As Singapore Airlines declares "Mayday!", United Airlines soars with the d.r.S.L. Jeff Smisek

Discussion in 'United Airlines | MileagePlus' started by HeathrowGuy, Aug 4, 2015.  |  Print Topic

  1. HeathrowGuy
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    HeathrowGuy Gold Member

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    The mythology of Singapore Airlines as a "perfect" airline has been well and truly shattered. SQ's management is issuing frantic "Mayday!" warnings to investors, as the mirage of excellence gives way to a reality of red ink driven by invigorated competition and catering to the redemption whims of cheapskate travel hackers.

    "SIA’s long-haul routes have been almost consistently loss-making since FY09 as its competitors have refined their strategy and successfully established themselves into SIA’s markets."

    http://sbr.com.sg/aviation/news/distressed-sia-tells-analysts-mayday-mayday-mayday

    While starry-eyed SQ fanboys ponder a sorrowful future, flyers who keep their trust in the dear respected Supreme Leader Jeff Smisek and United Airlines will continue to see improvements in their travels.
     
  2. genemk2

    genemk2 Gold Member

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    I don't see any reference to United soaring anywhere.
     
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  3. eponymous_coward
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    eponymous_coward Gold Member

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    "Long-haul flights are in structural decline, short and medium haul is where the money is. SIA’s future is to become a smaller airline than what it is today, can you foresee the management making such step?" Aziz asked.

    “We firmly believe that SIA’s management team is among the best there is. But they can’t expect to go against the tide and hope to make it. SIA has to downsize its long-haul operations and cut the loss-making sectors. It should focus on regional and medium haul routes which have proven to be more stable and robust. The reality is SIA is simply oversized at the moment,” he noted."

    Anyone want to bet that the USA-based fifth freedom routes are some of the routes that might not be doing so hot?
     
  4. HeathrowGuy
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    HeathrowGuy Gold Member

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    Oh, I certainly believe it.
     
  5. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    I foresee trouble for SIA even on "regional and medium haul routes", but especially on regional routes, because as SIA was busy trying to impress the world with their stellar long-haul product (including the world-famous "Singapore Girl"), cheaper regional carriers like AirAsia took root and became very popular among generally budget-conscious travelers in SE Asia and the region.

    Another question that comes to mind is, if SIA becomes "regional" wouldn't they be competing against their own subsidiaries like SilkAir, TigerAir, Virgin Atlantic?

    It is indeed almost ironic that SIA, long touted for their overall high-quality product, should be struggling when lower-quality US carriers are posting record profits!
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2015
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  6. gleff
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    gleff Co-founder

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    Completely unrelated to UA.

    SQ makes money on short and medium haul travel.

    SIN is poorly positioned as a long haul hub compared to HKG and the Middle East. Look at CX vs SQ from the US. In the cities that SQ serves they're able to do 1-stop to Singapore, and 2-stop everywhere else. Because they don't have non-stops to SIN. Cathay therefore can cut one connection out of pretty much every destination between the US and Southeast Asia. So can EK.

    Which means their route network isn't as convenient. Service alone, when faced with well-regarded service from more convenient carriers, can't sustain them.

    And they face price competition as well.

    But guess what? United's business is in shambles, controlling for the plunge in fuel prices. So while some may wish to take glee in 'SQ isn't pefect' that doesn't make anyone else's business better.
     
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  7. eponymous_coward
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    eponymous_coward Gold Member

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    SQ is getting the same advantage UA is from lower fuel prices (unless somehow Jet-A is considerably more expensive in SIN than EWR/SFO/etc.).

    This is not to say UA's doing fantastic at all, because yes, rising tides lift all boats, and UA's probably the laggard in the "big 4". But UA isn't looking at having to do severe route/service cutbacks the way SQ might, where they might be dropping a bunch of longhaul service in order to fix things up...

    I also think this is interesting because it puts the lie to "well, if US carriers were more like SQ with outstanding hard/soft product, everything would be peachy for them", when it turns out that SQ isn't immune to what is in effect LCC competition (locally/shorthaul from carriers like TR and JQ, longhaul from the ME3). Geography and network counts too.
     
  8. gleff
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    gleff Co-founder

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    But SQ's issues are unrelated and don't tell us anything about UA one way or another is my point.
     
  9. eponymous_coward
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    eponymous_coward Gold Member

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    Depends on what you think they're related to. I suspect if WN had never happened and the LCC model never took off, you still might have sumptuous F on longhaul on US carriers (there were times when UA had all the luxury trimmings you'd see on foreign carriers, up until the 1990's).

    But yes, seeing that industry trends can ensnare airlines with great hard/soft premium product (SQ) as well as airlines that don't (UA) isn't the same as asking "why is UA still merging years later"? No argument from me in thinking that UA has botched things that DL didn't.
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2015
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  10. Garp74

    Garp74 Gold Member

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    (It was only one R/T but I was totally unimpressed by SQ's long haul J experience. Old ratty seats on A380s and not a particularly excellent crew. I wouldn't choose to fly them again over the many other choices I have to get to Singapore from Dulles.)
     
  11. Dublin_rfk

    Dublin_rfk Gold Member

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    Personally I'm a big fan of SQ short haul and UA's coverage don't do well there. The long haul (EWR-SIN) was in one word WOW! It's the only way to do that route and that line has stopped. So I'm back to three stops on UA.
     
  12. ContinentalFan

    ContinentalFan Gold Member

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    Did that last paragraph come from a boiler-plate, United press release? ;)
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2015
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  13. Flyer1976
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    Flyer1976 Gold Member

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    Oh well!
     

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