Many seem to have forgotten what Seve did for the European Tour. His swashbuckling style of play and charisma helped bring sponsors to the table and increased prize money. He helped open doors in the United States by winning the Masters, the first European to do so. Europes elite probably wouldnt currently be earning colossal sums of money if not for Seve. Who were all of the 2013 PGA Tour winners ? Its not even a year since some of the aforementioned Ryder Cup players were invoking Seves spirit at Medinah, as Europe stormed back to win the Cup. Yet those same players who pointed to Seves image on their sleeves wont play in a tournament dedicated to his memory. Yes, its a long season. True, Europes best cant play in every one, but youd have thought more top players would have made an effort to honor Seves memory. Especially when many of them will accept appearance money to turn up to play in pretty meaningless tournaments in far-flung corners of the world. Have they forgotten it was Seve who waged war with the European Tour to make sure he and other top Europeans could be paid appearance money? This issue revives the debate about a more lasting legacy to Seves memory. The European Tour needs to come up with something more fitting. The Tour should ditch its logo depicting Harry Vardon and go with Seves image instead.
Earlybird has long been a cornerstone of our pricing strategy, as it helps ensure we have strong base loads for the year ahead. This is why we have never hesitated to be bold and grab the market’s attention and reinforce our superior product and service offering. Actually the folks at SIA are stretching it with that last sentence. Because of SIAs service excellence and, importantly, the consistency of service excellence, where competitors have struggled to make service standards uniform they have always had the brand strength to park their rates up to $1000 return more than the price leaders on the long haul from Australia to Europe. Not any more. Super-aggressive discounting from Chinese carriers like China Southern has forced SIA to drop its Earlybird rates to Europe to below $1500 return from Australia for the first time. China Southerns rates are starting to look a bit like those of AirAsia X, which grabbed the headlines three years ago with rates from Australia to Europe of less than $1000. Of course, the AirAsia X option no longer exists because the low-cost pricing model of offering fares below cost as a market stimulant doesnt work unless there is enough demand to fill most of the seats at much higher rates. China Southern this month dropped its fares for travel from Australia to Amsterdam to around $1287 quoted by some agents from Melbourne and slightly more from Sydney. But that offer was seasonal, applying only to the low season through the northern winter and into spring, expiring in June. SIA upped the ante by making its Earlybird rates non-seasonal, applying right through until November 2014. Not unexpectedly, Qantas and its new partner Emirates are more or less matching the SIA rates on key European destinations for advance-purchase buyers travelling in 2014, dropping last years lead-in fares by up to $300 return. Will you still pay more for the quality of service Singapore Airlines offers, or is price the number one attraction for you? Will the new competition tempt you to look at Europe in 2014?