Melania Trump Club

Sunday, May 29, 2011

SIA takes bold gamble with new budget carrier

Singapore Airlines is planning to establish a new no-frills, low-fare airline operating widebody aircraft on medium and long-haul routes.

“The new airline is being established following extensive review and analysis. It will enable the SIA Group to serve a largely untapped new market and cater to the growing demand among consumers for low-fare travel,” Singapore Airlines said.

Operations are expected to begin within one year. The airline will be wholly owned by Singapore Airlines, but will be operated independently and managed separately from SIA.

“We are very excited about what our new low-fare subsidiary will offer to consumers. We are seeing a new market segment being created and this will provide another growth opportunity for the SIA Group,” said SIA CEO Goh Choon Phong.

SIA, one of the world's most profitable premium airlines, surprised the industry on Wednesday by announcing plans to tap into the region's growing appetite for budget air tickets on medium- to long-haul destinations.

The sector is currently dominated by neighbouring Malaysia's AirAsia X, which was was launched four years ago and flies to 14 cities including London, Tehran, Paris, Seoul and Tokyo as well as destinations in China, India and Australia.

SIA said it aims to launch its wholly-owned but independently managed low-cost operation within one year using wide body aircraft.

The announcement came amid intensifying competition in first and business class travel, with rivals such as Hong Kong's Cathay Pacific and Gulf carriers like Emirates and Etihad muscling into SIA's premium turf.

The company is yet to be named but they feel that it will help to stimulate demand for long haul flights in the budget travel market which is something which has happened in the short haul market in Asia recently. They feel it will provide a significant opportunity for growth for their company. They are not abandoning the rest of the company either, as this new branch will not compete against their current businesses. Further details including the name, management team and routes will be be announced later.
They will use Singapore Airline fleet to start with and then make further decisions with regards to long term fleet in the future. Their competition in AirAsia has reported on their Twitter site that he is not worried about the new business, in fact he says they should be worried as he feels they should not be trying to enter a market they know little about. It is unlikely that the company will be a failure though as SIA has done extensive research and are a well established company.

Laylo draws Torre, keeps zonal lead

Standings after round 6
5.0 points — GM Darwin Laylo (Philippines)
4.5 points — GM Eugene Torre (PH), GM Mark Paragua (PH), GM Susanto Megaranto (Indonesia), IM Goh Wei Ming (Singapore)
4.0 points — GM Rogelio Antonio Jr. (PH), FM Jan Emmanuel Garcia (PH), GM Zhang Zhong (Singapore), GM Dao Thien Hai (Vietnam)
FILIPINO Grandmaster (GM) Darwin Laylo settled for his second straight draw late Friday this time against compatriot GM Eugene Torre to retain his half-a-point lead after six rounds of the 2011 Asian Zone 3.3 Chess Championships at the Tagaytay International Convention Center.
Laylo, a member of the Philippine Team who bagged the silver medal in last year’s Guangzhou Asian Games, raised his total to 5.0 points on four wins and two draws.
With the draw, the 59-year-old Torre, Asia’s first Grandmaster, padded his tally to 4.5 points, the same output of compatriot GM Mark Paragua, GM Susanto Megaranto of Indonesia and IM Go Wei Ming of Singapore.
Paragua, who held Laylo to a fighting draw in Friday’s fifth round, defeated GM Cao Sang of Vietnam, Megaranto toppled top seed GM Zhang Zhong of Singapore while Goh edged IM Richard Bitoon of the Philippines.
Meanwhile, 12-time National Open champion GM Rogelio “Joey” Antonio Jr., and FM Jan Emmanuel Garcia of the Philippines, defeated their respective rivals to share 6th to 9th place in the company of Zhang and GM Dao Thien Hai, who beat fellow Vietnamese IM Nguyen Van Huy.
Antonio routed Vietnamese FM Nguyen Doc Hoa while Garcia stunned GM Nguyen Anh Dung of Vietnam.
In the seventh round, Laylo battles Goh, Paragua faces Megaranto, Torre plays Zhang while Antonio squares off against Dao.

aylo, seeded only seventh in the tough 48-player field with an Elo of 2516, kept his composure and reached a truce with the hard-fighting Torre by repetition of moves after 32 moves of the Trompovsky.

The draw enabled the 31-year-old campaigner, who is seeking his third appearance in the World Chess Cup, to keep the solo lead with five points on four wins and two draws in the nine-round competition. Laylo remains half a point ahead of Torre, GM Mark Paragua, GM Wei Meing Goh of Singapore and Susanto Megaranto of Indonesia in the chase for the two World Cup qualifiying berths at stake here.

Paragua, who is hoping to recapture the top spot in local chess hierarchy, outduelled GM Cao Sang of Vietnam to remain within striking distance with 4.5 points.

Goh, one of two Singaporeans in the field, continued his surprising run when he toppled IM Richard Bitoon.

Megaranto, on the other hand, shocked GM Zhang Zhong of Singapore to make it a four-way tie for second to fifth places with 4.5 points.

GM Rogelio Antonio Jr. trounced GM Nguyen Duc Hoa, whlile newly crowned Asian Youth under-16 gold medalist Jan Emmanuel Garcia stunned GM Nguyen Anh Dung I to vault into contention with four points.

Also making their presence felt on another big day for the Filipinos were reigning national junior champion Mari Joseph Turqueza, who toppled IM Taufik Halay of Indonesia; IM Oliver Dimakiling, who subdued Myagmarsuren Gunbayar of Mongolia; Alcon John Datu, who crushed FM Kahmiran of Indonesia; and FM Randy Segarra, who beat compatriot Reggie Edgar Olay.

The win improved Laylo’s record to 4.5 points after five rounds, half-a-point ahead of GM Eugene Torre and GM Zhang Zhong of Singapore.

Torre, 59, displayed vintage form to subdue GM Nguyen Duc Hoa of Vietnam in 37 moves of the Reti and vault into a two-way tie for second with Zhang with four points.

“It was a complicated position, but somehow I found a winning line,” said Torre who now has won his last four matches following a shock defeat at the hands of FM Haridas Pascua in the opening round.

Zhang, the highest-rated player here with an ELO of 2592, outwitted IM Oliver Dimakiling and GM Nguyen.

Five players, led by Paragua and IM Richard Bitoon, shared fourth with 3.5 points.

Paragua drew with Nguyen and Laylo , while Bitoon outclassed compatriot Alcon John Datu and then drew with GM Susanto Megaranto of Indonesia.

GMs Rogelio Antonio Jr. and John Paul Gomez battled to a draw, as did IM Oliver Barbosa and IM Wei Ming Goh of Singapore to lead a big group of players with three points.

Also with the group is Asian Youth 16-under gold medalist IM Jan Emmanuel Garcia, who trounced Surya Wahyudi of Indonesia. Garcia drew with Haikiki Kaisar.

India will have to wait for a movie studio theme park

SINGAPORE: Universal Studio Singapore, the second universal theme park in Asia after Osaka Japan, was thrown open officially to visitors on Saturday morning making it another big attraction of Resort World Sentosa.

The opening ceremony of the park was marked by presence of American Idol host fame, singer Paula Abdul, Hollywood actor Jet Li, Maggie Cheung and Vicki Zhao Wei. Paula Abdul became the star attraction after Hollywood actor Arnold Schwarzenegger opted out as he was embroiled in a love child controversy. Although sources maintain that the studio cancelled his invitation after the scandal.

Even before its official opening, Universal Studio Movie Theme Park has attracted about 2 million visitors already. Chairman of Resorts World Sentosa Tan Sri Lim Kok Thay said, "This year Universal Studio aims at doubling the visitors with a promise to keep refreshing the theme park from time to time. We will soon be adding Transformers ride.''

The theme park of about 20 hectares has 21 rides and shows, including the world's first Madagascar-themed ride as well as the Battlestar Galactica duelling coasters. Other attractions include Jurassic Park, Shrek and the Mummy.

Universal Resorts and Parks has plans to build theme parks in Seoul, South Korea and Dubai but India and China don't feature on the list.

However Indian film studios are aspiring to build their own theme parks on the lines of the Universal Studios especially Film City Mumbai for which they have been in consultation with the studio. Tom Williams, CEO of Universal Theme Park said, "Discussions are on, but it will be a while before India is ready for a theme park. It is imminent though.


Universal Studios brings the magic of its movies to Singapore with a star-studded launch

Amidst the confetti, music and celebrations, Marilyn Monroe, dressed in the infamous white dress from The Seven-Year Itch, walked in. But she wasn't the most popular 'star' at the parade to mark the official launch of Universal Studios on Sentosa Island, Singapore on Saturday morning. Madagascar's Marty, Alex, Gloria, followed by Po of Kung Fu Panda and Shrek, were welcomed with louder applause as they waved, did a jig and blew kisses to the audience.

Speaking at the opening of Universal Studios Singapore at Resorts World Sentosa here today, he said the number of visitors to Sentosa grew by almost 200 per cent to 18 million guests last year from about six million guests in 2009.

In particular, Lim said Universal Studios Singapore has been a key addition to Sentosa, drawing many local and international visitors to the island.

"New attractions are constantly being developed while existing iconic attractions are regularly rejuvenated to ensure that the island continues to appeal to visitors," he said, adding that this was the government's strategy to keep Singapore's tourism landscape at the forefront of tourist destinations in Asia and the world.

In the coming years, he said, "We will continue to enhance Singapore's tourism landscape with a strong pipeline of developments like Gardens by the Bay, River Safari, the International Cruise Terminal and the National Art Gallery.