Monday, 6 January 2014 00:01
To most travellers, Singapore Airlines is synonymous with the ultimate flying experience: excellent in-flight service, reliable ground handling, a fleet of modern aircraft and a huge network of destinations. Singapore Airlines has been one of Sri Lanka’s most loyal travel partners continuing to fly to Colombo during turbulent times even while other airlines pulled out.
What is not so known is that Singapore Airlines goes that extra mile to ensure that staff members, past and present, engage with each other on several levels. The ‘Singapore Airlines Family’ concept has been underscored through the many occasions when the staff members come together in warm camaraderie.
On Saturday 9 November, a staff get-together was held at the swanky Diamond Room on Level 6 of Aitken Spence Tower II. The tickets were sold out well before the event as staff members made sure they were a part of the action, along with their spouses. The night filled with music, a scrumptious dinner, drinks and gifts commenced by cutting a cake. A singing competition followed where staff members were encouraged to join their departments to emerge victorious. Thereafter the selection of SIA Queen, SIA King, Baila Queen and Baila King took place with much delight. As it turned out the winners were two Baila Queens! Several sponsors pitched in with generous gifts with a majority of the gifts coming from other airlines in Colombo. The grand prize was a return air ticket to Singapore donated by Singapore Airlines.
Each year the organising committee virtually outdo themselves with putting these events together. They ensure that staff members, past and present, receive an opportunity to connect with each other to reminisce and spend quality time together. The event is held in such esteem that past SIA staff members who live and work overseas travel to Colombo to be a part of the action. Those who are unable to travel to Colombo have, on many occasions donated generously.
Singapore Airlines commenced operations in 1970 with the opening of their office in Colombo. Throughout the years, despite the inevitable transition of staff members, the airline has managed to forge a virtual ‘family’ attitude. Notwithstanding the fact that some staff members have moved to other airlines to take up senior appointment and many have migrated while some have left to raise families, the bonds between staff members remain deep and enduring. Many attribute this to some of the finest General Managers that have headed the Colombo station. Despite being senior members of the SIA management team, these managers have remained in touch with staff members, past and present, and visit the country in their personal capacities.
The organising team was headed by Keethi Jayaweera, with Rajitha Fernando, Nilan Krisnaratne, Shihana Cader and Singapore Airlines’ current dynamic General Manager Aldrin Arumugam who pitched his might and wholehearted support behind the event.