The Singaporization of the International Airlines’ Hospitality: The Case of Singapore International Airlines’
Spirit of Service Excellence
Nour Eddine Chiadmi
Associate Professor in Services Marketing
Groupe Sup de Co La Rochelle – CEREGE
102, rue des coureilles
17000 La Rochelle
In a rough-and-tumble world of fierce airline competition, where multiple factors such the perishability of seats, seasonality of demand, combined with uncontrollable kerosene prices as well as unforeseen political and natural disasters inject additional levels of complexity, one company managed to make healthy profits year in year out while major conventional airlines leaders failed to avoid loss for almost a decade. Welcome aboard Singapore International Airlines, where brand name is associated primarily with service excellence and deep customer focus. Singapore (the country) and Singapore Airlines as its flagship have banded together to form what is commonly called “singaporization”, characterized by a strategic flexibility which leads to service innovation and creativity. Branding and service will be key competitive advantages for differentiating airlines in the future. The aim of our research is to attempt to explore how this world-class service organization translates a complex multi-faceted strategy into a clear, effective, and sustainable success story. Why did SIA succeed where other aviation world giants failed? This study will also attempt to determine whether SIA’s service excellence system can be transferable to other airlines companies and identify the conditions and boundaries of such a Singaporization? Findings are derived from literature review, observations and practices assessment. In addition, an in-depth interview with a SIA’s senior executive was conducted. Recommendations were made to assist for an understanding of the secrets of SIA‘s success. Hopefully, some useful lessons can be adopted from this study. Finally, this case study examined the extent to which some key elements from SIA’s successful services’ culture might not be transferable to other international airlines.
Keywords: Singaporization, Asianess, Airlines’ Hospitality, Service Excellence, Human Capital, Co-creation Travel Experience, Airlines Strategies, Service Innovation, Strategic Flexibility, Transferability, Case Study
Table of Contents
The International Air Transport industry’s context
Singapore international Airlines’ spirit of hospitality
Background of Singapore International Airlines History
The Singapore Girl brand
An interview with Mr Harry Chu
The transferability of Singapore International Airlines’ service excellence
Service quality is the core of the airline business, hospitality and tourism industries. If we deliver a high quality service by high trained professionals employees, we respond to the evolving latent customer needs. Many successful Asia-based hospitality businesses have succeeded to build an Asianess brand, which has been difficult to define in a unified and simple way; however, some hospitality businesses have attracted attention to their strong sense of Asianess and features. Singapore as a country along with Singapore Airlines’ model has formed what is commonly called “singaporization”. This research, therefore, aims to explore what aspects are viewed as being the most successful in Singapore Airlines’ model, having established itself as a world-wide recognized institution and having been awarded for years for its service excellence. The term ‘Singaporization’ stands for, first and foremost, the improvement of its people’s living standards. It’s a life style which is wished by many societies that dream to implement it in their own countries. It is a component of the Asianess paradigm; Singapore International Airlines is the...
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