The rationalization phase of Singapore Airlines and its low-cost and regional subsidiaries is underway. Scoot, the long-haul low-cost carrier founded in 2011, will take over SilkAir on some routes over the next two years, pending the merger of the latter (the Group’s short-range regional) with Singapore Airlines. In addition, Scoot will transfer some of its services to destinations already served by Singapore Airlines and SilkAir.
These changes should be implemented between April 2019 and the second half of 2020 and are the result of a detailed analysis aimed at identifying which airlines in the SIA Group’s portfolio are more suitable to meet the evolution of customer demand. The changes, which are subject to regulatory approvals, are planned as follows:
The routes that SilkAir will hand over to Scoot are those to Luang Prabang and Vientiane in Laos (from April 2019), for Coimbatore, Trivandrum and Visakhapatnam in India (between May 2019 and October 2019), for Changsha, Fuzhou, Kunming and Wuhan in China (between May 2019 and June 2019), for Chiang Mai in Thailand (from October 2019), for Kota Kinabalu in Malaysia (from December 2019), and for Balikpapan, Lombok, Makassar, Manado, Semarang and Yogyakarta in Indonesia (between May 2020 and July 2020).
Singapore Airlines will instead take charge of the Scoot routes to Bangalore and Chennai in India (May 2019 and May 2020), destinations already served by Singapore Airlines. While SilkAir will operate the connections to Shenzhen in China (from June 2019) and Kochi in India (from October 2019), previously operated by Scoot.
In addition, SilkAir will convert its route to Mandalay in a seasonal service. Existing services will end in March 2019 and resume in November 2019, continuing until January 2020. Scoot will suspend the services to Honolulu in the as of June 2019 due to limited demand.
The dates are indicative as subject to the required regulatory approvals. Passengers with reservations already made will be offered the option to switch to new Scoot, SIA or SilkAir flights where possible, or receive refunds.
“Now we are halfway through our three-year transformation program, and today’s announcement represents a further significant development: the change in routes will strengthen the SIA Group in the long term, thanks to the use of the most suitable aircraft for each market, ‘inside our airline portfolio,’ said SIA CEO Goh Choon Phong.
SIA announced in May that its regional SilkAir wing will have to support a significant investment program to upgrade its cabin products prior to its merger with SIA. The program will provide SilkAir’s cabins with new Business Class reclining seats and the installation of on-board entertainment systems, positioned on the back of the seats, in both the Business and Economy classes.
The investments will ensure greater consistency between product and service for the entire SIA Group’s full-service network. Meanwhile, the low-cost fleet of Scoot will be expanded with the transfer from SilkAir of 14 Boeing 737-800.