Case | HBS Case Collection | July 2003 (Revised April 2011)

Singapore Airlines: Customer Service Innovation

by Rohit Deshpande and Hal Hogan


The members of Singapore Airlines' (SIA) management committee needs to decide whether to cancel the implementation of the new lie-flat seats in business class after the effects of the global recession on the travel industry in September 2001. SIA was considered the gold standard for its innovative customer service, and the $100 million new seats project for the international market was planned to bolster that reputation. But with increased competition in the airline industry and the dramatic drop in travel after the September 11 terrorist attacks in the United States, the main agenda item for the management committee was how to cut costs.

Keywords: Customer Focus and Relationships; Economic Slowdown and Stagnation; Management Teams; Brands and Branding; Air Transportation Industry; Travel Industry; Singapore;


Deshpande, Rohit, and Hal Hogan. "Singapore Airlines: Customer Service Innovation." Harvard Business School Case 504-025, July 2003. (Revised April 2011.)