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Bite-size Case Study

How Singapore Airlines created a legend of glamorous service

Published on August 31, 2016 Originally recorded 2014   8 min
0:04
Singapore Airlines is probably one of the best examples from Asia of a company that really realized that 40 years ago, they have to move on. Singapore Airlines used to run Jewel Airline together with Malaysia, but Malaysia and Singapore became separate nations in the mid-60s, and Singapore broke away from Malaysia. They branded Jewel airline for a while and then decided by the lake sisters to take on their own airlines that became Singapore Airlines, and they had the first flight in October 1973. They decided very early on that they wanted to focus on two different things. They wanted to focus on great quality in all aspects of operation, meaning technology, aircraft, safety, and many other dimensions, but they also wanted to focus on great service. And that became the promise of Singapore Airlines, became a great way to fly which is a famous pay off which, funny enough, has never changed. It's always very tempting for any new CEO coming into a company, they want to change the pay off and Singapore airlines never did that. Almost a brand promise which is quality and service, became the purpose of Singapore Airlines.
1:07
Singapore Airlines was launched in 1973 and a face of the airline became the Singapore girl. She wasn't very famous in the beginning because she had to take on the world first. So, Singapore Airlines hired for a while, a very famous fashion designer at that time in the 60s and 70s from France called Pierre Balmain. And he came with his team and he took the old Malaysian natural dress called the Sarong Kebaya and he turned it into a uniform. That uniform still exists today and that was the birth of the Singapore Girl, and she was portrayed in many ads and commercials around the world while Singapore Airlines was still a small brand.
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How Singapore Airlines created a legend of glamorous service

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