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SilkAir to launch 737 MAX on Australian routes from January 2018

New 737 MAX aircraft will make their Australian debut on Darwin and Cairns flights from early January.

SilkAir has amended their flying schedule to both Cairns (CNS) and Darwin (DRW) from January 2018 to almost exclusively fly the new Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft on both routes.

Cairns to Singapore is currently the longest SilkAir flight, scheduled at 7 hours and 5 minutes duration, so having the most comfortable on board product operating the route will be an important bonus for passengers.

We wrote about the new 737 MAX aircraft back in October, just after it was introduced to the SilkAir fleet, with it’s larger business class seats, new coffee machine in the galley, and new economy seats with integrated device holders, seat-back USB charging and TV content streamed to your personal device.

It’s certainly now the aircraft of choice if you’re flying SilkAir, in either cabin.

Business class benefits from 25% more legroom on the 737 MAX 8 (Photo: SilkAir)


The schedule for these routes is as follows. ‘7M8’ denotes the 737 MAX 8.


From 7th January 2018
Flight From / To Aircraft Days
MI801** SIN0830 – DRW1450 738 ·2·····
MI801 SIN0830 – DRW1450 7M8 ··3·5·7
MI803 SIN1955 – DRW0200* 7M8 1··4···
MI804 DRW0250 – SIN0610 7M8 ·2··5··
MI802** DRW1545 – SIN1900 738 ·2·····
MI802 DRW1545 – SIN1900 7M8 ··3·5·7

* – next day, ** – Additional Tuesday 737-800 flight ends 30th January


From 8th January 2018
Flight From / To Aircraft Days
MI811 SIN0110 – CNS1000 7M8 1··4·6·
MI813 SIN0830 – CNS1720 7M8 ··3·5··
MI812 CNS1055 – SIN1600 7M8 1··4·6·
MI814 CNS1810 – SIN2305 7M8 ··3·5··
Silk 737 Max (SilkAir)
The MAX 8 will be winging its way to Darwin and Cairns from next month. (Photo: SilkAir)

Where else is the MAX flying?

Currently there are two SilkAir 737 MAX 8 aircraft flying, but three will be in service by the second week of January 2018. Now that the fleet is growing, aside from flights to Darwin and Cairns, you can also find the MAX operating:

  • nine of the 35-weekly flights to Phuket (three each on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Sundays)
  • daily to Hyderabad
  • five times a week to Bengaluru
  • three times a week to Hiroshima
  • once a week to Kathmandu (Tuesdays)

No more guessing about the aircraft type

Singapore Airlines and SilkAir have (finally) added the 737 MAX 8 aircraft to their schedule database, so instead of having to identify the flights operated by the MAX like this:


It’s now much clearer:


Only took them two months! Maybe now that’s resolved, the IT team can work on loading Star Alliance and partner award redemptions properly…

Are KrisFlyer redemptions available?

We looked at the first couple of months following the switch to the 737 MAX 8 for both of these routes.

From Singapore to Cairns and Singapore to Darwin, we found two saver business awards available on most flights up to the end of February. In economy however, there wasn’t a single flight with two saver awards on either route, all dates were subject to waitlist.

For the return sectors on both routes, redemptions were largely available for two passengers in either cabin.

Cairns redemptions will cost you (one way):

  • 58,000 miles for a business saver
  • 28,000 miles for an economy saver

Darwin redemptions will cost you (one way):

  • 32,500 miles for a business saver
  • 20,000 miles for an economy saver

Remember that standard awards are not available on SilkAir, only saver awards.

Notice that Cairns is disproportionately expensive in miles cost for business class. It will only cost you 40% more in economy to travel to Cairns compared to Darwin, but it’s a full 78% increase in business.

(Cover Photo: Boeing)


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