The service on Singapore Airlines is impeccable and faultless, even in Cattle Class. It was certainly not your average domestic no-frills flight.
And they know it.
The global airline industry is as competitive as any global business. While American Airlines is struggling with their inability to keep their aircrafts compliant with basic US FAA maintenance regulations, Singapore Airlines seem to be actively leveraging their reputation and record of good customer service to further strengthen their market presence.
Here’s an interesting and innovative move: they are converting several planes in their fleet into business-class only flights. These planes will service key routes where the demand for business class travel. This is very clear positioning – we are the customer service leaders when it comes to flying. And this moves Singapore Airlines clearly beyond the somewhat jingoistic/pastiche differentiation by national identity alone.
I can only think of two other airline brands with clear differentiation:
Virgin (and their various sub-brands) = funky fun and good value.
Qantas = safety record
As a result, all the other airline brands thus, in my mind at least, are competing primarily on price. For long haul flights, would I pay a bit more for better service? Would I pay a bit more to fly in a modern plane with wider seats than yet another bloody 747? Definitely.
Surely there must be opportunities for these others to find clear positions of their own?