Leo’s travel journal

Leo’s travel journal and other juicy bits…

Posts Tagged ‘Air Asia

And it’s a wrap!

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Image courtesy of Singapore Airlines

So here’s the wrap of 2009 (travel wise).

A little premature seeing that there is a little over 2 weeks of 2009 to go, but I don’t have any foreseeable flights in these weeks – so here goes.

Actual distance flown

2008: 57,948 miles (93,249km, 2.33 times around the earth along the equator)

2009: 84,976 miles (136,755km, 3.41 times around the earth along the equator)

Variance: +46.64%

Time spent on-board flights

2008: 127hrs, 19 mins

2009: 201hrs, 50mins

Variance: +59%

Number of flights

2008: 47

2009: 64

Variance: +36.17%

Countries visited

2008: 12

2009: 16

Variance: +33.33%

Airlines flown

2008: 6

LOT Polish Airlines (LO), Lufthansa (LH), Malaysia Airlines (MH), SAS Scandinavian Airlines (SK), SilkAir (MI), Singapore Airlines (SQ)

2009: 13

Air Asia (AK), Berjaya Air (J8), British Midlands (BD)Croatia Airlines (OU), Firefly (FY), Indonesia Air Asia (QZ), Lufthansa (LH), Malaysia Airlines (MH), SAS Scandinavian Airlines (SK), Silk Air (MI), Singapore Airlines (SQ), Swiss International Airlines (LX), Thai Airways (TG), Turkish Airlines (TK)

Variance: +116.67%

Longest Flight (distance)

2008: 6,394 miles, 11hrs 56mins, Singapore (SIN) – Frankfurt (FRA)

2009: 6,539 miles, 13hrs 45mins, Singapore (SIN) – Amsterdam (AMS)

Variance: +2.27%

Longest Flight (duration)

2008: 11hrs 56mins, 6,394 miles, Singapore (SIN) – Frankfurt (FRA)

2009: 13hrs 45mins, 6,539 miles, Singapore (SIN) – Amsterdam (AMS)

Variance: +13.83%

Shortest Flight (distance)

2008: 139 miles, 45mins, Kota Kinabalu (BKI) – Sandakan (SDK)

2009: 142 miles, 45mins, Copenhagen (CPH) – Gothenburg (GOT)

Variance: +2.16%

Shortest Flight (duration)

2008: 45mins, 139 miles, Kota Kinabalu (BKI) – Sandakan (SDK)

2009: 45mins, 142 miles, Copenhagen (CPH) – Gothenburg (GOT)

Variance: 0%

Fastest Flight

2008: 536 mph, 6,394 miles, 11hrs 56mins, Singapore (SIN) – Frankfurt (FRA)

2009: 551 mph, 5,597 miles, 10hrs 10mins, Frankfurt (FRA) – Bangkok (BKK)

Variance: +2.80%

Slowest Flight

2008: 185 mph, 139 miles, 45mins, Kota Kinabalu (BKI) – Sandakan (SDK)

2009: 162 mph, 162 miles, 1hr, Munich (MUC) – Zurich (ZRH)

Variance: -12.43%

Average Flight (distance & duration)

2008: 1,233 miles, 2hrs 43mins

2009: 1,328 miles, 3hrs 9mins

Airlines frequent flier membership

2008: MH Enrich Blue, KL Flying Blue, SQ Krisflyer Elite Silver (Star Alliance Gold)

2009: MH Enrich Blue, KL Flying Blue, OZ Asiana Diamond (Star Alliance Gold), SQ Krisflyer Elite Gold (Star Alliance Gold)

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Is Singapore really better than us?

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In response to Tony Fernandes’ blog post on the matter, here’s my two cents’ worth…

Well you have to define “us” when you compare – to compare SQ to AK is like comparing luscious seville oranges to Sunkist navel oranges.  I assume that you are talking about MH in my explanation below.

I would say the quintessential reason why SQ has excelled and been profitable boils down to one fact, and only one indisputable fact.  SQ has always been run, managed and marketed as a commercial entity – there is no government involvement in its activities (no government orders to fly a certain unprofitable route due to “diplomatic” reasons).

SQ is also part of the Star Alliance – an extremely beneficial relationship, of which its many products are beneficial to both, the frequent business and leisure traveller alike.  Products like the Star Alliance Europass is an excellent product for people like me who requires seamless travelling over Europe (and the Asia / Japan / Africa pass likewise).  Within Europe, there are several hubs to fly i.e. Frankfurt, Munich, Warsaw, Copenhagen, Stockholm – all of them major hubs in their own right.

Recent “move under one roof” efforts by Star Alliance airlines in main airports like Heathrow, Seoul and others make transit so much easier – plus the streamlining of flight schedules actually cut down on waiting time.  I never have to wait over 2 hours for my next transit flight whenever I fly Star Alliance.  A good example – try flying MH to Frankfurt and taking a connecting LH flight to Berlin.  You’d have to run through the magical 800-metre tunnel between the two terminals as MH lands in the terminal designated for “lain-lain” carriers.  This is not the case with SQ.

Certainly, the ability to accrue “tier level” frequent flier miles across all Star Alliance partner is a real plus when it comes to loyalty.  I do not hesitate to fly via Singapore on my trips although it adds 2 – 3 additional hours to my total flight time.  What good is a gold level Enrich frequent flier when it can only get you benefits on MH flights? My gold Krisflyer gets me benefits when I fly in any Star Alliance airlines – that’s more than 18,100 daily flights to 975 destinations in 162 countries daily.

Furthermore, the number of points taken to redeem award flights, and other frequent flier goodies are also comparatively better on SQ and a wider scope is offered through its Star Alliance partners.

SQ is also light years ahead in terms of brand development – something that MH is trying to catch up with their recent MH (Malaysian Hospitality) campaign.  I know what to expect when I fly SQ – consistency and recognition is the key to repeat clients.

Service is consistent throughout all flights – regardless of class, route, duration or sector flown.  The same can be said with MI (Silk Air) as well.

Changi, being a major hub in South-East Asia attracts numerous Star Alliance flights – one can travel from Singapore to Frankfurt via LH, SK, TK, and many other partners.

Competitive pricing (in relation to MH), extensive network (with Star Alliance), great frequent flier programme, ease of use, consistent service and user-centric little details make the overall experience of flying with SQ second to none.

In short, continuous product innovation (like the A380, “beyond first class” suites, business class seats that rival first class in MH) and brand development is essential to a services-based industry like the airlines – afterall, doesn’t it boil down to the experience?  Take a holistic approach like what SQ has done from the point of booking till you touchdown at the destination and beyond.

I may sound like a proponent of SQ – but believe me, MH has little to offer to travellers like me besides the famed “Malaysian Hospitality” service on international routes, a point to point carrier.  Service on domestic and regional routes are a totally different story altogether.

Written by Leo

15 September 2008 at 17:32