SilkAir to be merged into SIA after cabin upgrades

Silkair Boeing 737 MAX 8 Australia

Silkair Boeing 737 MAX 8 Australia

MERGING SilkAir into Singapore Airlines (SIA) will improve connectivity across the combined fleet's wide- and narrow-body planes, Singapore Airlines management said on Friday.

More than $100 million will be invested to upgrade SilkAir's cabins with new lie-flat seats in Business Class, and install seat-back in-flight entertainment systems in both Business Class and Economy Class. This will ensure closer product and service consistency across the SIA Groups 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".

Merging SilkAir into the parent airline "will take place only after a sufficient number of aircraft have been fitted with the new cabin products", the country's flag carrier said in a statement.

SilkAir now serves 49 destinations in 16 countries and is part way through the process of phasing out its Airbus A320 fleet, replacing them with Boeing 737s.

READ: Singapore's Silkair introduces the Boeing's 737 MAX 8 to Australia. Some routes and aircraft are also set to be transferred between the two carriers after the merger.

The changes will be "positive" for customers, Mr Goh, adding that it was a major investment to ensure that Singapore Airlines' products and services continue to lead the industry across short, medium and long-haul routes. 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.

The news came as the SIA Group posted a net profit of $S893 million for the 2017-18 financial year, up 148.1 percent on the same period last year. The parent airline swung into the black with an operating profit of S$137 million, versus a loss of S$41 million a year ago, buttressed by higher revenue.

Passenger flown revenue was up 3.6 percent to $S428 million as traffic growth (+6.3%) outpaced the decline in passenger yield (-3.1%).

However, it remained characteristically cautious in its outlook.

" Fuel prices have been trending higher and volatility is expected to persist in the months ahead".

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