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Travel industry news

18 May 2018

BY Gary Noakes


Singapore Airlines to axe SilkAir regional brand and offer short-haul flights

Singapore Airlines will begin operating short-haul flights in the next few years with the ditching of its SilkAir regional brand, which will become part of the mainline carrier.

Singapore Airlines aircraft

Singapore Airlines to offer short-haul flights in major structural shift

Singapore Airlines, which currently only operates a wide-body fleet, will merge its SilkAir subsidiary into the mainline operation and rebrand as part of a three-year transformation programme.


SilkAir’s aircraft will undergo a $100 million programme to upgrade cabins with lie-flat business class seats and seatback TV screens will be installed throughout the business and economy cabins. SilkAir operates 11 narrow body Airbus A320s 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.


The airline said the merger would take place “only after a sufficient number of aircraft have been fitted with the new cabin products,” adding: “Specific details will be announced progressively as the programme develops and timelines are finalised.”


Singapore Airlines’ chief executive Goh Choon Phong said: “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.”


SilkAir was formed in 1989 as Tradewinds the Airline, a leisure carrier flying to holiday destinations in Southeast Asia. It was rebranded in 1992 and became a full-service regional carrier.

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