SIA is one of the largest airline
s in Asia
, and owes its startling success to Singapore
's equally startling economic growth in the 1970's and 1980's. The airline began life in 1948
as Malayan Airways
. Malayan became a joint venture of Malaysia
and Singapore upon their independence in 1963, and split in half in 1972
, creating Singapore Airlines and Malaysia Airlines
In the Asian bubble, SIA expanded quickly. From 10 aircraft, their fleet expanded to nearly 100, including the world's largest collection of Boeing 747's. Growing traffic from Japan, and later other countries in Southeast Asia, helped to fuel their growth: today, they reach 75 cities in 42 countries. In 2000, SIA joined the Star Alliance.
In addition to their size, Singapore Airlines is known for their unparalleled level of service. On their 747's, the first class seats recline into almost perfectly flat beds, and in Raffles Class downstairs, the seat pitch is a whopping 47 inches. Every passenger on SIA gets access to individual entertainment terminals with Nintendo games, 22 video channels, and 10 audio channels, and even in coach, passengers are treated to footrests and bendy headrests. Food is top-notch, and every brand of booze imaginable is stocked in the galley. No wonder, then, that Singapore has received Conde Nast's Best Airline Award for the last seven years in a row.
Their fleet consists of:
LITTLE KNOWN FACT: SIA is one of only four airlines to operate the Concorde
. From 1977
, they shared an SST
with British Airways
on flights between Heathrow
. G-BOAD had BA's colors on the right side and SIA's colors on the left side.
Anyhoo, more A340's are on order, as well as ten Airbus A380 superjumbos that will help SIA meet increased demand as China's economy continues to grow and internationalize.
Singapore Airlines purchased 49% of Virgin Atlantic in 1999, and has codeshare arrangements with several of its Star Alliance partners.