LAS VEGAS -- Singapore Airlines will make its nonstop foray into
Las Vegas in August, and officials said they are hoping the three
weekly flights from Southeast Asia translate into a big payoff for
"It's a huge development for us for many reasons," according to
Rob Powers, vice president of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors
"It's significant in the fact that it's the first time any
carrier has initiated service from Southeast Asia to Las Vegas.
Asia is a very important market for us."
Japan Airlines already flies Tokyo-to-Las Vegas service, so the
addition of the Singapore service "really opens up the Asian market
a lot more to us," Powers said.
The new Singapore service, which launches Aug. 2, will operate
from Singapore to Hong Kong to Las Vegas on Wednesdays, Fridays and
Sundays. The return flights depart Las Vegas on Mondays, Thursdays
Although Powers said it was difficult to quantify in specific
numbers, he said the three weekly flights had the potential to
"bring tens of thousands of additional visitors" a year to Las
"The bottom line for us is that [the Asian] market now realizes
that it's much easier to get here than ever before," he said.
The new service, Powers said, makes it easier to market Las
Vegas as a true international destination, something the LVCVA has
been trying to do for years.
The international market accounts for about 11% of Las Vegas'
total visitors -- and the Asian market accounts for six of the top
20 international markets traveling to Las Vegas. Japan is the top
international market, the LVCVA said.
Powers said he hopes other carriers will follow Singapore's lead
and decide to initiate nonstop international service to the city.
"Obviously, the easier it is for any international market to get
here the better it is for us," he said.
Although Powers said the LVCVA is expecting the flights to bring
mostly leisure travelers from Southeast Asia, there is an important
implication for the meetings and conventions market, as well.
"This opens up new possibilities for the entire Asian market --
both business and leisure," Powers said. "And in the post-Sept. 11
world, it makes Singapore's announcement all the more
A Singapore Airlines official echoed Powers' sentiments. Michael
Tan, senior executive vice president for the carrier, said Las
Vegas has become a "popular home for megaconferences, exhibitions
and incentive programs throughout the year."
In North America, Singapore serves New York (Kennedy and
Newark), Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago (O'Hare) and