Singapore Airlines will start daily service with the A380 at the end of next month, this follows a seat auction that has raised a record amount of money for charity.
With almost all seats now sold, the total committed to charities from sold packages so far is approaching S$2 million (£624,000).
Just 24 seats, listed especially for ‘last chance’ bids, remain for those who are still keen to be part of this historical flight. The seats, in Business and Economy Class in both directions, and Singapore Airlines Suites on the Sydney-Singapore leg, will be open for bids until the end of this week.
Throughout the two weeks of the auction - conducted on eBay, the world’s largest online marketplace - around 2,000 bidders pre-qualified by paying a security deposit, while several thousand others registered, so far buying 638 seats on both legs of the flight.
All the proceeds raised from the auction will be split three ways, between Singapore and Sydney charities, and a global humanitarian organisation:
One third to Singapore’s Community Chest
One third between the Sydney Children’s Hospital, Randwick, and The Children’s Hospital at Westmead, both in Sydney
One third to Médecins Sans Frontières, also known as Doctors Without Borders.
Cheques will be presented to the beneficiary organisations in conjunction with the First Flight on 25 and 26 October.
Singapore Airlines Chief Executive Officer, Chew Choon Seng, thanked the thousands of bidders who participated, and congratulated those who were successful in their bids.
“The auction has provided many aviation enthusiasts around the world with the opportunity to bid to be a part of history. We are pleased that the charities will benefit meaningfully from the proceeds of the auction”.
“We thank all participants who demonstrated such enthusiasm and generosity. Now we look forward to the delivery of this magnificent aircraft and introducing it into commercial service” Mr Chew said.
SOME INTERESTING FACTS
A record was achieved for the sale of the first Singapore Airlines Suites package on the Singapore-Sydney flight, which sold for US$100,380 (S$153,000). The bargain of the auction was a single Economy seat from Sydney to Singapore, which sold for US$560 (S$853).
One Singaporean purchased three Singapore Airlines Suites, two Business Class seats and an Economy Class seat on the Singapore-Sydney sector, paying US$56,000 (S$85,280) for the six seats.
Australians made up the largest nationality of successful bidders (15%), followed by Singaporeans (11%), Britons (6%), Americans (4%) and Germans (3%). The other 60% come from all over the world.
Successful bidders ranged in age, from a San Francisco man who will turn 22 on the day of the flight, to a 76 year old from Vancouver, Canada.
The auction was one of the largest charity auctions, and among the most complex, ever held on eBay, and the largest it has operated across the Asia-Pacific. Some 366 auction items have been listed over the last 2 weeks, including seats in all three classes, in singles, pairs and blocks.
The eBay pages hosting details of the Singapore Airlines A380 First Flight Charity Auction recorded over 26 million hits during the auction, with Australia, Germany, the US then Canada making up the most visitors to the sites. Data suggests internet users from over 160 countries visited the auction pages at some point during the auction