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Singapore Airlines Deepens Relations with Garuda Indonesia
The month of November has been seeing great success for airlines and airports worldwide, with Singapore seeing particular success with the ever-growing Vaccinated Travel Lane scheme, meant to connect the country with a set number of outside destinations.
National carrier Singapore Airlines and its low-cost subsidiary Scoot have been making significant returns to the skies as well, with resumptions and new launches springing to the news more often than before.
But if there is one thing that the Covid-19 has probably taught Singapore Airlines, it is that depending on commercial air travel alone will never be as sufficient as it was once thought to be, which is why the airline has been finding new opportunities as of late to grow wider than ever before.
The Power of Collaboration
On Nov. 26, Singapore Airlines and Garuda Indonesia signed a memorandum of understanding to deepen their long-standing relations, allowing for both carriers to explore a bigger variety of commercial partnership to provide their customers with additional options and a unique travel experience.
This is the second of such a signing by Singapore Airlines and another carrier since the pandemic took hold of the world in March 2020, with the first having been with United Airlines just earlier this month.
In a press release, Singapore Airlines Chief Executive Officer Goh Choon Phong said, “Singapore Airlines and Garuda Indonesia have a strong and long-standing relationship, reflecting the warm and robust bilateral ties between Singapore and Indonesia, as well as the close connections between the people of the two countries. This agreement allows us to leverage on the strengths of both partners to provide our customers with a greater array of choices, as well as an enhanced and more seamless travel journey. It would also enable us to work closely together to support initiatives that facilitate and grow tourism and economic activity as borders reopen.”
Inked by Phong and Garuda Indonesia President and Chief Executive Officer Irfan Setiaputra, the collaboration will include the potential alignment of frequent flyer programs, joint marketing activities and initiatives to promote inbound tourism into Indonesia, all of which will be subjected to regulatory approval.
Sensing the growth in the air freight market for the next few years, the collaboration also commits both airlines to find new expansion opportunities in that segment of the business, as well as improving coordination in maintenance, repair and overhaul activities.
“This cooperation is a great opportunity to our business momentum, as Garuda Indonesia has become the first Indonesian airline that leverages vaccination-based travel programs to and from Indonesia by collaborating with Singapore Airlines. All these improvements to a comfortable and safe travel experience have been implemented in addition to the strict health protocols already in place,” Setiapura said in a press release.
Both airlines had reactivated their air connectivity partnership arrangement between Singapore and Bali, Jakarta and Surabaya, Indonesia on Oct. 1, with Garuda Indonesia commencing flight network connectivity on Singapore Airlines’ service to London on the same day. It will continue to codeshare on Singapore Airlines’ flights to Mumbai from January 1, subject to regulatory approval.
Coincidentally enough, the signing of the new memorandum of understanding complements the upcoming launch of a Vaccinated Travel Lane between Indonesia and Singapore that commences Nov. 29.
Even as some parts of the world, such as the European Union, are back to restricting their borders amidst the rise in cases and concerns over the new variant known as Omicron, the Vaccinated Travel Lane scheme has been seeing relatively good success.
With the success comes new route additions. Singapore Airlines has recently added more flights from Australia, with popular cities such as Adelaide, Brisbane and Perth, Australia seeing new service. The new additions will eventually bring the list of Australian cities served by the airline to five.
Flights to Adelaide and Brisbane will be set to commence on Jan. 15, operating as flights SQ276 and SQ278 from Adelaide, and as SQ236, SQ246 and SQ256 from Brisbane. Routes to both cities will be operated using the Airbus A350-900 XWB.
Perth services, however, will only commence at a later date of March 1, operating as SQ214, SQ216 and SQ224, using the Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner instead.
Currently, the total number of countries eligible for quarantine-free travel has grown to a hefty 27, which used to account for approximately 60% of arrivals to Changi Airport before the pandemic.
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