SIA will intensify its focus on China, India, Asia-Pacific
Now with lots of cash to spend after selling its 49% stake in Virgin Atlantic to Delta Air Lines for $360 million, raising its “cash pile” to $3.85 billion, Singapore Airlines may need to buy or partner with other carriers as it changes its strategy towards fast-growing Asian markets.
India, which is finally opening up, is one obvious growth market. India has just changed its foreign direct investment policy to let in foreign carriers and many airlines there are in need of foreign assistance. SIA will also be looking to China. However, it knows that a minority stake in a company in a new market can often be a recipe for disaster.
The Middle Eastern carriers are taking more market share by enhancing their luxury services. So SIA may decide that boosting its business across the Asia-Pacific lies in putting more money into the regional and budget carriers it already has an interest in – a “multi-brand strategy” – including greater focus on Silk Air and SIA’s own budget carrier Scoot, and increasing involvement in Tiger Airways, currently 33% owned by SIA.
[pictured: Singapore Airlines Boeing B777-200; courtesy Singapore Airlines]