We first wrote about the rumour of SilkAir merging with Singapore Airlines in December last year, and again earlier today reiterated our prediction when discussing SIA’s latest financial results. Well the news was confirmed in the last hour by Singapore Airlines.
SilkAir to be merged into Singapore Airlines
As the next major project in the group’s “transformation plan” wholly owned regional subsidiary SilkAir will “undergo a significant investment programme to upgrade its cabin products as part of a multi-year initiative that will ultimately see it merged into SIA.”
“Singapore Airlines is one year into our three-year Transformation Programme and today’s announcement is a significant development to provide more growth opportunities and prepare the Group for an even stronger future.”
“Importantly, it will be positive for our customers. It is another example of the major investment we are making to ensure that our products and services continue to lead the industry across short-, medium- and long-haul routes.”
Goh Choon Phong, SIA CEO
New Seats and IFE
An investment of S$100m will see installation of lie-flat seats in business class and in-flight entertainment systems across both cabins to align the SilkAir product with that of Singapore Airlines.
Exactly what seat that means in the business cabin isn’t yet confirmed – but it explains the 25% legroom increase in the 737 MAX business cabin introduced last year which cost the airline a row of six economy seats for no apparent reason. It seems the space was always designed with a different product in mind.
As we mentioned in our December article, the business class floorspace in the SilkAir MAX 8 is identical to that used in the flydubai configuration, which sports 10 flat-bed seats.