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SIA needs to differentiate itself

Singapore Airlines seems to have failed to ride the big wave of increased air travel in a booming Asia (“SIA has lost market share and needs new strategy”, The Straits Times, May 26, and “How to restore the Singapore Girl’s lustre”, May 25).

Air travel has been made affordable, especially with the proliferation of low-cost carriers, and SIA's premium appeal has worn thin.

Besides, travellers who want a premium travel experience are spoilt for choice.

The Middle Eastern carriers offer new aircraft with fine cabin finishes, seamless in-flight entertainment, exceptional dining options, and a multinational crew.

SIA needs to differentiate itself, not just from other airlines but also from its subsidiaries.

As an avid and frequent traveller, I have some ideas for it.

Many passengers want the shortest and most direct connections to their destination.

SIA could take advantage of this, perhaps by offering shorter travel times.

Another pet peeve of passengers is the tendency for flights to arrive late at night or depart early in the morning.

The ability to break this pattern and offer flights at less unearthly hours would certainly be a business opportunity.

SIA must look beyond being just an airline, and engage passengers continuously.

It could develop an app to offer a seamless experience from booking, pre-flight pick-up and check-in as well as post-flight arrangements, including information on hotels, transport, scenic spots and leisure activities.

Through Big Data, travellers' preferences can be better understood, which helps build client loyalty.

Of course, nothing replaces the human touch. Despite the pressure to automate and cut costs, face-to-face contact is paramount.

Taking pride in service is a differentiator that would make SIA a great way to fly once more.

LEE TECK CHUAN


Civic action can curb bike littering

Singaporeans' penchant for depending on the Government to intervene with more rules will not solve the problem of bike littering ("Bike 'littering' will only get worse unless Govt steps in", The Straits Times, May 26).

Despite our achievements, many have not developed the civil behaviour to become socially responsible people.

Instead of shaming them, let's show them how to behave by picking up a stray bike when we see one and returning it to an appropriate parking place.

Civic action is a greater motivator. Action speaks louder than words.

DR THOMAS LEE HOCK SENG

BIKE-SHARINGSingapore Airlines