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

By David Flynn, May 18 2018
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
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

David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

24 Aug 2011

Total posts 682

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.

24 Jun 2015

Total posts 9

"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...

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

04 Nov 2017

Total posts 211

"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.

16 Jan 2018

Total posts 94

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.

29 Mar 2014

Total posts 81

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

24 Oct 2010

Total posts 2387

Just wait a little bit for everybody else to catch up...

13 Sep 2016

Total posts 184

Gotta love that AusBT is pretty quick off the mark with news :)

13 Sep 2016

Total posts 184

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.

05 May 2014

Total posts 8

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

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

17 Aug 2017

Total posts 22

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

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

06 Sep 2012

Total posts 216

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

Air New Zealand - Airpoints

10 Aug 2015

Total posts 79

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

Asiana Airlines - Asiana Club

09 Feb 2017

Total posts 42

"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.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

07 Dec 2015

Total posts 44

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?

05 Jul 2016

Total posts 21

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).

13 Feb 2017

Total posts 21

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


Long overdue!

Aegean Airlines - Miles & Bonus

17 Sep 2017

Total posts 17

Will be interesting to see a narrowbody in SQ livery !!

06 Dec 2017

Total posts 112

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.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

10 Nov 2011

Total posts 130

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

Cathay Pacific - The Marco Polo Club

20 Jun 2013

Total posts 29

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

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

21 Jan 2014

Total posts 250

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.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

17 Jul 2013

Total posts 20

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

.

08 May 2018

Total posts 19

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

QF

11 Jul 2014

Total posts 447

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

AJW
AJW

16 Nov 2011

Total posts 560

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

Your point is?
DRW
DRW

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

18 Apr 2014

Total posts 19

So, maybe we can finally use Life Miles for MI route redemptions?

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

21 May 2018

Total posts 8

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.

Dragonair - The Marco Polo Club

10 May 2015

Total posts 8

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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