As Airlineworld has reported earlier, Singapore Airlines had sold the tickets for the first ever commercial flight of the new Airbus A380 on eBay through an auction, and will donate all the revenue gained from these sales for charity. The auction took place in the two weeks between 27AUG2007 and 10SEP2007, for the flights which will take-off from Singapore to Sydney on 25OCT2007 and will head back to Singapore the following day.
The starting prices at the auction were USD 3.80 for economy, USD 38.00 for business and USD 380.00 for first class seats. According to the Singapore Airlines website the record was achieved for the sale of the first Singapore Airlines Suites package on the Singapore-Sydney flight, which sold for USD 100,380 (S$153,000), which means a 265 time increase of the starting price! The bargain of the auction was a single Economy seat from Sydney to Singapore, which sold for USD 560 (S$853), that equals 150 times the starting price. It’s also interesting that in case of the starting prices you could buy 100 economy seats for the price of a first class suite, while the difference between the most expensive and the cheapest tickets during the auction has grown to 179,25 fold! So in theory buying only bargain economy seats for the price of the record first class price would have enabled the proud owner to purchase enough tickets to fill up an average transatlantic Boeing 767-200ER for example, or a larger short-haul plane, such as an Airbus A321 or a Boeing 737-800.
One Singaporean purchased three Singapore Airlines Suites, two Business Class seats and an Economy Class seat on the Singapore-Sydney sector, paying USD 56,000 (S$85,280) for the six seats total. 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 (what a perfect birthday gift!!), 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 2 weeks of the auction, 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.
There were a total of over 10.000 valid bids received, and overall S$1.9 million (USD 1.25 million or EUR 0.9 million) raised for the two flights (Singapore-Sydney and Sydney-Singapore). All the proceeds raised from the auction will be split three ways, between Singapore and Sydney charities, and a global humanitarian organisation (again a very elegant way of splitting up such a huge amount of charity money):
- 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, according to Singapore Airlines.
After the charity and the celebrations of the first flights, Singapore Airlines will begin scheduled services on the A380 between Singapore and Sydney on 28OCT2007, just two days after the historical flights, and only 13 days after taking delivery of the largest airliner. The daily return flight will be in place of an existing flight, currently operated using a Boeing 747 jumbojet.
We here at airlineworld think this was a beautiful and elegant way of selling tickets for the first ever commercial flight of the Airbus A380, and to use such an occasion to benefit charity organizations. We are also overwhelmed by the success and the amount of money raised!