed to sell off a few of its Boeing 747s, without having the seats replaced as planned.
With the new planes coming in, SIA hopes to spread its wings further and be on track for an expected 5 to 7 percent annual capacity growth, within a year or so.
Stephen Forshaw, Vice-President of Public Affairs at SIA, said: "It allows us to start looking at the opportunity to grow capacity on existing routes and to put more aircraft to new destinations, which is something we don't really have the luxury to do at this very moment."
SIA believes that as the launch customer of the A380, it can take the lead and start a trend. This is despite the fact that the jumbo plane has not had any big orders in the past two years, except for a recent one by British Airways.
Mr Forshaw said: "I think more airlines will start looking at the A380 once it starts flying. There are some airlines that are very quick to invest in paper planes – the designs and concepts.
"There are others that sit back and wait and see what it's like when it starts flying. We are happy to take whatever lead other airlines are prepared to give us. This is a game changer and the game is about to change."
The first A380 commercial flight will take off from Singapore's Changi Airport to Sydney on 25 October.