Singapore Airlines (SIA) chief executive Goh Choon Phong says technology from new generation aircraft is allowing airlines to tap on network growth opportunities.
Speaking on a panel at the Singapore air show Aviation Leadership Summit, Goh says that aircraft such as the Airbus A350 has allowed SIA to launch routes that were previously not commercially viable. These include services to Dusseldorf and Stockholm, as well as the carrier's planned ultra long-range services to New York and Los Angeles.
For its low-cost unit Scoot, the Boeing 787 has allowed it to launch services from Singapore to Athens. It will also operate the aircraft on the Singapore-Berlin route later this year.
"This would not have been possible if we do not have fuel-efficient, new technology aircraft. This allows Scoot, to morph into not just a point-to-point LCC model, but also [offer] connectivity between its narrowbody regional network using A320s and the longer-haul 787s. These are the things we're experimenting, we're seeing some good results, and we'll continue to evolve," says Goh.
He also points out that airlines "have a responsibility" and should play a role in pushing manufacturers to develop aircraft that will meet commercial needs.
He cited the example of the Airbus A350 ULR and how SIA worked closely with Airbus to "push the boundaries" to get the technology as soon as possible. It also worked with Boeing to launch the 787-10.
The launch customer of the 787-10 intends to use the jet for regional operations, and to put the A350 ULRs on services to the United States.
"This will allow us to connect Singapore directly to those destinations, allowing much more comfort for our customers, and convenience for connectivity," adds Goh.