No announcement yet.

Could the "Capital Express" be Replicated in Europe?

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Could the "Capital Express" be Replicated in Europe?

    Singapore Airlines will be launching the "Capital Express", linking Singapore with Canberra and Wellington from September 2016. Virgin Australia has so far indicated that it will codeshare on this service.

    Might the market be ripe for Singapore Airlines to consider more fifth-freedom routes like this in Europe, connecting key financial and/or political "capitals", with closer partnership from the Lufthansa Group?

    For instance... A possible SIN-VIE-GVA/BRU on the A350?

  • #2
    If they did it wouldn't be just to link capital cities. People want frequency and SQ cannot provide that.

    I love SQ. But recently I have been hopping between MUC and MAN. I have always used LH due to the frequency they provide and never SQ, despite SQ providing a better product.


    • #3
      One oddity of the Capital Express is that neither side of the link is a large population or business center, so they have relatively limited airline service. Both are smaller markets with limited service. In Europe, that's not the case at all - just about all the capitals have extensive routes to the entire continent. There's no gap for SQ to squeeze into.

      Neither would Lufthansa help - if anything, they'd fight it. I don't see what they would gain out of helping SQ.

      So no, the Capital Express is really an oddity made possible because of how you have two smaller market cities on each end that have an oversize market to the other that isn't filled right now. It's such a unique set of circumstances that's hard to repeat elsewhere.


      • #4
        Maybe the new route's name was a bit of an afterthought to draw some attention to it. VA can codeshare it and hopefully it will get some traffic, but I tend to think that would be seen as a bonus as the real aim seems to be to provide both the cities with a direct link to Singapore while pooling both markets onto one plane. Some seats may also end up getting filled in peak seasons when direct routes, e.g. SYD-AKL or MEL-SIN, are fully sold.

        With Europe, only one situation springs to mind, which is BER. The main problem is that nobody has any clue when the worst-example-of-German-planning-and-engineering-in-living-memory will finally open its gate lounges. The other issue that has often been cited here is filling the front of the plane.

        Here is the advantage though- LH proper fly to FRA & MUC only leaving their EW brand to do the rest, but the range of connections isn't extensive. OS flies only to VIE and LX flies only to ZRH which rounds out the LH parent group's stake at BER (either TXL or SXF).

        This leaves the fight as one mainly against AB who are Oneworld. SXF operates largely as a budget terminal for LCCs which is a different market.

        There's one capital that no carrier from either Berlin airport flies to- Washington. So there's a capital connection: SIN-BER-IAD. SQ's CEO could emerge from the aircraft on the maiden voyage and announce "Ich bin ein Berliner" although he may not get quite the same audience as it once did...