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 eventually see it merged into SIA.
The programme will see 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. This will ensure closer product and service consistency across the SIA Group’s full-service network.
Aircraft cabin upgrades are expected to start in 2020 due to lead times required by seat suppliers, including to complete certification processes. The merger will take place only after a sufficient number of aircraft have been fitted with the new cabin products. Specific details will be announced progressively as the programme develops and timelines are finalised.
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 the portfolio.
SIA chief executive officer, 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.
“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.