Tag Archives: International Study Tour

International Study Tour – Singapore Airlines

Guest post by Jessica Efta, Class of 2012

Our visit to Singapore Airlines started with Hank from Public Affairs giving us an overview of the company, beginning with the following mission statement: “Singapore Airlines is a global company dedicated to providing air transportation services of the highest quality and to maximizing returns for shareholders.” Two core components of the company’s culture can be seen in this mission statement, “global” and “quality.”

As a global company, Singapore Airlines flies approximately 17 million passengers per year.  Pretty impressive, considering Singapore itself has only 5 million citizens. The airline now flies to 63 destinations in 34 countries.

Singapore Airlines is known as a higher end airline, and a very strong culture of quality and customer service pervades the company.  Artifacts of the company culture for high quality can be seen in the entryway, where the flight attendants’ attire is proudly on display behind glass.  We were told that flight attendants receive double the amount of training compared to the industry average.

This strategy of providing high quality seems to be working quite well for the company.  Singapore Airlines has never posted a loss in its 40 year history.  A smaller airline, it ranks 16th in terms of traffic size, but it is the most profitable in terms of RPK (revenue per kilometer). In FY10, group revenue was reported as $14.5B with a net profit of $1.1B.

We then took a tour of the building, where we got to learn more about what high quality at Singapore Airlines’ really means.  We went inside a demo plane and see a water tank complete with a wave-making machine designed for emergency landing training purposes.  Next, it was explained to us how Singapore Airlines trains their flight attendants.  Our guide explained that the flight attendants must memorize each piece of silverware, glass pairings for wines, and every other detail for the food service (including which glass to use for Dom Perignon champagne). They also must learn the appropriate way to deal with all kinds of passengers—kids, elderly, moms, businessmen, etc. An interesting (and I would assume, effective) approach to “empathy training” is to send their attendants to nursing homes to know how to deal with elderly passengers. They even attend classes on how to fix their hair and apply makeup.  After learning this, I could see why the attendants received double the industry average on training!  For the grand finale, we got to tour the first class and business class sections of the latest plane models, where the value of high quality could be experienced. Seats were wide enough to fit at least two people, and each seat had a footrest and a flat screen TV!  Perhaps one day with my MBA degree I’ll land a job where I can afford such luxury! ;)

3…2…1…Take Off!

Sara Jones, TMMBA Class of 2012 & Assistant Director

I’m sitting in a lounge at SeaTac airport and can’t believe it’s finally here – the TMMBA International Study Tour!  The past week has been a crazy whirlwind of final exams and a business plan project.  I haven’t slept much lately and am actually looking forward to the long flight to catch up.

I signed up for the trip last October. That feels like such a long time ago! We’re heading to Singapore and Beijing where we’ll spend several days meeting with executives during company visits and also get some free time along the way. This is my first trip to Asia and I’m really excited to explore. I haven’t had a lot of time to prepare, but luckily TMMBA gave us a few small travel guides so I can read up on the plane and hit the ground running.

I’ll be writing along the way, but here’s a quick run-down of the itinerary:

Day 1: Singapore tour & group dinner in Clark Quay

Day 2: Visits to Johnson & Johnson and Singapore Airlines

Day 3: Visits to Exploit Technologies (A*Star) and GE Singapore Water Technology Center

Day 4: Some cultural outings and free time

Day 5: Fly to Beijing & free time

Day 6: Visits to US China Business Council and Amazon Fulfillment Center

Day 7: It’s the weekend! Visit the Great Wall and Gaoliying Market

Day 8: Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City, and free time

Day 9: Bullet train to Tianjin. Visits to Damco, TEDA, Port of Tianjin & DP World Terminal Operators

Day 10: Visit to Motorola and fly home just in time to start prepping for spring quarter.

 

Whew!  It’s going to be jam packed, but I can’t wait to get there and take it all in.