Thursday, May 03, 2007

Will SIA ever get to travel the trans-Australia route?

Although demand for seats are growing very quickly, Australia denied Singapore Airlines (SIA) permission to share Qantas’ advantageous trans-Pacific route as the Transport Minister Mark Vaile said the Sydney-Los Angeles course would remain exclusive ‘for some time’ to Qantas and local budget flyer Virgin Blue.

Singapore Airlines commented that the demand outgrowing supply by almost one percent was indicative of the increased competition on the US-Australia route.

SIA’s decade long campaign for access has been denied by the Australian government, as Qantas makes 20 percent of its profits from this route, making Qantas a ‘key national asset’. Vaile’s spokesman announced that ‘the government has reaffirmed that it has no plans to revisit the issue of rights for Singapore Airlines to operate beyond Australia to the United States for some time.” He further commented that the rising demand will be met by Virgin Blue’s new flights to the United States, as they have acquire seven Boeing 777-300R, and are optioning for six more. The service will start in late 2008. Will SIA’s persistence of the trans-Australia route ever pay off? Do you see Australia accommodating SIA’s request in the near future?