Singapore Airlines has announced that they will merge their regional subsidiary Silk Air into Singapore Airlines, after spending S$100 Million to upgrade the Silk Air planes. This is a great move for customers that will be less confusing, provide more consistency across flights and make earning miles and utilizing elite benefits easier. It’s a long overdue move – find out what it will mean for your flights!
Silk Air started as a leisure carrier in 1989 under the name Tradewinds and later took over regional flights with a fleet of narrow-body Boeing B737 and Airbus A320 planes for Singapore Airlines. SIA had a similar set-up with Tiger Air as low-cost carrier for short-haul routes and Scoot for long-haul routes, making it confusing for customers and delivering inconsistent services.
Last year, they merged Tiger Air into Scoot, now offering a single low-cost airline, and with the integration of Silk Air into Singapore Airlines, they will have one premium, full-service airline serving the full network.
Before they do that, they will starting in 2020 spend S$100 Million on upgrading the Silk Air fleet to Singapore Airline standards. While the current business class on B737Max has nice recliner seats, they will be upgraded to include flat-bed seats and video entertainment! They will also have to step up the service level to deliver a consistent experience across their operations. Once enough planes have been upgraded, the Silk Air brand will disappear and all flights will be operated as Singapore Airlines.
This will also be good news for StarAlliance members and elite members, as future narrow-body flights will provide the same elite benefits and mileage earning and redemption options as current SQ flights – a big improvement over the current situation.
Bottomline: This is good news for customers. Having multiple brands might have been helpful from an operations perspective, but was a classic “inside out” business organization, rather than organizing the airline from the customer perspective. You’ll (eventually) have a more consistent travel experience, including cabin products, service and loyalty benefits! I can’t wait to see the first renovated plane!
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