Silk Air launches flights to Colombo


Silk Air has launched a three-times-weekly service to Colombo, Sri Lanka.

The flights will operate on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays between Singapore Changi Airport and Colombo’s Bandaranaike International Airport as per the schedule below:

Singapore – Colombo

Flight Day Departing Arrive
MI428 Wed, Sat 0850 1005
MI428 Thursday 0730 0915

Colombo – Singapore

Flight Day Departing Arrive
MI427 Wed, Sat 1105 1730
MI427 Thursday 1030 1700

The flights will be operated by B737-800 aircraft, with 12 seats in business class and 150 in the economy cabin.

“Colombo offers a rich heritage and a variety of experiences to travellers to explore the beauty of Sri Lanka. The launch of the Colombo flight route as our 53rd destination presents an opportunity for SilkAir to continually provide our customers with increased connectivity to the region via Singapore,” commented Silk Air’s chief executive, Foo Chai Woo.

The new flight complements the daily service currently operated by parent carrier Singapore Airlines. Together, the carriers will offer a total of 10 round-trip flights a week to Sri Lanka.

Vistara signs codeshare agreement with Singapore Airlines and SilkAir

Vistara-SIA codeshare signing

Singapore Airlines (SIA) and SilkAir have signed an agreement to codeshare on Indian domestic flights operated by Vistara, effective March 14. This means, all SIA and SilkAir passengers will now be issued tickets that go beyond the cities at which these carriers lands.

Phee Teik Yeoh, Vistara’s CEO says, “We are delighted to establish our first codeshare partnership with Singapore Airlines and SilkAir. As we continuously work towards eventually becoming a globally renowned airline, codeshare partnerships will play a very important role in helping us get closer to realising that aspiration.”

Under the agreement, SIA will add the SQ code to its Vistara-operated flights from Mumbai and Delhi to ten Indian cities, namely Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Bhubaneswar, Goa, Guwahati, Hyderabad, Lucknow, Kochi, Kolkata and Port Blair. SIA also flies directly from Singapore to Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chennai and Kolkata, but doesn’t have codeshare flights from these cities.

SilkAir will add the MI code to its Vitara-operated flights from Bengaluru and Kolkata to six Indian destinations, namely Guwahati, Hyderabad, Kochi, Mumbai, New Delhi and Port Blair. SilkAir directly connects Singapore to Bengaluru, Chennai, Coimbatore, Hyderabad, Kochi and Kolkata, but doesn’t have codeshare flights from these cities.

This is the first of its kind agreement for all three airlines — the first codeshare agreement for Vistara and the first codeshare agreement for the SIA group (SIA and SilkAir) with an Indian-based domestic carrier.

Tan Kai Ping, SIA’s senior VP of marketing planning says, “Through the new codeshare agreement, both SIA and SilkAir are able to expand our network reach in the important India market, providing our customers even more travel options and enhanced KrisFlyer benefits.”

As a result of the codeshare partnership, members of KrisFlyer and Club Vistara will enjoy additional tier benefits. A release by Vistara explains that SIA group’s “KrisFlyer Elite Gold and PPS Club members will enjoy lounge access, increased baggage allowance, and priority baggage handling, check-in and boarding when travelling on Vistara-operated flights. Likewise, Club Vistara Platinum and Gold members will enjoy the same benefits when travelling on SIA-operated flights. PPS Club and KrisFlyer members will earn Elite miles when travelling on SIA codeshare flights operated by Vistara”. KrisFlyer members can also redeem their miles for Vistara flights, and vice versa.

Vistara is a New Delhi-based joint venture between Tata Sons and SIA. It marked its second anniversary of operations on January 9, 2017.


Singapore Airlines makes Krisflyer redemption changes

Singapore Airlines A350-900 business class seat

Fuel and insurance surcharges will no longer apply to Krisflyer redemption bookings, beginning March 23 this year. The change to the Singapore Airlines frequent flyer programme comes as the airline and its subsidiary Silkair look to fold in fuel and insurance surcharges into their base fares.

In addition to the removal of these surcharges to redemptions, members of Singapore Airlines’ frequent flyer programme Krisflyer will no longer receive a 15 per cent discount on redemptions when booking online as opposed to via the call centre, also starting March 23. The same redemption fare will now be applied across all booking channels.

According to Singapore Airlines, both it and Silkair have been showing the full price payable in their airfare advertising since 2008, though the folding in of the fuel and insurance charges is set to be implemented progressively by region starting March 28 and completing by May this year. Customers will now be shown a single base airfare when purchasing tickets, though applicable airport taxes and fees will continue to apply for redemption awards.

The change is potentially bad news for Krisflyer members, as it effectively increases the number of miles required to redeem for flights in certain zones. The flipside to the change is that the removal of fuel and insurance surcharges will mean cash savings when paying for redemption tickets.

Meanwhile, “all-in” fares are not expected to be immediately affected by the change, since these are determined by market supply and demand, the airline says.

Along with these changes, Singapore Airlines is also making adjustments to redemption award charts in the Saver category for certain zones. These include Zone 7, 9, 11, 12 and 13 for first, business and economy class cabins. A list of examples showcasing how the expected changes will affect the Saver award chart can be viewed on Singapore Airlines’ website.

Travellers booking codeshare flights or making redemption bookings on flights operated by other airlines may still encounter surcharges.

What are Asia-Pacific’s most punctual airlines?

Delayed traveller

Each year, air travel intelligence company OAG publishes its Punctuality League report assessing the on-time performance (OTP) results for the world’s airlines and airports.

This year’s report – tracking the punctuality of flights across the world throughout 2016 – drew upon the largest-ever number of flights tracked in a single year. Approximately 54 million flight records using full-year data from 2016 were used in the compilation of OAG’s 2016 assessment.

What constitutes an on-time flight? According to OAG, any flight that departs or arrives within 14 minutes and 59 seconds of its scheduled time is considered on time. Cancellations are also included in the report.

With that in mind, here’s a look at OAG’s findings and the most on-time carriers from across Asia-Pacific in 2016.

1. Qantas

Main hubs: Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney Airports
OTP in 2016: 87.56 per cent
2015 ranking: 4
OTP vs. 2015: +0.52 percentage points

Taking the number one spot this year, Qantas managed an impressive climb from fourth to first versus its 2015 ranking. Its OTP score of 87.56 per cent also saw it rank fourth among all airlines in OAG’s assessment, behind Hawaiian Airlines, Copa Airlines and KLM – itself an impressive increase from its 2015 position as 15th most punctual airline in the world.

2. Japan Airlines

Main hubs: Tokyo (Haneda and Narita International Airports)
OTP in 2016: 86.74 per cent
2015 ranking: 1
OTP vs. 2015: -3.7 percentage points

The top Japanese airline in OAG’s 2016 report, Japan Airlines slid this year from the number one best Asia-Pacific airline spot that it had secured in 2014 and 2015. That said, the Japanese carrier remains a highly reliable airline, taking the number five spot just below Qantas when looking at all airlines globally. And according to independent aviation performance tracker Flightstats Inc., the carrier achieved an on-time arrival rate of 87.33 per cent in 2016, a figure that cemented its position as Asia-Pacific’s best major international airline in both mainland and network by Flightstats.

3. Singapore Airlines

Main hub: Singapore Changi Airport
OTP in 2016: 85.19 per cent
2015 ranking: 7
OTP vs. 2015: +0.88 percentage points

Singapore Airlines (SIA) achieved the largest OTP increase of any returning top-ten Asia-Pacific airline from 2015, improving its punctuality by 0.88 percentage points. This increase resulted in an impressive jump from seventh to third among Asia-Pacific carriers for reliable arrival and departure times – an impressive feat.

4. All Nippon Airways
Main hubs: Tokyo (Haneda and Narita International Airports)
OTP in 2016: 84.71 per cent
2015 ranking: 2
OTP vs. 2015: -4.94 percentage points

Of all the airlines to make it to the top ten list in 2016, All Nippon Airways (ANA) operated the highest number of flights – though OAG notes that, while there are other Asia-Pacific airlines that are larger, none had a high enough OTP to make it into the top ten. Overall, ANA had a capacity of 73,444,281 (arrivals) and a frequency of 359,075 (arrivals), with Singapore Airlines coming second with over 20 million less capacity and about 80,000 behind ANA in terms of frequency.

5. Virgin Australia
Main hubs: Auckland, Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney Airports
OTP in 2016: 84.52 per cent
2015 ranking: 3
OTP vs. 2015: -4.04 percentage points

The second Australian carrier to make the top ten Asia-Pacific airlines list, Virgin Australia slid in the rankings this year slightly, dropping from three to five. And while the carrier had a lower capacity and frequency than its fellow Australian carrier, Qantas, the airline’s 84.52 per cent OTP makes it among the most reliable for on-time departures and arrivals, achieving the number 14 rank among the top 20 airlines globally by OTP.

6. Fiji Airways

Main hub: Nadi International Airport
OTP in 2016: 81.77 per cent
2015 ranking: N/A
OTP vs. 2015: N/A

One of 2016’s newcomers to the top-ten list, Fiji Airways soared in the rankings to enter at number six in Asia-Pacific. While its OTP of 81.77 per cent is only marginally lower than 2015 newcomers Jet Airways (81.98 per cent) and Skymark Airlines (81.94 per cent), the Fijian carrier’s debut on the top ten list has seen it exceed the number nine and ten positions achieved by last year’s newcomers. Of the ten most punctual airlines of 2016, Fiji Airways operated the lowest capacity (1,922,663 arrivals) and had the lowest frequency (20,492 arrivals) of flights, a fact that has undoubtedly helped the airline maintain a high standard of OTP.

7. Silkair

Main hub: Singapore Changi Airport
OTP in 2016: 81.28 per cent
2015 ranking: N/A
OTP vs. 2015: N/A

The second newcomer to the top ten list this year, regional Singapore Airlines subsidiary Silkair managed an impressive OTP just 3.91 percentage points below its parent carrier. As with fellow newcomer Fiji Airways, its OTP of 81.28 per cent is lower than that of its 2015 newcomer counterparts, though its coverage is the highest among Fiji Airways, Jet Airways and Skymark Airlines.

8. Air New Zealand

Main hubs: Auckland Airport, and Wellington and Christchurch International Airports
OTP in 2016: 79.20 per cent
2015 ranking: 5
OTP vs. 2015: -8.13 percentage points

Despite seeing the largest decrease in OTP from its 2015 performance of all top ten airlines in Asia-Pacific this year, Air New Zealand nevertheless managed to hold on to its position as one of the top ten airlines in Asia-Pacific for punctuality. That said, its 2016 OTP of 79.20 per cent did see it drop out of the top 20 airlines globally this year, having previously managed to achieve the number 18 spot in 2015.

9. Thai Airasia

Main hub: Don Mueang International Airport (Bangkok)
OTP in 2016: 78.60 per cent
2015 ranking: 8
OTP vs. 2015: -5.68 percentage points

While Thai Airasia did drop in the Asia-Pacific rankings by one place, the budget carrier has managed to hold on to its title as the most on-time low-cost carrier in Asia-Pacific. In 2016, Thai Airasia secured the position of ninth most-punctual low-cost airline in the world.

10. Skymark Airlines

Main hub: Tokyo Haneda International Airport
OTP in 2016: 78.32 per cent
2015 ranking: 10
OTP vs. 2015: -3.62 percentage points

One of two newcomers to OAG’s 2015 top ten list (the other, Jet Airways, came ninth), Skymark Airlines was also the only one of the two to retain its top-ten position in 2016 and the only top ten airline to hold on to the same rank it achieved in the previous year’s rankings. Skymark Airlines is a low-cost carrier based out of the Japanese capital’s older Haneda International Airport that flies domestically across the country, and is the third Japanese airline to break into OAG’s top ten this year.

Silk Air launches new mobile app

Silk Air App

Regional carrier SilkAir unveiled its new mobile app earlier this week, designed to provide travellers with greater efficiency and convenience throughout the travel experience.

The app’s core features include flight booking, exclusive fares and itinerary management. Flight updates and information can be set to appear on the customisable home screen, meanwhile alerts such as check-in reminders can be received via push notifications. The app also enables members of parent company Singapore Airlines’ loyalty programme, KrisFlyer, to view details such as miles and tier information.

To speed up the check-in process, a Mobile Boarding Pass feature is also available for travellers departing Singapore Changi Airport.

“SilkAir is constantly improving and enhancing our various digital touch points to keep up with the changing landscape of the travel industry,” said Ryan Pua, vice president commercial for SilkAir. “With the SilkAir mobile app, customers can expect greater control and convenience when it comes to planning their travel itineraries.”

The launch of the app is being accompanied by special deals available exclusively through the app, available until October 17. These include all-in fares of SG$159 (US$116) to Langkawi, US$138 to Phuket and US$167 to Yogyakarta.

Available on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store, the app is compatible with iOS 8 and 9, and Android version 4.0.3 onwards.

Silk Air will launch flights to Fuzhou in November


Silk Air, the regional carrier of Singapore Airlines, will begin operating a four-times-a-week service to Fuzhou from November 21.

The service, which will run every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday, will be served by the B737-800, featuring 12 seats in business and 150 in economy class.

Flight MI990 will depart Singapore at 1035 and arrive in Fuzhou at 1505. The return flight, MI989, will then take off from Fuzhou at 1615 and touch back down in Singapore at 2100.

As a full-service carrier, Silk Air passengers can expect to receive in-flight meals, in-flight entertainment and a generous baggage allowances of 40kg and 30kg for business and economy class respectively. Onward connections with parent carrier Singapore Airlines also benefit from having luggage automatically checked-through to the final destination.

“We are delighted to launch our new flight to Fuzhou, the capital of Fujian province. We hope that this will open up exciting opportunities for travellers between Fuzhou and Singapore, and also beyond these two major gateways,” said Silk Air chief executive Foo Chai Woo.

For more information, visit

Clement Huang

Silk Air offers 50 per cent off redemption fares

Silk Air flight attendants

Silk Air, the regional carrier of Singapore Airlines, is offering members of its Krisflyer loyalty programme a 50 per cent discount on redemption fares.

The promotion is valid for bookings made until August 4, and encompasses 19 destinations in Southeast Asia. Travel must be completed by October 31.

The 50 per cent discount applies to both business and economy class fares.

Flights to popular destinations such as Langkawi, Kuala Lumpur and Kota Kinabalu can be redeemed for as low as 3,750 miles one way in economy.

At the other end of the scale, business class fares to Kalibo, Siem Reap, Mandalay, Yangon, Danang, Phuket and Koh Samui require 10,000 points each way.

A complete list of the destinations and miles required can be found here.

In order to redeem flights, Krisflyer members should visit the Singapore Airlines website (note: the promotion is not available on the Silk Air website), and log into their accounts. After selecting “Book a Flight” from their dashboard, they can then click “Redeem flights” and select their travel details.

Taxes, surcharges and other ancillary fees are charged separately and are not subject to any discount.

For more information, visit and

Clement Huang