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Singapore Airlines network widens with Tigerair acquisition

Mar 02. 2016
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Singapore Airlines passengers could find themselves connecting to destinations offered by Tigerair, as SIA finally brings the budget airline into its fold.
SIA, which has been trying to acquire and delist Tigerair for some time, met the threshold for complete acquisition of the low-cost carrier last Friday.
The group now owns, controls or has agreed to acquire over 95.6 per cent of Tigerair, group chief executive officer Goh Choon Phong said on Tuesday at the Airbus headquarters in Toulouse, France, where the airline was to take delivery of its first A350-900 jetliner yesterday.
With the acquisition of Tigerair, SIA adds it to a stable that already includes SilkAir and Scoot along with the parent carrier itself. 
“With all these four vehicles, we have basically covered the full spectrum of travel segments,” Goh said. “We will be able to provide the right vehicle for anyone on any sort of budget or destination.”
SIA announced its intention to take over and delist Tigerair last November.
Passengers will eventually be able to purchase one ticket with SIA and travel to destinations offered by all four of its airlines.
Goh said this arrangement would be rolled out on a “gradual basis”. It has already been started with SIA’s long-haul budget carrier Scoot, but Tigerair would expand this network much further. 
– The Straits Times
He pointed out that SilkAir and SIA travel to only 12 destinations in China but, with Scoot and Tigerair in the mix, they will reach 24.
In practice, a passenger from Nanjing in China – which is not served by SIA or SilkAir – would be able to travel on Scoot to Singapore and transfer on to the parent carrier to connect elsewhere in the world.
But Goh added that brand dilution and confusion was a concern, and the group was approaching this cautiously so as not to diminish the parent carrier’s premium image.
“We have to make sure our customers understand they are connecting on to a budget product and what to expect from that – that’s education that we would have to do.” 
Customers will still be able to buy individual tickets with the budget airlines.
Meanwhile, SIA will start flying its newest Airbus A350 jet to Amsterdam on May 9. In July, it will begin flying to Dusseldorf, Germany. SIA was to take delivery of its first A350-900 yesterday and receive 10 more by the end of the year.
In all, SIA has ordered 67 A350-900s, seven of which are an ultra-long-range variant. They will allow the airline to resume non-stop flights to US destinations such as New York and Los Angeles.
The carrier will take delivery of these seven jets in 2018. SIA has called the A350 a “game changer” and said the jet will allow it to boost its placid long-haul business.
The A350 is touted by its European maker to be 25 per cent more fuel-efficient than rival aircraft in the same category. It can carry more than 300 passengers in a three-class layout. – The Straits Times
 
Presidential 
platforms presented
Poverty alleviation, infrastructure and economic reforms were the common and resounding advocacies being pushed by representatives of four Philippine presidential candidates at the fifth “Arangkada Assessment Forum” on Tuesday.
Former finance secretary Gary Teves represented Vice President Jejomar Binay in Tuesday’s forum, Representative Romero Quimbo was there for former interior secretary Mar Roxas, Valenzuela Mayor Rex Gatchalian for Senator Grace Poe and Senator Alan Peter Cayetano for Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte.
However, businesspeople were not convinced as they heard motherhood statements on solving problems that have hounded the country for years.
Julian Payne, president of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines, said he was not satisfied with the answers that the representatives gave with regards to addressing issues pertaining to foreign-investment restrictions.
Ryan Evangelista, executive director at the Australia-New Zealand Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines, noted that the issues tackled by the spokesmen remained the same.
 He added that he would have wanted to hear action plans that would enable the Philippines to move towards more inclusive growth in the next decade.
Teves said poverty remained the most pressing problem in the country and that a Binay presidency would be able to address this concern by putting much-needed priority on jobs, income, food, infrastructure and governance.
In a comprehensive presentation, Teves laid down the platform of Binay, who reportedly sought to give priority to key sectors that could deliver inclusive growth, namely agriculture, manufacturing and exports, and micro, small and medium-sized enterprises. 
The platform also included lower personal and corporate income-tax rates, raising infrastructure spending to 7 per cent of gross domestic product, and amending the restrictive economic provisions in the constitution to enable the entry of more foreign direct investments.
Binay’s platform, which contained most of the foreign business community’s wish list, also sought to enable the country’s participation in regional and global preferential trade deals, further ease doing business in the country, resolve the worsening traffic situation, and invest in human-capital development, among others.
Speaking for Poe, Gatchalian also focused on poverty, noting the wide disparities and income inequalities.
Poe’s poverty alleviation programme, according to Gatchalian, has six components. These are enterprise development, boosting manufacturing and tourism, human development through quality healthcare and education, political empowerment and participatory development, establishment of a social protection floor, and expansion of the conditional cash transfer programme.
Quimbo, on behalf of Roxas, stressed the significance of continuing the much-celebrated reforms and daang matuwid (straight path) advocacy under the current administration of President Benigno Aquino.
“What can you expect with the continuation of the daang matuwid? The ease of doing business. With ease of doing business, you get to be more competitive, and competition means more opportunities for our people, leading to stable incomes. This means more revenues for the government to invest in human resources and leading to a virtuous cycle of inclusive growth,” Quimbo said.
Cayetano, for his part, zeroed in on what Duterte has largely been known for – instilling peace and order in Davao, stressing that this was one of the core issues hounding investors wanting to set up their offices in the Philippines. Other concerns, according to Cayetano, were corruption, consistent and reliable public policies, and infrastructure, among others. – Philippine Daily Inquirer
 

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