Singapore Airlines’ (SIA) regional wing,
SilkAir, is to undergo a significant investment programme to
upgrade its cabin products as part of a multi-year initiative
that will ultimately see it merged into SIA.
The programme will comprise investment of more
than $100 million to upgrade the wholly owned subsidiary’s cabins
with new lie-flat seats in Business Class, and the installation of
seat-back in-flight entertainment systems in both Business Class
and Economy Class.
Aircraft cabin upgrades
are expected to start in 2020 due to lead times required by
seat suppliers, including to complete certification processes.
merger will take place only after a sufficient number of
aircraft have been fitted with the new cabin products.
Consistent with ongoing
efforts to optimise the SIA Group’s network, there will also be
transfers of routes and aircraft between the different airlines in
“Singapore Airlines is one year into our
three-year Transformation Programme and today’s announcement is
a significant development to provide more growth opportunities
and prepare the group for an even stronger future,” said SIA CEO, Mr Goh Choon Phong. “Importantly, it will be positive for our
customers. It is another example of the major investment we are
making to ensure that our products and services continue to
lead the industry across short-, medium- and long-haul routes.”
SilkAir is the regional wing of Singapore Airlines, operating a
fleet of 11 Airbus A320-family aircraft and 22 Boeing 737-800
and 737 MAX 8 aircraft. It is currently transitioning to an
all-737 fleet, and serves 49 destinations in 16 countries.
It launched in 1989 as Tradewinds the Airline, initially focusing
on holiday destinations in Southeast Asia. Renamed SilkAir in
1992, it expanded progressively across Asia in subsequent years
as it evolved from a holiday resort airline to a full-fledged,
full-service regional carrier.