First touted in early 2018, the SilkAir merger with SIA will soon be moving into a significant new phase.
The Lion City’s flag carrier has just announced plans to operate its upgraded Boeing 737s on flights to Phuket starting on March 4, marking the latest and most visible step of ongoing efforts to absorb its regional arm SilkAir. Nine of the latter’s 737-800 Next Generation aircraft are due to join the SIA fleet, and after Phuket, the next destination to be served by the single-aisle jets will be the Bruneian capital Bandar Seri Begawan. Despite a slowdown of the planned SilkAir–SIA merger thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic, the integration process is scheduled for completion in the 2021/22 financial year.
Singapore Airlines’ Boeing 737-800 NGs will have 12 seats in business class and 150 in economy. The carrier says customers on regional routes formerly flown by SilkAir can now look forward to enhanced food and beverage options as well as KrisWorld inflight entertainment via a web-based platform. It is not known whether all aspects of a previously announced 100-million-dollar cabin upgrade for the 737s, which would have replaced the business-class recliners with flat-bed seats, have come to fruition.
Goh Choon Phong, CEO of Singapore Airlines, said in a statement, “The introduction of the SIA 737-800 NG will bring about a more comfortable and seamless travel experience for customers on our regional routes. Integrating SilkAir with SIA also allows us to be nimble and flexible in aircraft deployment, and supports our fleet and network growth strategy.”
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