Would Welcome Jet Airways Employees to Actively Apply for Vacancies - David Lim, GM India, Singapore Airlines
Here's an excerpt from our conversation with David Lim, General Manager India – Singapore Airlines on the Jet Airways, expansion plans and Air Vistara.
David Lim, General Manager India, Singapore Airlines.
News18: It's been over two years since you took over India operations, how do you think the Indian aviation space has fared the last couple of years?
David Lim: Singapore Airlines completed 49 years of operations in India in 2019 and we have seen consistent growth through the years. Indian travellers are increasingly exploring air travel for their holidays and this is reflective in the passenger numbers from India on the domestic and international routes.
News18: Experts believe that the Jet Airways crisis has created a void, do you think Singapore airlines stands to benefit and in what way?
David Lim: Singapore Airlines had undertaken its own transformational journey in 2017. We have been working on a range of business initiatives and operational enhancements to ensure that it remains competitive and is primed to tackle the challenges of a changing operating environment. SIA’s transformation efforts have been driven by the need to review its business strategies and operational efficacy to improve and enhance the overall customer experience.
However, it is also worthwhile to understand that at the core of this transformation initiative, it is also exploring new ways to empower staff with upskilling and giving them the tools to develop the workplace of the future for the SIA Group. Through these recent initiatives, we have managed to post our highest operating revenue and load factors in the last financial year. The Jet Airways crisis did result in some displacement of passenger traffic to all other airlines.
News18: Will you look at absorbing Jet employees into your ecosystem as some other domestic airlines are doing?
David Lim: We would welcome Jet Airways employees to actively apply for suitable vacancies. Our recruitment process involves hiring the best talent from the market to closely match the job requirement.
News18: Singapore Airlines has been increasingly focusing on offering a luxurious experience to Indian travellers, what's new in store for the Indian market?
David Lim: We have introduced the latest generation aircrafts in Delhi, Kolkata and Bengaluru. Mumbai will receive the retrofitted Airbus A380 aircraft on 1 September featuring our latest cabin products.
News18: In the new A380, there'll be 6 Suites and 78 Business class seats, do you see the high-end passenger as your primary focus group?
David Lim: In the new A380, we have increased the number of seats by 18 in Business Class, 8 in Premium Economy Class and 10 in Economy Class. We believe that demand can be scaled up for each of these cabin classes.
News18: India is known to be a price-sensitive market, do you have any plans to introduce budget pricing to tap that?
David Lim: SIA group operates services on Scoot, its low-cost carrier to India which caters to the price-sensitive segment. On Singapore Airlines, we also offer various price brackets and special fares for customers looking for value deals.
News18: Are there any plans of expansion or newer routes to be added to directly connect smaller cities?
David Lim: We believe our current operations sufficiently cater the Indian market. The SIA group which includes Singapore Airlines, SilkAir and Scoot caters to 13 Indian cities. Our codeshare with Vistara as well as the Star Alliance network, extends our network to other points in India.
News18: Tell us about your partnership with Vistara, how's it going?
David Lim: Vistara enjoys a loyal customer base and has anchored itself in the Indian aviation space as a trusted, full-service carrier. Singapore Airlines is delighted by their recent announcement of going international and believe it will help seamlessly connect Indian travellers to the world, as they expand their international operations.
News18: Singapore Airlines did express an interest in Air India last year, but that didn't materialise. The Govt of India will be once again opening up the Disinvestment procedure, will SA be interested
David Lim: We do not have a comment on this matter at this time.
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