Hyderabad: Singapore Airlines’ (SIA) regional wing, SilkAir, is to 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.

The programme will comprise investment of more than$100 million to upgrade the wholly owned subsidiary’s cabins with new lie-flatseats in Business Class, and the installation of seat-back in-flightentertainment systems in both Business Class and Economy Class. This willensure closer product and service consistency across the SIA Group’sfull-service network. 

Aircraft cabin upgrades are expected to start in 2020due to lead times required by seat suppliers, including to completecertification processes. The merger will take place only after a sufficientnumber of aircraft have been fitted with the new cabin products. Specificdetails will be announced progressively as the programme develops and timelinesare finalised. 

Consistent with ongoing efforts tooptimise the SIA Group’s network, there will also be transfers of routes andaircraft between the different airlines in the portfolio. 

“SingaporeAirlines is one year into our three-year Transformation Programme and today’sannouncement is a significant development to provide more growth opportunitiesand prepare the Group for an even stronger future,” said SIA CEO, Mr Goh ChoonPhong. 

“Importantly, it will be positive for our customers.It is another example of the major investment we are making to ensure that ourproducts and services continue to lead the industry across short-, medium- andlong-haul routes.”

SilkAiris the regional wing of Singapore Airlines, operating a fleet of 11 AirbusA320-family aircraft and 22 Boeing 737-800 and 737 MAX 8 aircraft. It iscurrently transitioning to an all-737 fleet, and serves 49 destinations in 16countries. 

It launched in 1989 as Tradewinds the Airline,initially focusing on holiday destinations in Southeast Asia. Renamed SilkAirin 1992, it expanded progressively across Asia in subsequent years as itevolved from a holiday resort airline to a full-fledged, full-service regionalcarrier.

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