TM Wang, General Manager Bangladesh, Singapore Airlines
A newly-inducted high density Airbus A350-900 medium haul aircraft of Singpore Airlines
Dhaka : Singapore Airlines (SIA) started operating to Dhaka in 1986 and has been looking for opportunity to increase flights. SIA increased from seven flights to 10 flights a week to Dhaka from July 19, 2017. Now SQ operates two flights a day on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays.
"SIA increased its flight frequencies to 10 flights a week last year and there is room for more flights, considering the strong economic growth Bangladesh is presently enjoying," said Twee Min Wang, SIA General Manager Bangladesh, with a smile. "SIA is glad to participate in facilitating the growth of passenger travel and cargo exports from Bangladesh to the rest of the world", he added.
However, with the present infrastructure, it will be difficult for airlines to consider increasing flights. The Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh (CAAB) explai-ned to The Bangladesh Monitor that unless the Third Terminal is built, the airport cannot manage additional international airlines and accommodate extra flights.
"Under present circumstances, SIA flights to and from Dhaka are regularly delayed because of infrastructural issues, such as congestions due to shared security screening (at some gates), lack of ground-handling equipment and quality services", Wang said.
The Monitor notes that most international airports have more than one ground handling provider. This creates healthy competition to boost the ground handlers' service quality and standards, to win the airline business. CAAB should consider to allow for more ground handling companies to offer their services at HSIA.
There is not enough ground handling equipment at the airport. Coupled with lack of proper trained staff, this regularly causes immense delay in luggage delivery to baggage carousel.
800 flights a week
Singapore Airlines operates almost 800 flights per week from Singapore to 63 destinations around the world. If a passenger has connecting flights in two-three hours, they would not need to rush to catch a flight. Passengers can go for duty-free shopping, relax in the lounges, have food and drinks, then board the aircraft for the next destination.
Wang said, "SIA passengers travelling from Dhaka to Singapore and beyond, can avail themselves a Changi Transit reward voucher (S$20), which can be used at all retail and service outlets in the transit and public areas of Singapore's Changi Airport (some exclusions apply)".
A transit passenger can redeem the voucher to access the Ambassador Lounge at Terminals 2 or 3 for up to two hours. The Ambassador Lounge provides shower facilities (including basic toiletries), light refreshments, reading material and complimentary Wi-Fi. One can also have food/snacks, tea/coffee, and a shower.
SIA Boarding Pass Privilege (BPP) programme
For SIA passengers travelling to Singapore, the SIA Boarding Pass Privilege Programme, allows passengers to avail themselves various discounts in Singapore and overseas. Passengers need only present their boarding pass within one month from the travel date, and they can enjoy hotel discounts. Go to Universal Studio and get 10 per cent discount, zoo, safari, museum, etc. A whole list is available on SIA's website. The BPP programme can help you save a lot of money.
Also in Bangladesh, you can get up to 25 per cent discounts at DuSai Resort & Spa.
In addition, there is a Free Singapore Tour open to SIA passengers when transiting through Changi Airport. Bangladesh nationals with a valid Singapore visa, are eligible for the city tours, if they have four to five hours of transit time.
High standard in baggage delivery
SIA has a high standard to deliver the first luggage to the baggage belt in 15 minutes at Changi Airport. Ten minutes from the aircraft to the airport terminal and another five minutes for the baggage in the carousel. By the time a passenger is done with the immigration formalities, the luggage is on the carousel.