Why Is Singapore Airlines Taking On Boeing 737s?

Singapore Airlines is best known for its long-haul service to various corners of the world. Whether it’s the longest flight in the world or service to Europe or Australia, the carrier’s fleet of long-range widebodies are what travelers associate with Singapore Airlines. However, the carrier will soon ‘take delivery’ of some 11 Boeing 737-800s. Why is this?

Singapore Airlines 737
SilkAir’s Boeing 737s will be repainted in Singapore Airlines’ livery soon. Photo: Anna Zvereva via Wikimedia Commons 

Singapore Airlines’ absorption of the SilkAir brand

You may have already guessed by the featured/first image why Singapore Airlines (SQ) will be taking the Boeing 737 into its fleet. The reason is that Singapore Airlines is absorbing its regional brand, SilkAir, back into the mainline carrier.

That means the SilkAir name and identity will be no longer – even their website is already non-existent, instead re-directing to SQ. In fact, some of the regional carrier’s aircraft will be transferred over to Singapore Airlines – namely 11 Boeing 737-800s.

Singapore Airlines Silkair
The SilkAir brand is slowly vanishing from the internet. Photo: Singapore Airlines

“Additional 737-NG aircraft will continue to join the (Singapore Airlines) fleet and will provide the company with an even greater flexibility to navigate through the recovery period.” -Singapore Airlines via Executive Traveller

Integration by early 2021

According to Executive Traveller, Singapore Airlines will begin absorbing the SilkAir Boeing 737 fleet in early 2021. Sometime between January and March 2021 is what the airline has stated so far.

Executive Traveller’s August report noted that 17 of SilkAir’s 737-800s would be repainted as SQ. However, data from Planespotters.net shows only 11 aircraft are expected to be transferred over. 2020 has been a year of constant change, so it wouldn’t be a surprise if numbers have been in flux.

The big shift has been happening for a while now, with the airline saying,

“Some commercial and back-office functions have already been integrated, and while the Covid-19 pandemic has slowed some of our integration plans, we will continue towards the complete integration of SilkAir into Singapore Airlines as previously announced.” -Singapore Airlines via Executive Traveller

Silk Air Singapore Airlines
SilkAir has been Singapore Airlines’ regional arm since 1989 when it was founded as Tradewinds Charters. Photo: Singapore Airlines

In fact, the process has already been in the works for two years as Simple Flying reported on November 22, 2018, that SilkAir was giving up routes to Scoot ahead of the merger.

Business class upgrade

While most travelers would prefer flying on a widebody, Singapore Airlines aims to provide a consistent travel experience across the fleet by installing lie-flat business class seats on its 737s. These will certainly be an upgrade from SilkAir’s recliners. The new seating will be the Vantage chair built by Thompson Aero.

Singapore Airlines previously planned to upgrade all SilkAir Boeing 737s from their conventional recliners to Thompson Aero’s popular Vantage model.

The acclaimed Thompson Vantage full-flat bed offers maximum passenger comfort whilst maintaining cabin density. An innovative and highly efficient design, the Vantage is adaptable across all Airbus and Boeing single and twin aisle aircraft platforms. -Thompson Aero

Thompson Aero Vantage layout
A visualization of what Singapore Airlines’ business class layout could look like with Thompson Aero’s Vantage seating. Photo: Thompson Aero

How do you feel about this move? Are you looking forward to experiencing the airline’s service on a single-aisle jet? Let us know in the comments.