By Charlotte Seet
Singapore Airlines Strengthens Partnership With United Airlines
For the aviation industry in Singapore, the effects of the Covid-19 were certainly slightly devastatingly felt, even for well-awarded flag carrier Singapore Airlines and its sister low-cost subsidiary Scoot.
The lack of a domestic market, alongside the prolonged grounding of the majority of its fleet, had the aviation industry in Singapore crippled, with the various terminals of Changi International Airport feeling a lot more emptier than usual.
Recovery for the Singapore Airlines Group and its base hub have seemed a far-out possibility even in recent months despite the initial reopening of several international borders, as the quarantine requirements and additional hassles have seemed to turn passengers away.
As a result, the news of Vaccinated Travel Lane flights was greatly welcomed, with the exclusion of quarantine being seen as the main factor for the Singapore Airlines Group receiving massive loads of bookings for these specific flights.
Starting from mid-November, Singapore Airlines hub airport will be seeing more passenger traffic as the Vaccination Travel Lane flights commence, but it could also be seeing a lot more passengers from the U.S. soon. This follows the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between Singapore Airlines and United Airlines, agreeing to work on further deepening the connectivity between Singapore and the U.S.
As part of its strategy to not just build, but also to maintain partnerships with major airlines worldwide, the agreement is aimed at helping boost connectivity to and through Singapore, aiding well in recovery.
Through the agreement, both airlines — who are both members of Star Alliance — will be able to codeshare on each other’s services from Singapore and the U.S. The codeshare agreement would allow for passengers to benefit from either airline’s frequent flyer or corporate travel program, once again benefitting both airlines and passengers alike.
“This milestone signals the start of a deeper partnership between both airlines, which could offer enhanced options and benefits for customers in line with the applicable laws and regulations,” said Singapore Airlines in a statement.
Short-term, it goes without saying that the agreement could then allow for Singapore Airlines to add in more options to the U.S for the Vaccinated Travel Lane scheme in the future. And for the long-term possibilities, the two airlines say the agreement could help in lowering prices, and might even aid in the future addition of more flights between the two countries.
Currently, Singapore Airlines only has non-stop daily flight services to three destinations in the U.S.: Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco. As for United Airlines, the agreement would allow it to resume its non-stop San Francisco-Singapore flight service, which was unfortunately paused due to low demand and border restrictions.
Updated in September 2021, Singapore Airlines has a total of 34 codeshare partners, allowing it access to more than 200 more destinations through these partnerships. The national carrier also has three partnerships that are still pending regulatory approval, namely with ANA, Vistara and Malaysia Airlines.
Notably out of the 34, the most significant partnerships ties in Air New Zealand and Lufthansa, as the codesharing goes above and beyond to include cohesion in areas such as coordination of schedules and even revenue sharing, which would make one wonder, how far could the new agreement with United Airlines go besides just enhancing connectivity and the possibility of lower airfare prices.
And should the collaboration be deemed a success, there is also a possibility that it might be extended to Scoot at a later time, which would be a significant change for the low-cost carrier as it currently does not serve any U.S destinations.