Singapore Airlines, promoted by sovereign wealth fund Temasek Holdings, will step up the frequency of flights between Singapore and various Indian cities as well as offer more options to Indians travelling to the rest of the world. Photo: Reuters
Singapore Airlines, promoted by sovereign wealth fund Temasek Holdings, will step up the frequency of flights between Singapore and various Indian cities as well as offer more options to Indians travelling to the rest of the world. Photo: Reuters

Singapore Airlines set to step up India operations

Singapore Airlines is set to scale up India operations to tap the growing number of international air travellers from Asia's third-largest economy

New Delhi: Singapore Airlines is set to scale up India operations to tap the growing number of international air travellers from Asia’s third-largest economy, said a company official.

The airline, promoted by sovereign wealth fund Temasek Holdings (Pvt.) Ltd, will step up the frequency of flights between Singapore and various Indian cities as well as offer more options to Indians travelling to the rest of the world.

David Lim, general manager–India, Singapore Airlines, said in an interview that India is one of the most important destinations in its network which is undergoing expansion. “India is the fastest growing major economies in the world and in the years to come, it will overtake China in population. India also has a large young and expanding middle class. Indians constitute 10% of Singapore population," said Lim, explaining why the expansion makes sense.

According to a 2018-19 outlook for aviation industry by advisory and research firm CAPA India Pvt. Ltd, international routes between India and other markets are “capacity constrained" and several routes are at a capacity utilization of 85-90%. International air travel from India is set to grow at 10-12% in FY19, according to the outlook.

Lim said the company will increase the frequency of flights between Singapore and cities like Mumbai, Coimbatore and Trivandrum during May-June and in the case of Vizag, it will use a larger aircraft to boost capacity.

According to data available with the government, international air passenger traffic grew 9.8% in April-October 2017-18, while domestic passenger traffic grew at a faster pace of 16.6% from the year-ago period. Many airports are in the process of investing in stepping up infrastructure, including runways to address congestion.

Lim said the company will get the delivery of the first of the 49 Boeing 787 Dreamliner it had ordered, by the end of March. It has also ordered 67 Airbus 350 aircraft as part of its expansion. The total investment in these and other new aircraft have a lease value of $50 billion, he said.

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