Singapore Aviation Industry Pays Tribute to Lee Kuan Yew

Among the many sectors of society that owes a debt of gratitude to Singapore's First Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew, who passed away on March 23 at the age of 91, is the aviation sector.

Lee Kuan Yew (1923-2015)
Image source: US Department of Defence/Wikimedia

Singapore Airlines said in its statement that it is saddened by his death.  Moreover, they added that he played a "pivotal" role in developing the country's aviation industry, positioning Singapore as a key international aviation hub, and had a keen interest in propelling Singapore Airlines through its lifetime. 

Similar sentiments were also echoed by the Changi Airport Group, who says that it was because of Mr Lee that Changi Airport existed.  He was said to be instrumental in transferring Singapore's main airport from Paya Lebar to its present site in Changi.  The Changi Airport Group was also quick to point out Mr Lee's continued involvement in airport matters past his retirement from the premiership as he visited the airport to mark its silver anniversary in 2006, its corporatisation in 2009, and also saw a the site and a briefing of the Jewel Changi Airport project in September 2014.

Singapore's Changi Airport Terminal 3
Image by hybridace101/PFN
In a speech made in July 2009, Mr Lee reiterated the crucial role the aviation sector played in Singapore's economy.  He said that "The success of Changi Airport, Singapore's SIA and SilkAir, the MRO (Maintenance, Repair & Overhaul) and air cargo sectors, and the spin-offs in trade, tourism and investments, they all have added significantly to our [Singapore's] growth."

Singapore Airlines continues to top the league tables of the best carriers in the world.  Changi Airport likewise also continues to top the league tables as one of the best airports in the world.  There are presently more than 10 flights a day between the Philippines and Singapore's Changi Airport by various carriers, four of which are operated by Singapore Airlines.

Sources: SIA, Changi Airport, CAAS


  1. Mr. Lee, may you rest in peace! True, Singapore Airlines has made an unprecedented milestone in aviation excellence from day one. I remember my bachelor days in the Middle East where I had to opt to go to Europe during my R & R (recreation and relaxation), then proceed to North America (e.g. Hawaii) and then to my country Philippines (Ilocandia) then back to Saudi Arabia on a round the world SQ/TWA air ticket. What amazed me was the SQ inflight service which has not faded at all (my last SQ flight was last November, 2014). Example, one flight sector from Bahrain to London was kind of weird or awesome because a male flight attendant came to me and handed me an earphone and I said, one of your nice ladies has given me one already and he just left me the earpiece anyway.... Then later, the same male crew brought me lunch saying, "a Muslim meal, sir". I did not object, even though I did not reserve such a meal during reservation/booking. And when the regular meal is out, I told a Singapore Girl (crew) to give me another meal because I had finished the other one. (She may have been thinking that I am not watching my diet.) But anyway, my point is, SQ is very thoughtful and always tries hard to attain goodwill and perfection in their daily services. Little things like assigning a male crew to assist a male passenger (I am not a Muslim, though) is always appreciated and sensible and that is what a five-star airline is supposed to be........Kudos! And see you later.. I like your A380s!

    1. And an airline which has "moolah" (profit) has a lot of amenities in its pantry including gourmet food and premier wines/liqueurs. Who would not be tempted with French menu and a lobster thermidor at that? One time, a flight crew offered me a postcard saying that I can send it to one of my to my friends anywhere in the world. So I wrote a nice message, gave it back to the crew for mailing. Honestly, I did expect the SQ postcard to reach my friend in Santa Cruz, Bolivia (of all places). After a month, I got a letter reply from my friend thanking me and also inviting me to one day find my way to his "remote" but nice place.

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