While Singapore Airlines is known as a globe-striding colossus, connecting all corners of the globe with the largest jets from both Airbus and Boeing – including the latest A380 superjumbo and the long retired but fondly remembered Boeing 747 'Megatop' jumbo – it's now doing short hops around Asia on the modest single-aisle Boeing 737.
This comes as the Singaporean flag-carrier begins taking over the fleet and routes of regional sibling SilkAir, which will be wound down over the coming 12 months.
Nine of SilkAir's Boeing 737-800 jets are being redressed in the familiar Singapore Airlines livery, flown by Singapore Airlines crew and – from what one Executive Traveller reader tells us – now offer very much a premium Singapore Airlines experience.
Martin Memo is a regular traveller with both Singapore Airlines and SilkAir, and his most recent business trip was on one of SQ's Boeing 737s.
The 12 business class seats have been recovered with fresh upholstery and present themselves with familiar touches like those compact pillows seen in Singapore Airlines' long-range business class.
Business class passengers are also provided with a tablet for wirelessly connecting to the onboard KrisWorld entertainment system, although their own device can do likewise.
Memo told ET that while he initially expected this to be more like a "rebrand", "it really was a Singapore Airlines flight, like one of their regional flights to Manila or Hong Kong, and not a SilkAir flight - and there was nothing wrong with SilkAir."
"The cabin felt brand new, and I very much felt like I was flying SQ," Memo added.
As before, row 1 is your pick for extra legroom and enjoying the added ambience provided by three windows.
This is just the stage one of Singapore Airlines' Boeing 737 rollout: the Star Alliance member will also take up SilkAir's order for the Boeing 737 MAX, which will swap today's business class recliners for fully lie-flat seats using Thompson Aero's popular Vantage design.
With staggered rows of forward-facing seats, most passengers will have direct aisle access, while there'll also be four 'throne' seats giving solo flyers more privacy as well as more room to spread out and get down to work.
The move is intended to provide Singapore Airlines’ business class passengers with 100% consistency in their premium experience.
Offering a business class bed on relatively short regional flights is also intended to one-up Asian competitor Cathay Pacific, which has settled for a business class recliner on its regional Airbus A321neo jets.
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