Silkair will transfer 17 of its routes to low-cost sibling Scoot over the course of the next two years, as the regional carrier moves towards its eventual merger with its mainline sibling Singapore Airlines (SIA).
The affected routes comprise services to destinations in South East Asia, China and India and will take affect from April next year until the second half of 2020. Below is the schedule for the transfer:
|Luang Prabang||April 2019|
|Coimbatore||May 2019-October 2019|
|Trivandrum||May 2019-October 2019|
|Visakhapatnam||May 2019-October 2019|
|Changsha||May 2019-June 2019|
|Fuzhou||May 2019-June 2019|
|Kunming||May 2019-June 2019|
|Wuhan||May 2019-June 2019|
|Chiang Mai||October 2019|
|Kota Kinabalu||December 2019|
|Balikpapan||May 2020-July 2020|
|Lombok||May 2020-July 2020|
|Makassar||May 2020-July 2020|
|Manado||May 2020-July 2020|
|Semarange||May 2020-July 2020|
|Yogyakarta||May 2020-July 2020|
The airline’s services to Mandalay will remain with Silkair for now, however it will be converted into a seasonal operation with current services ending in March next year before returning from November 2019 until January 2020.
However, Scoot will also be ceding responsibility of four of its routes to Silkair and Singapore Airlines, which also operate services to those destinations. Scoot’s flights to Bengaluru and Chennai will be taken over by Singapore Airlines in May 2019 and May 2020, respectively.
Meanwhile its Shenzhen and Kochi services will go to Silkair in June and October 2019. Scoot’s flights to Honolulu, meanwhile, will be cut completely due to weak demand in June next year.
SIA announced back in May that it would be absorbing Silkair within the next few years, and these route changes are part of a network consolidation plan ahead of the merger.
“We are now at the half-way mark in our three-year Transformation Programme, and today’s announcement represents another significant development,” said Goh Choon Phong, CEO of SIA.
“The route review will strengthen the SIA Group for the long term, with the right vehicles in our portfolio of airlines deployed to the right markets.”
The group’s overhaul also includes a S$100 million (US$74.4 million) investment in upgrades to its Silkair fleet ahead of the merger, bringing its seat products and features more in line with those offered by flagship carrier Singapore Airlines.
This notably includes the addition of a new lie-flat seat in the business class cabin, along with the installation of seat-back in-flight entertainment systems in both business and economy class.
Retrofits of the airline’s cabins are expected to begin in 2020, with the merger expected to follow after a “sufficient number of aircraft” have been outfitted with the new products.
In related news, Scoot announced last week that it will shift its operations from Singapore Changi Airport’s Terminal 2 to Terminal 1 in the last quarter of 2019, in order to facilitate its future growth plans.