Airline Essentials - Singapore Airlines

What you need to know

Photo courtesy of Singapore Airlines

Founding Year: 1972

The airline can trace its origins back to 1947, when predecessor carrier Malayan Airways Limited was created to serve the region. After Singapore separated from the Federation of Malaysia in 1963, the airline was renamed  Malaysia-Singapore Airlines, adding Boeing 707s and 737s to its fleet.

The airline split into two -- Singapore Airlines and  Malaysian Airlines System -- in 1972 after a disagreement on international expansion. In the split, Singapore Airlines kept all the international routes and the Boeing jet fleet, and created the iconic Singapore Girl flight attendants.  

A year later it added Boeing 747s, used on flights to Hong Kong, Tokyo and Taipei, Taiwan. It also added Boeing 727s and Douglas DC-10s to the fleet. In 1977, the carrier shared a Concorde with British Airways, with the supersonic jet painted in BA colors on one side and Singapore Airlines on the other. It was used to fly between London and Singapore, but was discontinued after Malaysian officials complained about noise. It was divetred but ended in 1980 after Indian officials also complained about noise.

After buying five Airbus four-engined widebody A340-500s in 2003, the airline used them to start the two longest non-stop flights in aviation history: Singapore-Newark and Singapore-Los Angeles. It took also began flying the first double decker Airbus A380 in 2007 after several program delays. The A380 features suites, individual cabin with a sliding door and a standalone bed, separate from a seat. 

Singapore Airlines took delivery of the 10,000th Airbus -- an A350 -- in October 2016, which is being used on its San Franciso route. The airline has 67 more of the type on order, with plans to use the aircraft on routes including Amsterdam, Dusseldorf, Germany, Kuala Lumpur, Jakarta, Hong Kong and Johannesburg, South Africa.

Headquarters:  Singapore

The airline's home is Changi Airport, which was named the top airport in the 2016 World Airport Awards for the fourth year in a row. Changi Airport, which also won for Best Airport for Leisure Amenities, was lauded for its “unique, stand-out features that underline the dedication of this airport to ensure maximum levels of passenger satisfaction.” Amenities at the airport include: a swimming pool; gardens; a butterfly sanctuary; a movie theater; a gaming lounge; playgrounds; convenience stores; rest areas; a hotel; beauty/spa centers; pay lounges; business centers; family rest areas; an aviation gallery; and a health clinic.

Website  

Phone Number:   1 (800) 742-3333

Frequent Flyer Program / Global Alliance:  KrisFlyer / Star Alliance

Accidents & Incidents: On October 31, 2000, Flight 006, a Boeing 747-400, attempted to takeoff on the wrong runway at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport on departure to Los Angeles International Airport. The aircraft collided with construction equipment parked on a closed runway. The crash killed 83 of the 179 passengers aboard the 747, while another 71 were injured. On Mach 12, 2003, another 747 flight suffered a tailstrike as it took off from New Zealand’s Auckland International Airport.

Interesting Fact:  The airline was the first to offer free headsets, a choice of meals and free drinks in Economy Class, back in the 1970s. And its home airport offers travelers with at least a 5.5-hour layover the Free Singapore Tour.  The Heritage Tour takes visitors to areas including Chinatown, Little India, Kampong Glamand and Merlion Park. The City Sights Tour goes to Merlion Park, the Singapore Flyer, Marina Bay Sands and the Esplanade.