Come 2020, SilkAir, the regional carrier we know and love, will cease to exist. Following a S$100 million cabin upgrade to its fleet, it will be absorbed into Singapore Airlines.
This move comes at a time when air travel is especially competitive in both luxury and budget markets. To stay in the game, SilkAir’s current fleet of 34 planes will be retrofitted in a bid to align them better with those of its parent company, Singapore Airlines. Soon, your regional flights to Phuket and the Maldives will have lie-flat seats in business class and in-flight entertainment systems in both business and economy class.
Why 2020, though? There’s simply not enough supply of lie-flat business class seats for SilkAir’s fleet of narrowbody aircraft. “We want to ensure that we have a sufficient number of reconfigured aircraft before the merger actually takes place”, said Singapore Airlines CEO Goh Choon Phong.
This isn’t the first time Singapore Airlines has had to merge two subsidiaries. Just last year, the group consolidated its low-cost units Tigerair and Scoot into the latter. That merger added five new destinations — Honolulu (its first long-haul destination), Harbin, Kuantan, Kuching, and Palembang.