SWOT analysis of Singapore Airlines
This is a detailed SWOT analysis of Singapore Airlines (SIA) that provides a comprehensive insight into the strengths and the weakness of Singapore Airlines. It also aims to investigate the opportunities the airline should explore and the threats it should keep an eye on.
Strengths of Singapore Airlines
Singapore Airlines is a world-renowned airline. It is the flag carrier airline of Singapore. Singapore Changi Airport is the hub of the airline. The airline is majority-owned by the government of Singapore; and therefore, enjoys a strong backing from the government. SIA is widely known for its premium and unmatched customer service and hospitality. In fact, many airlines around the world use SIA as the benchmark for their services.
One of the biggest strengths of SIA is its position in the European markets. In fact, SIA is the largest Asian airline in Europe. Such a position helps the airline gain competitive advantages over other Asian competitors. SIA also has a very strong position in Southeast Asia. It flies to over 30 countries throughout the Asia/Pacific region, Middle East, Africa, Europe and North America.
SIA has codeshare agreements with a number of airlines around the world. For example, Air Canada, Air India, Air China, Lufthansa, Turkish airlines, Air New Zealand, Air Mauritius, Alaska Airlines, Egypt air, Virgin Atlantic, and Swiss International Airlines are some of the airlines with which SIA has codeshare agreements (Singapore Airlines, 2021). These codeshare agreements have helped SIA strengthen its market presence and competitive ability.
SIA has earned numerous awards and accolades over the years. For instance, it received ‘Best Asian Airline’ award by TTG China Travel Awards, and ‘Best Airline in the World’, ‘Best Airline – Asia’, and ‘Best International First Class – World’ by TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice 2018 Awards (USA). It ranked 32 in the list of ‘Top 50 World’s Most Admired Companies’ by Fortune Magazine (USA). These are some of awards and accolades SIA received in 2018 alone. The number of awards the airline received in the last fifteen years is tremendous. In fact, SIA is the world’s most awarded airline.
Another key strength of SIA is its fleet. It has some of the most advanced, modern, and fuel-efficient fleets in the world. The fleet consists of over 130 passenger aircraft and 7 freighters. Its average young age provides the airline with a competitive advantage over its competitors.
Weaknesses of Singapore Airlines
Singapore Airlines has developed a premium brand image. In fact, it is one of the most expensive airlines in the world. While this positioning serves one segment of the market, it has certain disadvantages too. Many customers perceive SIA an expensive or luxury airline, and therefore, they do not even think of using it!
Over reliance on international traffic is a weakness of Singapore Airlines. Singapore is a small, and wealthy city state (BBC, 2018). Its current population is around 5.9 million (Worldometer, 2021). If the demand for the airline decreases significantly in the international markets for any macro-environmental changes, SIA may face an existential question.
SIA’s brand image was affected by some controversies in the past. For instance, it was accused of using its mobile app to record the activities of users and sending data to a third party without their consents. Likewise, it faced a number of incidents and accidents in the past as well.
Opportunities for Singapore Airlines
SIA currently flies to over 30 countries throughout the Asia/Pacific region, Middle East, Africa, Europe and North America. There are a lot of opportunities for the airline to explore and expand its list of destinations. It has a great opportunity to introduce new ultra long-haul flights from Singapore to more destinations in the USA. Likewise, the airline has opportunities to increase flight frequencies in its existing markets.
Threats to Singapore Airlines
Threat is the last element to discuss in the SWOT analysis of Singapore Airlines. There is no doubt that aviation industry is very competitive around the world. Singapore Airlines faces threats from both direct and indirect competitors. Emirates Airline, All Nippon Airways, China Southern Airlines, China Eastern Airlines, Air China, Qatar Airways, and Etihad Airways to name but a few competitors of Singapore Airlines.
There are many other threats that can jeopardize the operations of any airline. For example, blockade of air space by a country where SIA flies, will directly impact on the airline. Likewise, natural disasters and wars often disrupt operations of airlines in many countries. In fact, the global lockdowns have put enormous pressure on it. Consequently, it announced of cutting around 4300 jobs and operating less than 50% of its usual flight schedule in 2020 (Andrews, 2020).
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Last update: 03 March 2021
Andrews, J. (2020) Singapore Airlines to slash 4,300 jobs and cut number of flights in half, available at: https://www.mirror.co.uk/money/breaking-singapore-airlines-cut-4300-22660008 (accessed 02 March 2021)
BBC (2018) Singapore country profile, available at: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-15961759 (Accessed 01 June 2018)
Singapore Airlines (2021) Our Awards, available at: http://www.singaporeair.com/en_UK/sg/flying-withus/our-story/awards/ (Accessed 03 March 2021)
Worldometer (2021) Singapore population, available at: https://www.worldometers.info/world-population/singapore-population/ (accessed 03 March 2021)
Author: M Rahman
M Rahman writes extensively online and offline with an emphasis on business management, marketing, and tourism. He is a lecturer in Management and Marketing. He holds an MSc in Tourism & Hospitality from the University of Sunderland. Also, graduated from Leeds Metropolitan University with a BA in Business & Management Studies and completed a DTLLS (Diploma in Teaching in the Life-Long Learning Sector) from London South Bank University.