Monday, February 19, 2007
Postcard from Singapore

I am on vacation in Singapore, but thought I would just take a moment or two to keep you up to date with my travels.

I am still trying to decide if I think the A380 will be a success. I have read the views of the distinguished travel writer Malcolm Ginsberg in the last ABTN newsletter (if you don’t subscribe, you really should – it’s free).

Malcolm is as uncertain as the rest of us about whether the A380 will be a commercial success and if it is, when. The truth is none of us want to come off the fence on this one. We know the airlines like Singapore Airlines will need them as aviation travel grows faster than infrastructure can support. But will it grow fast enough to justify this cost? OK, OK, I am going round in circles again. Let me just use that horrible, miserable, cowardly journalistic get out clause “only time will tell.”

Having been through a whirlwind in the first two months of the year (far more travel than I ever intended) I didn’t realise how tired I was until I got to Singapore. Ironically, I’m here at the start of Chinese New Year, when the place is buzzing like a traditional firecracker. I know the criticisms of the place – many believing it is a little antiseptic, a little too regulated for its own good. But that has never been my experience of the place. There are marvellous restaurants here, good bars and clubs, and yes, even a bit of an underground culture. I always find this a splendid place to stop over, especially after a busy trip elsewhere. Anyway, it’s certainly a place you have to visit yourself to make up your own mind.

One final thought before I get back to my vacation. Never underestimate the ability of Airbus to shoot itself in the foot. The decision to do the first U.S. test flight of the A380 into New York JFK instead of Los Angeles International airport (which, so the story goes, had been promised the first visit).

Oh dear. LAX, which has spent so much money on construction ramping up preparations for the plane, will - truth be told - be the natural destination of the A380 because so many Pacific carriers have purchased the plane. Even European carriers like Lufhansa and Air France are more likely to use them to LA where they need capacity, rather than East Coast routes where they need frequency.

Now LAX is miffed. Strong words have been written. And Airbus has got itself into a totally unnecessary spat with a major airport.

“Oh,” I hear you say, “ you are writing this because you are in Singapore, which is first to fly the plane.” Nope! Singapore Airlines is intending to fly the plane to Sydney and London Heathrow not LAX. So there. I just feel sorry for LAX which seems to have been shafted.

Now excuse me, I must get back to my vacation.
Hi Richard!
Please come back soon, miss your blogging.

Couple of nights ago I had such a strange dream. I dreamt that if you fly transatlantic out from Europe you have to book several months in advance and be at the airport many hours before the flight, whereas if you fly from the US to Europe you can just go to the airport, buy the ticket and hop on the flight.

When I pointed this out to the Americans flying back to Europe I got special treatment and they booked me into seat 1C.

Further on, it was very strange on the flight itself, because it had not only seats but lying small beds hanging down from the ceiling. Well, not really beds more like small hammocks. It looked very uncomfortable.

I remember thinking in my dream that I ought to inform you, so that you could investigate if flying in hammocks is the future of travel :)
Hi Richard, enjoy your holiday in one of my favorite cities in the world, I am in Singapore at least once a month and I fully agree with you - Singapore has the right mix of excellent restaurants, bars and clubs, however, let us not forget the hotels, they have a service standard which is out of this world. I usually stay at the Shangri-La Hotel in their Valley Wing, can highly recommed it top notch service. Will be back on Monday next week. Have a good time and enjoy!
Dear Mr.Quest,
I just voted that I do not take any work with me on vacation and you seem to work all the time like another of your CNN collegues who is having problems with vacation.
Singapur was love at first sight...many years ago when I visited for the first time.
I remember the first time I arrived at Changi Airport and find out there was a waterfall in the Hall.That became a place to visit and a place a friend of mine would visit every time he was there.
I love airports.Changi had something special in my view.I'm not allowed into clubs,I do envy you a lot for your luck.You are very fortunate to be there during the start of the New Year.
Singapur is special to me.Singapur Airline was the best at that time although Viet Nam Airlines was a very pleasent discovery.
I decided that next time I will take more money along some of it to spend at the Raffles.
You know,I love old-fashion hotels but they are expensive.
Ciao,enjoy your holiday.
I saw you at the Changi airport terminal 1. I thought i'll just try my luck and ask if "you're the guy from CNN?", and its really you! I'm a Singaporean working in Dubai, and even though i've not travelled as much as you, i really like our airport. Thanks for the compliments of our airport! Can't wait to see A380 at Changi!
CNN International anchor Richard Quest shares his thoughts and opinions on the world of business travel.
Business Traveller
Fare Compare
Flying Fish
Flyer Talk
All Blogs
CNN Comment Policy: CNN encourages you to add a comment to this discussion. You may not post any unlawful, threatening, libelous, defamatory, obscene, pornographic or other material that would violate the law. Please note that CNN makes reasonable efforts to review all comments prior to posting and CNN may edit comments for clarity or to keep out questionable or off-topic material. All comments should be relevant to the post and remain respectful of other authors and commenters. By submitting your comment, you hereby give CNN the right, but not the obligation, to post, air, edit, exhibit, telecast, cablecast, webcast, re-use, publish, reproduce, use, license, print, distribute or otherwise use your comment(s) and accompanying personal identifying information via all forms of media now known or hereafter devised, worldwide, in perpetuity. CNN Privacy Statement.