Profits are high, but it's not an easy time for full-service Southeast Asian airlines. Cathay Pacific and Singapore are getting squeezed by both budget carriers and ultra-luxury Gulf airlines.
The Gulf region continues its growth as the world's most well-placed airport hub.
Singapore Airlines will defend its home turf against United Airlines by launching new non-stops between Singapore and San Francisco. The airline does not have the perfect aircraft, but it will make due for a couple of years until a better plane arrives.
Gourmet meals for first-class and business-class flyers are nothing new, but these airlines are taking their offerings to new heights in an effort to win over hungry, big-spending, and food-minded flyers.
Despite fuel costs, it's not all sunshine for airlines. For Singapore, it's hoping that it's multiple alliances and investments will help it overcome a weaker local currency and downturns in any one business line.
While mobile connectivity in the U.S. has strong detractors, concerned over passenger calls in-flight, the service is broadly used around the world and passengers mostly use the service for texting and data applications.
Singapore Airlines has built a reputation on offering a comfortable long-haul flying experience and adding high-speed connections to the mix fits in with today's trends for the onboard services passengers value most.
The NYC- Singapore route had a specialized audience that had grown to rely on the connection--no matter how long it was. Its return will be welcome.
The A350 aircraft includes many standard features that would make such long flights much more bearable. Singapore Airlines also has a history of cabin design focused around passenger comfort for the long-haul. Direct routes from the U.S. to Singapore have been a gap in the market since the airline stopped service between Singapore and Newark in 2013.
Price wars like this never, ever end well. And there's little option beyond cutting back services in markets where you have to compete like this.