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Strategic Management in Singapore Airlines

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Abstract

The goal of this research paper is to take a closer look at Singapore Airlines’ strategic management profile. To identify the brains whose policies have contributed to this airline’s continued success in today’s competitive climate. This research paper provides an overview of the airline business in general and Singapore Airlines in particular. It also provides a synopsis of the company’s history. However, the emphasis is on the company’s purpose and vision, as well as the profile of the Board of Directors, which oversees the company’s strategic management. The company’s current marketing approach is also being examined.

Introduction

Air travel is a necessity in today’s globalized society. It offers its customers a simple, quick, and pleasant method of transportation. However, since the world’s economic and social growth has resulted in almost every industrialized country establishing its own international airline, air travel has become a viable alternative with a plethora of options. On the basis of price, comfort, amenities, and travel route, every airline competes with other airlines to expand their client base.

The term “Singapore Airline” has a lot of value in this competitive market. Because of its outstanding and professional services, the airline has attracted a large proportion of international air passengers since its inception. The airline with its slogan “a great way to travel” works hard to provide its customers with the promised experience of excellence. The company describes itself as “Singapore Airlines has evolved into one of the most respected travel brands around the world. We have one of the world’s youngest fleet in the air, a network spanning five continents, and the Singapore Girl is our symbol of quality customer care and service. Customers, investors, partners, and staff — everyone expect excellence of us” (Singapore Airline, 2012).

Strategic Management in Singapore Airlines

History

On 28 January 1972, the Singapore government founded Singapore airline (SIA). It was incorporated as a limited liability public company, completely owned by the Singapore government (Singapore Investor Association, 2006). “The history of the company dates back to 1947 with the initiation of a scheduled service of Malayan Airways Ltd between Singapore and Kuala Lumpur” (Singapore Airlines, 2012). With the addition of international services and formation of “Federation of Malaysia in 1963,” the airline acquired the new name of “Malaysian Airways Ltd” (Singapore Airlines, 2012). Government of Malaysia and Singapore in 1966 acquired joint control of the airline and renamed it to “Malaysia- Singapore Airline Ltd” (Securities Investor Association, 2006). However, MSA in 1971 was restructured in to two entities: Malaysia Airline System Bhd and SIA (Singapore Airlines, 2012).

Mission

Singapore airlines describe its mission through its mission statement. The mission statement clearly identifies the main objectives of the company. The statement is as follows: “Singapore Airlines is a global company dedicated to providing air transportation services of the highest quality and to maximizing returns for the benefits of its shareholders and employees” (Singapore Airline, 2012)

Vision

The company considers itself a citizen of the world and aims to excel not only as an excellent company but also as an excellent and responsible citizen of the world. It aims to fulfill this mission, which it believes to be actually its responsibility by enhancing the lives of the people they come in contact with. This is the reason that the company has made numerous commitments to the art, education, communities and health and welfare of their countries’ citizens and of those countries it flies to. It also feels a strong sense of responsibility towards the environment, and so holds a strong commitment towards environment preservation for the future generation (Singapore Investor Association, 2006).

Board of Directors

Chairman

“Stephen Lee Ching Yen” holds the position of Singapore Airline chairperson since 1 January 2006. He earlier served on the board of directors of the company from 26 April 2004 (Singapore Airlines, 2012). He is also a holder various important positions like MD of Shanghais Commercial and Saving Bank Ltd, Singapore National Employers Federation etc.

Chief Executive Officer

“Goh Choon Phong” worked as a director of Singapore Airlines since 1 October 2010 and succeeded Chew Choong Seng as CEO on 1 January 2011 after Mr. Seng retirement (Singapore Airlines, 2012). “Goh Choon Phong” has been part of the company since early 1990 and has held various senior management positions like Executive Vice President for Marketing, President of Singapore Airline Cargo Pte Ltd. He is a graduate of Engineering and Computer Science (Asia Travel Tips, n.d).

Director

“William Fung Kwok Lun” is the director and he holds the position of independent and non-executive director for Singapore airline since 1 December 2009. He is also a member of the Board Audit Committee of the company. He is an MBA from Harvard Graduate School (Asia Travel Tips, n.d). Another director is “Euleen Goh Yiu Kiang,” and she is an independent non-executive director of the company since September 01, 2006 (Singapore Airline Annual Report, 2011).

“David Michael Gonski” works as an independent non-executive director of the company since 9 May 2006. He is a Bachelors of Commerce and Law. He is well aware of the Australian market operations, and his experience helps the company for expansion and operation in Australia. Besides, “James Koh Cher Siang” is a non-executive, independent director of the company since 1 August 2005. He holds an MPA from Harvard University (Singapore Airline Annual Report, 2011).

Moreover, “Christina Ong” was appointed as a non-executive independent director on 1 September 2007. She is a well-known hotelier and fashion retailer. Her experience in this regards is extremely beneficial for the service aspect of the company. She is also a member of Board Nominating Committee (Asia Travel Tips, n.d). “Helmut Gunter Wilhelm Panke” holds the position of nonexecutive independent director of the company since September 01, 2009. He is a PhD in Physics and he is trained as a nuclear engineer (Singapore Airline Annual Report, 2011). Lastly, “Lucien Wong Yuen Kuai” was appointed as a non-executive independent director of the company on September 01, 2007 (Singapore Airline Annual Report, 2011).

Marketing Strategy

Singapore Airlines’ primary marketing approach, like that of any other service provider, is to promote the degree of comfort and luxury offered to its clients.

Previously, the company used to market their airline through advertising their asset of young aircraft fleet, which highlighted and advertised their policy of maintaining modern and young aircraft with an average renewal period of 6.3 years. Their marketing strategy also focused on high-tech seats and other luxurious amenities (The Sydney Morning Herald, 2011). However, in the last year Singapore airline has shifted its marketing strategy to a previous one and re-launched “Singapore Girl” as its global advertising campaign in February 2011. This move was made to emphasize the concept of luxurious flying and customer satisfaction and care through the people that will be facilitating the customer i.e. the cabin crew. This strategic step was necessary because young and modern aircraft were not a unique feature associated with Singapore Airline only. Numerous other airlines have also acquired similar modern aircraft so Singapore Airline’s strategy to market through the hardware was left without its uniqueness (The Sydney Morning Herald, 2011). Particularly, “Singapore Girl is a brand icon of Singapore Airline and a representative of Asian values and hospitality” (Roll, n.d.).

Conclusion

Singapore Airline has achieved the position of one of the best airlines in the world through its continuous strive for excellence. The company under the leadership of its highly experienced board of directors continues to thrive without compromising any of its standards.

References
  • Asia Travel Tips. (2012). Singapore Airline News. Retrieved April 15, 2012:            http://www.asiatraveltips.com/cgi bin/search/search.pl?Terms=%22Singapore+Airlines%22
  • Roll, M. (n.d). Singapore Airline an Excellent Asian Brand, Retrieved April 15, 2012:            http://www.venturerepublic.com/resources/singapore_airlines _an_excellent_asian_brand.asp
  • Securities Investor Association. (2006). Singapore Airlines. Retrieved April 14, 2012:            http://www.sias.org.sg/index9.php?handler=ir&action=ir_content&ir_content_title_i =36
  • Singapore Airlines. (2012). About Us. Retrieved April 14, 2012:            http://www.singaporeair.com/en_UK/about-us/
  • Singapore Airlines. (2012). Annual Report 2010-2011. Singapore.  
  • Singapore Airlines. (2012). ‘Singapore Girl’ makes a comeback as airline banks on superior service. The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved April 14, 2012:  http://www.smh.com.au/travel/singapore-girl-makes-a-comeback-as-airline-banks-on  superior-service-20110801-1i7tf.html

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