Tue, 08 Mar 2005

SpongeBob makes SIA debut

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

Who lives in a pineapple under the sea? (SpongeBob SquarePants!) Absorbent and yellow and porous is he? (SpongeBob SquarePants!)....

Well, it's SpongeBob time!

If you have trouble dragging your children away from your television while this much-hyped cartoon is on, you can promise them that they will not miss a single episode when traveling onboard Singapore Airlines (SIA) flights.

Starting this month, SIA will be broadcasting SpongeBob SquarePants, the chatty yellow sea sponge character, on all routes, with the exception of the Singapore-Kuala Lumpur route.

Young travelers aged under 12 will be kept enthralled by the adventures of SpongeBob and his Bikini Bottom friends, thanks to a cooperate agreement between SIA and Nickelodeon -- the children's entertainment TV network that is home to SpongeBob, said SIA's inflight services vice president Betty Wong.

During holiday seasons, especially school holidays, junior passengers make up almost 50 percent of all SIA travelers, SIA Jakarta public relations manager Glory Henriette said on Monday.

Currently, SIA's 87 aircraft serve 60 destinations in 32 countries around the world, including eight flights every day between Jakarta and Singapore.

East Asian routes, including the aforementioned, contributed US$1.7 million to SIA's total revenue of around $6 million last year.

SIA has not just provided SpongeBob for children, but also many adults who are also fascinated by cartoonist Stephen Hillenburg's ludicrous deep sea creature.

According to Nielsen Media Research, since its premiere in 1999 the cartoon is rated among the top five rated kids program in the Asia Pacific region.

"We are certain that this entertainment will bring more fun to children of all ages, including adults, especially on the long- haul flights," said vice president of MTV Networks Asia, trademark holder of Nickelodeon, Indra Suharjono. (003)