Forum: No need to be so harsh on SIA

A Singapore Airlines plane is seen at Changi Airport on Sept 11, 2020.
A Singapore Airlines plane is seen at Changi Airport on Sept 11, 2020.ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN

While many won't partake in a joyride on a Singapore Airlines (SIA) flight to nowhere, they shouldn't be too harsh on airlines that offer these flights and the people who fill the seats (Environmental groups concerned about flights to nowhere, Sept 17 ).

Haven't leisure cruises to aimless destinations been fulfilling the needs of sybarites for decades?

If the argument is that such flights are simply wasteful and extravagantly frivolous ventures, there being no meaningful journey's end to justify the use of fuel, a similar argument can be made against all motor sports.

Such sports involve highly polluting vehicles running senselessly round a circuit repeatedly simply to gratify the cravings of speed-and engine-technology-addicted spectators.

Carousels, merry-go-rounds and Ferris wheels - viewed not from the viewpoint of how much childhood pleasure can be derived from riding on them, but from the energy guzzling perspective - make little sense too. But there are hardly any calls to put them out of service.

If the argument is that destination-less flights produce more needless harmful carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas by-product of fossil fuel combustion and a major cause of global warming, the same applies to livestock cows and decaying organic materials in landfills, which emit methane gas, also a major greenhouse gas.

Aren't we all better served in protecting the earth by being less conspicuously consumptive of everything in general and all forms of livestock meat in particular?

These are things we can all make a daily effort towards, rather than point incriminating fingers at our national airline trying to innovate its way out of the Covid-19 crisis.

Yik Keng Yeong (Dr)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 21, 2020, with the headline 'No need to be so harsh on SIA'. Print Edition | Subscribe