Forum: Many plus points to SIA's flights to nowhere

Singapore Airlines planes at Changi Airport on Sept 11, 2020.
Singapore Airlines planes at Changi Airport on Sept 11, 2020.ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN

I consider myself a green advocate, but I have some reservations about the views of some environmental groups concerning Singapore Airlines' (SIA) plan to launch its flights to nowhere (Environmental groups concerned about flights to nowhere, Sept 17).

The problem of increased carbon emissions seems to be the main issue if SIA goes ahead with the plan, despite assurances from a climate scientist that the amount would be small. Even if SIA scraps this initiative, emissions of carbon generated will remain a perpetual problem, with other airlines offering sightseeing flights to their citizens (Travellers snap up airlines' 'flights to nowhere', Sept 18).

The greatest impact of these flights to nowhere would be the socioeconomic benefits for affected Singaporeans amid this pandemic crisis. This move will not only stimulate retention of staff and generate revenue for the company, but the ripple effect could also create opportunities for other tourism industries - for instance, through offering special packages, such as flight plus staycation or flight plus local tours.

Besides, it will alleviate mental stress and bring about much needed financial relief to some of those who have lost their income as a result of Covid-19.

I hope SIA will make the best decision amid the voices of green groups.

Chan Chee Beng

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 21, 2020, with the headline 'Many plus points to SIA's flights to nowhere'. Print Edition | Subscribe