Connecting Filipinos to the world

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Singapore Airlines General Manager Carol Ong

Singapore Airlines General Manager Carol Ong

50 years of Singapore Airlines in the Philippines

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In 2015, Singapore marked its 50th foundation with grand and exciting celebrations all throughout the year, with events mounted even in these local shores.

This 2016, it is Singapore Airline’s turn to hit a golden milestone as the Lion City’s flag carrier marks its 50th anniversary in the Philippines.

What these back-to-back golden jubilees signify is how the Philippines is valued by its Southeast Asian neighbor, and as such, SIA is set to host an exciting travel fair especially for Filipino travelers this month.

“Our goal is to bring more Filipinos to Singapore, as well as provide them with linkages to the world,” said airline general manager Carol Ong at SIA’s anniversary kick off at Raffles Hotel in Makati City.

“When we started operations in 1966 [over here], we started with only three flights a week out of Manila to Singapore. Today, we have four daily flights out of Manila, and we are always reviewing opportunities of increasing out flights,” Ong enthused to The Manila Times in an interview after the event.

New destinations
According to Ong, SIA has been working to connect Filipinos to more parts of the world, with upcoming new destinations in its golden year, namely Düsseldorf in Germany, Canberra in Australia, and Wellington in New Zealand.

Singapore Airlines (SIA), the flag carrier of the young yet highly developed Asian nation, is celebrating its 50th anniversary in the Philippines

Singapore Airlines (SIA), the flag carrier of the young yet highly developed Asian nation, is celebrating its 50th anniversary in the Philippines

Targeted for a July 21 inaugural is Düsseldorf, which will have thrice weekly flights from Singapore on SIA’s newly acquired Airbus A350-900.

Meanwhile, both the Canberra and Wellington flights will commence on September 20 through the new “Capital Express” route will link the two cities from international flights for the very first time. The week Singapore-Canberra-Wellington route will fly four times a week, making SIA the first airline to connect the capitals of Australia and New Zealand.

Asked how these new routes will appeal to Filipinos, Ong replied, “The Philippines has gotten a lot more developed, more cosmopolitan; and therefore Filipinos are becoming more of travelers. It is so common to find a Filipino now traveling every week to do business somewhere, besides going on personal vacations. Overall, travel has become a huge part of the Filipino way of life, and we at SIA are very happy to give important linkages between the Philippines and the rest of the world.”

Active network
Already, SIA has been running an active network through its services in the Philippines, which not only flies passengers to major cities but also to secondary cities, locally and internationally.

Come July 21, the German city of Düsseldorf will be the newest destinations in SIA’s network

Come July 21, the German city of Düsseldorf will be the newest destinations in SIA’s network

“Here, we do not only operate in Manila but through Silk Air, which is our direct subsidiary. As such, we also fly to Cebu, Davao and Kalibo,” Ong cited. “We are also well connected with Southeast Asia.”

Besides flying Filipinos to different parts of the country and the region, the general manager also proudly related that their airline continues to bring international tourists to the Philippines, which has also quickly become an attractive destination for leisure and investment in the last decade.

Grand fair
With such positive developments in the Philippine tourism sector, SIA believes it is very timely to mount anew their Showcase and Travel Fair from February 19 to 21 at the Glorietta Activity Center in Makati City.

Now on its third year, this three-day event puts the spotlight on the airline’s key developments and offerings for the Filipino market.

For the first time ever, the airline is bringing in its all new Premium Economy Class seats for the Filipino traveler to experience.

The fair also enjoins visitors to take on a heritage walkthrough of SIA’s 50 years in the country through a special exhibit.

After Manila, SIA’s 50th anniversary fair will then travel to Ayala Center in Cebu, with the Visayas considered by the airline as another vibrant market.

Beyond the travel fair, SIA will further offer promotional fares for the whole month of February to SIA KrisFlyer members, BPI credit cardholders, and Globe Platinum customers.

The promotional sale is valid for purchase until February 29, and for travel until December 31 to Singapore via SIA, and to Cebu, Davao and Kalibo via SilkAir.

Euden Valdez

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