Fri, Dec 17, 2004 - Page 10 News List

Singapore Airlines faulted over promotion strategy

By Jackie Lin  /  STAFF REPORTER

Singapore Airlines risks violating regulations by not providing full information for customers on its limited offer of cut-rate tickets between Taipei and Singapore, the Fair Trade Commission said yesterday.

"[Singapore Airlines] must reveal important information, especially when it offers promotions. Otherwise, there is a high probability that it will violate Article 24 of the Fair Trade Act (公平交易法)," commission member Chen Jung-lung (陳榮隆) told the Taipei Times.

Article 24 regulates transparency in transactions.

Companies found infringing the article are subject to fines of between NT$50,000 and NT$25 million, Chen said.

Last week, in the face of competition from budget airline Jetstar Asia, Singapore Airlines announced it would provide limited, round-trip economy-class tickets on the Taipei-Singapore route for NT$1,688 until the end of March.

But it refused to disclose how many seats would be available for the promotion, citing "business confidentiality," according to Singapore Airlines' public relations manager Sharon Wu (吳蓓南).

The offer has been faulted for possibly misleading consumers.

Chen denounced the airline's unwillingness to disclose the number of seats, saying that offering detailed information has nothing to do with confidentiality.

Jason Lee (李鳳翱), chairman of the Consumers' Foundation (消基會), also criticized the promotion, saying it might raise consumers expectations about availability.

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