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Singapore Airlines expands 737-800 network from March 2021

Singapore Airlines Boeing 737-800 flights will be expanded to five cities by May 2021, including Colombo, with more to follow.

Singapore Airlines has revealed the next four confirmed routes for its newly inherited Boeing 737-800 fleet, as nine such aircraft progressively move across from regional subsidiary SilkAir into the mainline operation over the coming months.

This new era for the carrier will allow it to gain the flexibility of operating more cost efficient narrow-body jets for the first time in over 30 years, after its small fleet of Boeing 757s was sold to American Trans Air in 1989/90.

In the process the SilkAir brand itself will disappear, as the airline is fully merged into SIA before the end of the 2021/22 financial year.

Where’s next?

Following the initial announcement that these aircraft would serve Phuket from 4th March 2021 and Brunei from 15th March 2021, SIA has now revealed that four additional ex-SilkAir routes will be operated by the Boeing 737-800 in the coming months:

  • Phnom Penh (from 17th March 2021)
  • Colombo (from 1st May 2021)
  • Yangon (from 1st May 2021)
  • Mandalay (from 2nd November 2021)

Update 24th February 2021 – Singapore Airlines has added two more routes to the Boeing 737-800’s network from March 2021:

  • Chongqing (from 8th March 2021)
  • Malé (from 30th March 2021)
(click to enlarge)

Schedules

Phnom Penh is currently being served daily by SilkAir using the same aircraft type. This will be a simple switch across to Singapore Airlines from 17th March 2021, as SQ158/157, retaining daily operation.

Phnom Penh
From 17th March 2021

Days
M T W T F S S
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Kris-Yellow-Small.png SQ158
737-800
SIN
16:30
PNH
17:35
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Kris-Yellow-Small.png SQ157
737-800
PNH
18:35
SIN
21:35
 

The group’s Colombo route is currently a three times weekly Singapore Airlines Airbus A350 Regional operation. The firm schedule from 1st May 2021 has not yet been finalised, but it currently shows that three times weekly Airbus A350 Regional overnight operation will continue as SQ468/469, supplemented by four times weekly daytime service with these Boeing 737-800s as SQ464/465.

Colombo
From 1st May 2021
(provisional)

Days
M T W T F S S
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Kris-Yellow-Small.png SQ464
737-800
SIN
10:15
CMB
11:35
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Kris-Yellow-Small.png SQ468
A350 Regional
SIN
22:20
CMB
23:35
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Kris-Yellow-Small.png SQ469
A350 Regional
CMB
00:50
SIN
07:20
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Kris-Yellow-Small.png SQ465
737-800
CMB
12:35
SIN
19:30
 

Yangon is also planned from 1st May 2021, provisionally listed as a three times weekly afternoon Boeing 737-800 operation (SQ764/763) on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays, though given the current political situation in Myanmar it’s probably not a definite addition to the passenger network at this stage.

Yangon
From 1st May 2021
(provisional)

Days
M T W T F S S
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Kris-Yellow-Small.png SQ764
737-800
SIN
15:15
RGN
16:40
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Kris-Yellow-Small.png SQ763
737-800
RGN
17:35
SIN
22:10
 

Finally Mandalay is added from the start of the northern winter season in November 2021, three times per week as SQ770/769. This seasonal service will operate until 29th January 2022, in common with its most recent SilkAir operation in the northern winter 2019/20 schedule.

Mandalay
2nd November 2021 - 29th January 2022

Days
M T W T F S S
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Kris-Yellow-Small.png SQ770
737-800
SIN
13:45
MDL
15:45
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Kris-Yellow-Small.png SQ769
737-800
MDL
16:35
SIN
21:45
 

Update: Chongqing and Malé flights will operate with the following schedules:

Chongqing
From 8th March 2021

Days
M T W T F S S
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Kris-Yellow-Small.png SQ814
737-800
SIN
07:00
CKG
11:35
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Kris-Yellow-Small.png SQ815
737-800
CKG
12:35
SIN
17:25
 

Malé
From 30th March 2021

Days
M T W T F S S
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Kris-Yellow-Small.png SQ432
737-800
SIN
10:05
MLE
11:55
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Kris-Yellow-Small.png SQ438
737-800
SIN
20:45
MLE
22:10
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Kris-Yellow-Small.png SQ431
737-800
MLE
12:55
SIN
20:40
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Kris-Yellow-Small.png SQ437
737-800
MLE
23:25
SIN
07:05*

* Next day

 

Phuket and Brunei flights continue with their existing frequencies using Boeing 737-800 aircraft until further notice, as outlined below.

Phuket
From 4th March 2021

Days
M T W T F S S
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Kris-Yellow-Small.png SQ726
737-800
SIN
08:40
HKT
09:30
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Kris-Yellow-Small.png SQ736
737-800
SIN
16:20
HKT
17:15
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Kris-Yellow-Small.png SQ725
737-800
HKT
10:15
SIN
13:15
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Kris-Yellow-Small.png SQ735
737-800
HKT
18:00
SIN
21:00
 

Brunei
From 15th March 2021

Days
M T W T F S S
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Kris-Yellow-Small.png SQ148
737-800
SIN
09:05
BWN
11:15
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Kris-Yellow-Small.png SQ147
737-800
BWN
12:05
SIN
14:15
 

Future routes

As Singapore Airlines inducts all nine Boeing 737-800s into its fleet, we can expect current SilkAir routes not already moving to mainline operation to then do so. These currently comprise:

  • Cebu
  • Kathmandu
  • Kuala Lumpur
  • Medan

So far Singapore Airlines has not announced any cities for its Boeing 737-800s that have not previously been SilkAir routes, however the carrier suggested in January this year that we could also expect pure-SIA routes to join the fold in due course.

More SilkAir routes will be progressively transferred to SIA as nine 737-800 NGs join [the fleet].

SIA will also operate the aircraft to points within its current network…

Singapore Airlines, Q3 Business Update

With a range of around 6 hours, that includes options across much of the airline’s current Asia-Pacific network, potentially as far afield as Perth and Shanghai.

Deploying these narrow-body aircraft on cargo-light routes while passenger demand remains low, as opposed to using Airbus A350s or Boeing 787s for example, will help the airline better manage costs potentially for years to come as demand gradually returns post-COVID.

Which aircraft?

The nine Boeing 737-800 aircraft we are expecting to move across from SilkAir to Singapore Airlines are identified below, with seven of these already repainted in SIA colours.

SilkAir Boeing 737-800 aircraft moving to SIA

Registration Age
(years)
Current
Livery
Fate
9V-MGA 7.1 Transfer to SIA
9V-MGB 7.0 Transfer to SIA
9V-MGC 6.9 Transfer to SIA
9V-MGD 6.8 Transfer to SIA
9V-MGE 6.6 Transfer to SIA
9V-MGF 6.5 For disposal
9V-MGG 6.4 For disposal
9V-MGH 6.4 For disposal
9V-MGI 6.1 For disposal
9V-MGJ 5.9 For disposal
9V-MGK 5.8 Transfer to SIA
9V-MGL 5.6 Transfer to SIA
9V-MGM 5.5 Transfer to SIA
9V-MGN 5.5 Transfer to SIA
9V-MGO 4.9 For disposal
9V-MGP 4.8 For disposal
9V-MGQ 4.4 For disposal

The new fleet will therefore comprise five of SilkAir’s oldest 737-800s, with an average age of 6.9 years, plus a newer batch of four younger jets averaging 5.6 years old.

It’s not known what will happen to the remaining eight SilkAir aircraft not being transferred to SIA, however these are likely to be returned to lessors and/or sold as appropriate.

9V-MGA was the first Boeing 737-800 to be repainted in Singapore Airlines colours. (Photo: Plane’s Portrait Aviation Media / Malcolm Lu)

Don’t miss our full rundown of what to expect on board these narrow-body aircraft, from food and drink to windowless seats, entertainment options and cabin crew uniforms, as they start to enter service with SIA from March 2021.

Summary

Once all nine Boeing 737-800s have moved across from SilkAir to Singapore Airlines, there should easily be a dozen or more routes operated by the single-aisle fleet, so this initial tranche of announcements is only part way there.

Business Class on the Boeing 737-800s will feature the former SilkAir recliner seats. (Photo: MainlyMiles)

Another aircraft type we’ll be watching closely is the Boeing 737 MAX 8, also due to move from SilkAir to Singapore Airlines and boasting flat-bed Business Class seats, seat back entertainment systems and Wi-Fi connectivity.

By the time leisure travel returns in earnest, flying on a smaller Singapore Airlines aircraft than usual is something many of us will have to adapt to on a variety of routes.

(Cover Photo: Singapore Airlines)

4 comments

  1. I hope that the remaining eight aircrafts will be transferred to SIA. I hope that the remaining eight aircrafts will not be returned to their lessors and / or sold as appropriate. I hope that SIA will have all 17 of Ex SilkAir B737-800s in it’s fleet. I hope that SIA will have more aircrafts in their fleet.

  2. Or is there a possibility that the remaining eight aircrafts will be transferred to Scoot or to some other airline/

    1. 7 of the 8 aircraft have already been put up for sale. The reming one will likely to returned to its lessor.

      SIA is eventually phasing out all 737-800s anyway and replacing them with 737 MAX 8 aircraft.

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