Fiji Airways has further boosted its presence in Asia by forging a codeshare partnership with Singapore Airlines and SilkAir.
- Fiji Airways has forged a codeshare with Singapore Airlines and SilkAir;
- SIA and SilkAir will be Fiji’s third and fourth codeshare partner in Singapore after Jetstar Asia and Jet Airways;
- Partnerships are critical in Singapore as Fiji-Singapore is a relatively small local market;
- Fiji Airways recently added a third frequency to Singapore and could add more capacity to Singapore if the new codeshare with SIA is successful.
Fiji Airways launched two weekly flights to Singapore in 2016 and on 4-Apr-2018 introduced a seasonal third frequency. The additional capacity would not have been possible without Improved connectivity beyond Singapore as the local Fiji-Singapore market is relatively small.
The new codeshare with Singapore Airlines (SIA) and its full service regional subsidiary SilkAir was announced on 17-Apr-2018. The codeshare covers SIA and SilkAir operated flights from Singapore to China, Japan, South Korea, Thailand, Germany and the UK.
The new codeshare partnership also includes SIA placing its code on Fiji Airways’ Singapore-Nadi service and on domestic connections within Fiji. This element of the partnership should help Fiji Airways boost local sales in Singapore. The airline and Fiji tourism authorities are keen to attract more Singaporean visitors, although the Singapore flight is mainly designed to boost visitor numbers from larger Asian source markets, particularly India.
India is the biggest offline market served via Singapore and is a fast-growing source market. Fiji Airways now serves India using a codeshare partnership with Jet Airways via Singapore and Hong Kong.
Fiji Airways will continue to rely on Jet Airways for Singapore-India connections as the new codeshare with SIA and SilkAir does not include India. There could potentially be an exclusivity clause in Fiji’s partnership with Jet Airways that does not allow it to codeshare with SIA to India, or a third country codeshare in the Singapore-India market may not be feasible because of regulatory constraints.
Fiji Airways also has a codeshare with Singapore-based LCC Jetstar Asia, which provides feed from several destinations throughout Southeast Asia. Jetstar Asia serves some of the destinations that are covered under the new codeshare with SIA and SilkAir.
Fiji Airways also has a codeshare with Jetstar Asia’s parent Qantas. In Singapore, Qantas carries the Fiji Airways code on flights to Australia and London. Fiji Airways therefore now has two codeshare options for London via Singapore (Qantas and SIA).
Offering the option of connecting to the same destination with different airlines is beneficial as codeshares do not guarantee access to seats. On certain days, one airline may have better availability or pricing.
The third frequency on the Nadi-Singapore route will initially only be operated during certain months. Currently the third frequency is scheduled for April, May, July, August and December. However, Fiji Airways aims to upgrade Singapore as soon as possible to three weekly year-round flights.
If the SIA codeshare is successful, it may also be feasible to add a fourth Singapore frequency. However, this success is hardly guaranteed as traditionally some of SIA’s codeshares generate limited traffic due to constraints on accessing seats and unfavourable pro rates.
Fiji Airways is taking a sensible approach in relying on several partners. Adding a high-profile airline such as SIA as a new partner can certainly do no harm but has significant upside potential.