Singapore Airlines has opened up its training facilities to local businesses outside the aviation industry. The Singapore Airlines Academy now offers a range of courses to external clients, including ‘service excellence’ and ‘organizational innovation,’ with classes run by the airline’s award-winning staff trainers.

Singapore Airlines shares its secrets to success

Singapore Airlines has a reputation for excellent service, notably winning “World’s Best Cabin Crew” at Skytrax’s 2019 World Airline Awards. Now the airline is offering masterclasses on customer service to businesses across Singapore. The classes are aimed at training customer-facing and support staff, drawing upon the airline’s expertise.

Juat Fang Foo, cabin crew training manager at Singapore Airlines, said the ‘training programs include presentations, role-play exercises and question-and-answer sessions.’ Course titles include “Effective Communication” and “Handling Challenging Customers,” along with customized classes tailored to each client.

The airline’s customer service training is offered under its ‘Service Excellence’ program. Other programs available at the academy include ‘Innovation & Digital’ and ‘Operational Excellence.’ These programs offer courses across various subjects, including ‘Error Management,’ ‘Innovation for Leaders’ and ‘Resilience Training.’

The state-of-the-art training center, which Simple Flying took an exclusive look at last year, first took on external clients in September. The first client was Khoo Teck Puat Hospital (KTPH), which placed its patient care officers on a three-day course, with several other organizations, including financial and retail firms, since completing training programs.

One of many initiatives from Singapore Airlines

Like many other airlines, Singapore Airlines has been looking at alternative revenue streams to navigate the pandemic. It has been one of the most proactive in this regard, coming up with initiatives such as an A380 restaurant and home deliveries of its premium in-flight menu.

Singapore Airlines Academy courses are available in both virtual or in-person formats, with ‘programs easily adaptable to nearly any organization, regardless of sector.’ Josephine Lim, senior manager of cabin crew learning and development, explained the thinking behind the initiative, saying,

“Singapore Airlines was able to devise and host its own training programs last year after multiple travel bans and border closures meant there was minimal demand for new crew member training.”

As the airline has little need to recruit new cabin crew at this time, it is putting its world-class training facilities and knowledge to good use. According to Wall Street Journal, ‘the company plans to work with businesses in its home country for the time being, but hopes to expand internationally when pandemic restrictions are lifted.’

The airline is learning a little itself

One of the unexpected upsides of working with a diverse range of clientele is that trainers are themselves picking up new insights from other industries. With all sorts of companies and organizations participating, veteran Singapore Airlines trainers have added to their knowledge. As staff trainer Ms. Foo put it,

“We’ve realized we are learning from our learners.”

The airline is also hoping to do good for the economy of Singapore itself, as its training initiative will “contribute to Singapore’s national goal of reskilling and upskilling the country’s workforce.” Singapore Airlines has remained tight-lipped about its training programs’ pricing, but did add that its courses represent a potential new source of revenue in the coming years.

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