SilkAir to adopt Singapore Airlines brand, get lie-flat business class

SilkAir to adopt Singapore Airlines brand, get lie-flat business class

Singapore Airlines' regional arm SilkAir will be folded back into its parent airline, losing its 26-year old brand in favour of the iconic colours and Kris logo of Singapore Airlines.

SilkAir will also install all-new lie-flat business class seats across its single-aisle Boeing 737-800 and newer 737 MAX 8 jets, while the older Airbus A320 aircraft are retired, to deliver a consistent 'premium experience' across both international and regional Singapore Airlines flights.

SilkAir's current flagship business class product is the wide recliner of its new Boeing 737 MAX 8 fleet.

SilkAir's latest Boeing 737 MAX 8 business class

AusBT review: Review: SilkAir Boeing 737 MAX business class

The A$100 million upgrade will also see seat-back video screens fitted in both business class and economy class to "ensure closer product and service consistency across the SIA Group’s full-service network."

Singapore Airlines says the SilkAir cabin upgrades are expected to start in 2020 "due to lead times required by seat suppliers, including to complete certification processes."

The formal merger of SilkAir and its parent Singapore Airlines is still some years away, however, and "will take place only after a sufficient number of aircraft have been fitted with the new cabin products."

There will also be "transfers of routes and aircraft between the different airlines in the portfolio" – which could see some current Singapore Airlines' short-range flights taken over by nominally SilkAir jets.

David Flynn
David Flynn is the editor of Australian Business Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.
 

28 comments

  • reeves35

    reeves35

    18 May, 2018 09:53 am

    This makes sense providing SQ can offer a similar customer experience across its fleet. Despite co-branding, it is likely that the companies will remain separate from a legal sense so SQ can continue to employ the SilkAir staff on their current employment contracts and avoid additional complexity with seniority issues across flight and cabin crews.

    I wonder how closely SQ and VA are working on the narrowbody J class product given both of them are now looking for a similar product suitable for 737MAX aircraft.

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  • robbo135

    robbo135

    18 May, 2018 11:18 am

    "I wonder how closely SQ and VA are working on the narrowbody J class product given both of them are now looking for a similar product suitable for 737MAX aircraft."

    They won't be working together at all. SQ is after exclusivity/originality in their seat designs. Why offer a seat design to another airline in which you only have a 20% ownership in...
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  • Dan

    DanV

    18 May, 2018 11:41 am

    "I wonder how closely SQ and VA are working on the narrowbody J class product"

    Probably little to none in regards to co-operation between SQ and VA. Both will be looking/researching for their own lie-flat seat designs for their own narrow-body fleets.
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  • Aleks Popovic

    SYDINI

    19 May, 2018 12:47 am

    I think this is more reducing branding from 3 (SQ, MI, TR) to just a full service and LCC. There’s no need for 3 airlines under the one parent company operating out of a single country.
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  • AB__CD

    AB__CD

    18 May, 2018 09:57 am

    Interesting. Is there a source? You seem to be the only one reporting it.
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  • David Flynn

    David

    18 May, 2018 09:59 am

    Just wait a little bit for everybody else to catch up...
    Member who gave thanks

    SeaVisionBurma

  • Bob Burgess

    Bob Burgess

    18 May, 2018 10:39 am

    Gotta love that AusBT is pretty quick off the mark with news :)
    Member who gave thanks

    Paully

  • Bob Burgess

    Bob Burgess

    18 May, 2018 10:41 am

    Sounds like a very sensible move, SQ gets back to just to brands, Singapore Airlines as the premium carrier and Scoot for the low-cost arm, and yes, once SilkAir 'becomes' SQ that means full Star Alliance benefits for what are currently SilkAir flights.
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  • flyingchris

    flyingchris

    18 May, 2018 10:27 am

    Already announced by other sources such as the Singapore Airlines website.
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  • Luke Spence

    Luke49

    18 May, 2018 09:59 am

    I think this is a good idea. It’s Singapore Airlines or Scoot. Easier for customers. Singapore Airlines is Premium. Scoot low cost.
    Member who gave thanks

    Paully

  • Jedinak K

    Jedinak K

    18 May, 2018 12:15 pm

    Also allows them more flexibility in terms of getting the right aircraft type on the right route, to match demand where required.
    Member who gave thanks

    Paully

  • kiwiwings

    kiwiwings

    18 May, 2018 10:16 am

    Hello *A benefits on ‘silk air’ then? Seems like it should follow.
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  • Miguel

    simiguelito47

    18 May, 2018 01:31 pm

    "There will also be "transfers of routes and aircraft between the different airlines in the portfolio" – which could see some current Singapore Airlines' short-range flights taken over by nominally SilkAir jets."

    Didn't think that fully flat 787-10 regional seats would be viable for long on short Bali, Jakarta or KL hops ... if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.
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  • BJ01

    BJ01

    18 May, 2018 03:00 pm

    Makes sense. Done a lot of miles on SilkAir over the years. The service was always pretty good although the Y seats in the 319/320's where terrible for anyone over 6ft tall.

    I've noticed a few long standing intra asia leisure routes being handed off from SilkAir to Scoot lately (e.g. LGK). Wondering if that is early provisioning for this move and we are going to see a bit more of that?
    Members who gave thanks

    Frank, harko

  • harko

    harko

    19 May, 2018 01:38 pm

    I also think the statement means that there will be more transfers of routes from full-service SIA/SilkAir to Scoot than within the future SIA (incl. current SilkAir).
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  • Charles Furrows

    OOLflyer

    18 May, 2018 03:06 pm

    So finally Star Alliance elites will have access to Lounges, Frequent Flyer points and Status Credits!

    Long overdue!
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  • Bruce Seitanides

    Bruce777

    18 May, 2018 03:19 pm

    Will be interesting to see a narrowbody in SQ livery !!
    Member who gave thanks

    puppy79

  • puppy79

    puppy79

    20 May, 2018 09:22 am

    coming to think of it.727's and 757's aside back in the 70's and 80's when was the last time we saw a narrow body in SQ LIVERY.
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  • rob01

    rob01

    21 May, 2018 10:21 am

    Well there was the short lived concord in the late 70s that was branded SQ on one side and BA on the other!
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  • arrigoa2

    arrigoa2

    18 May, 2018 04:50 pm

    Thank goodness for that, my recent flights on Silk Air, (ex SIN to Shenzhen) were dreadful, tatty and grimy seats and all !
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  • GBRGB

    GBRGB

    18 May, 2018 05:51 pm

    Be interesting to see what happens to routes like CNS -SIN, currently the CNS Lounge is a poor standard and wouldn’t reflect a standard for business class on SQ , might be one of the routes to go Scoot.
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  • Tlar

    Tlar

    18 May, 2018 08:25 pm

    2020!!! That is a long time to wait, On well, much better then recliner seats they have on the 38M! Making red eye flights less red eye experience!

    In seat screen! Awesome. BYD or Loan Tablet in J was bit hard to use and in J lacked location to place it during a meal time
    .
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  • ManHa

    ManHa

    18 May, 2018 09:56 pm

    And the fact that they are saving in double management is sensible too
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  • UpUpAndAway

    UpUpAndAway

    19 May, 2018 09:24 am

    Someone please tell Qantas a single brand strategy is the way to go
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  • AJW

    AJW

    21 May, 2018 06:02 am

    SQ will be two brand. SQ and Scoot (LCC) just like Qantas?

    Your point is?
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  • DRW

    DRW

    20 May, 2018 04:59 pm

    So, maybe we can finally use Life Miles for MI route redemptions?
    No member give thanks

  • Thomas Ross

    tross888

    21 May, 2018 10:16 pm

    A move in the right direction! 2020 isn't that long away... we are almost half way through 2018 and it feels like the year just started!

    To this day I still find Cathay Pacific / Cathay Dragon relationship an odd one! Why not use Cathay Dragon (and change the name back to Dragonair!) as Cathay Pacific's LCC (as Qantas do with Jetstar / Singapore Airlines do with Scoot). Seems odd having two full service carriers under the one company flying out of the same hub.
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  • Arza

    Arza

    22 May, 2018 06:27 pm

    HKG is a very different market compared to SIN. The proportion of FSCs versus LCCs is far more skewed towards FSCs in HKG. LCC growth has been largely limited in HKG mainly due to slot constraints.
    SQ needs a LCC arm to compete with the likes of Air Asia, Lion, Malindo in the region. The competition against LCCs in HKG on the other hand is insignificant enough that CX does not need to cannibalise its premium business by introducing a low cost carrier.
    Downgrading an existing FSC brand (Dragonair) wouldn't end well either. KA is essentially a regional arm of CX with focus on mainland China. If KA were to be downgraded to a LCC, CX would loose a large portion of its network via KA. FSCs are reluctant to offer connections onto LCCs as it ultimately dilutes the FSC service and harms the brand (that being said, some airlines such as JL DO offer connections to their own LCC arms, but this is quite rare as far as I know (?).
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Guest

21 Mar, 2019 05:32 pm

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