*Editors Note: SIA will be launching “flights to nowhere” by end-October to mitigate the impace of Covid-19
The global pandemic has grounded planes and will potentially cost the global travel industry US$2.1 trillion (S$2.87 trillion).
Airlines around the world are reeling and things haven’t been going well for Singapore Airlines (SIA) as well.
Last month, SIA announced that it had burned through at least half of the S$8.8 billion it raised through share sales in less than two months.
Yesterday, SIA also announced that over 2,400 positions may be cut across all three of its airlines — SIA, Silkair and Scoot. That’s almost 9 per cent of its total headcount.
Fail-safe measures are unlikely to pull the industry back from the brink.
However, “Flights to nowhere”, like Royal Brunei’s in-flight dining experiences and Eva Air’s “Hello Kitty plane” have been remarkably popular, selling out seats and gaining waiting lists for their next round of flights.
Clearly, there’s a travel itch that’s waiting to be scratched. Flycations may become the next-best thing to flying overseas, and potentially a new source of the travel dollar.
There are rumors flying about how the “flycation” trend is going to hit Singapore soon.
A “Flycation SG” Survey Making Its Round Online
A “Flycation SG” survey has been circulating the internet, launched by a local aircraft charter firm called Singapore Air Charter (SAC), according to popular flying miles site, Mile Lion.
The SAC specialises in renting of entire flights for high-income, high-profile individuals and groups.
In the “Flycation SG” survey, the SAC is gauging market attitudes towards fly-eat-drink packages that will probably comprise of a luxury hotel stay and “flight to nowhere” from Changi Airport.
It looks like SAC will be chartering and “subletting” flycations to customers. According to the site, SAC has partnered with independent and national airlines, and chartered “no-name” planes in prior business ventures.
As the main airline still authorised to fly green lanes, could there be a possibility that SIA may be involved in SAC’s new “Flycation” project?
A Website Selling “Flycation” Tickets
“Flycation SG” already has a site of its own–though it’s still under construction.
Currently, there are only two products listed: a “Flycation Ticket To Singapore Launch Special” priced at S$288 and a Business Class package priced at S$688. Both tickets have been discounted at about 25 per cent.
For the Flycation Ticket, all seats been sold out. The tickets also come packaged with an optional staycation at “Shagri-La” hotel (which seems like a misspelling of Shangri La Hotel.)
The Business Class package is also out of stock, and unlike the Flycation Ticket, lacks an option to book a staycation.
There’s not a lot of information on the duration, payment options, and flight details of bookings on the site, which is rather concerning given that you may be handing over hundreds of dollars via the Internet.
In summary, the Flycation SG site looks very shady at the moment. But if the site is still under construction as it claims, the webpage may one day be the go-to place for booking flycations in Singapore.
Flycations Will Be Off The Table For SIA
Given that the Flycation site and survey are both far from completed, it’s unlikely that a reliable platform for “flycations” will pop up anytime soon.
Will SIA be on that platform? That’s unlikely, says Mile Lion. Flights to nowhere are a trend and SIA is an “ultra-conservative” airline that has a “notorious obsession with protecting the brand.”
Moreover, SIA and prestige of the Singaporean government are also deeply interconnected. Recently, Liew Mun Leong stepped down from his position as Chairman of the Changi Airport Group after his exploitation and bullying of a domestic worker shook the nation.
Given the scandal, it’s unlikely that SIA will be willing to risk more public outcry over “unnecessary spending” and the environmental impact of basically non-essential leisure flights.
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