SilkAir to give up some routes to Scoot ahead of merger with SIA; Scoot to suspend flights to Honolulu

SINGAPORE – Scoot will acquire some SilkAir routes over the next two years, ahead of SilkAir’s merger into Singapore Airlines (SIA).

Scoot, SIA’s budget arm, will also be transferring some of its services to existing destinations served by SIA and SilkAir.

The changes are expected to take place between April 2019 and the second half of 2020, SIA said on Thursday (Nov 22).

They are the result of a detailed review to identify which airlines in the SIA Group portfolio are best suited to meet evolving customer demand, the airline said.

Apart from the transfers, there will also be several other network changes.

SilkAir will be converting its Mandalay route to a seasonal service; existing services will end in March 2019 and will resume in November 2019, continuing until January 2020.

Scoot will meanwhile be suspending services to Honolulu with effect from June 2019 as a result of weak demand.

Customers with existing bookings on all affected routes will be provided the option to switch to the new Scoot, SIA or SilkAir flights where possible, or be provided refunds.

SIA chief executive Goh Choon Phong said: “We are now at the half-way mark in our three-year transformation programme, and today’s announcement represents another significant development.

“The route review will strengthen the SIA Group for the long term, with the right vehicles in our portfolio of airlines deployed to the right markets,” he said.

SIA announced in May that its regional wing SilkAir would undergo a significant investment programme to upgrade its cabin products ahead of its eventual merger into SIA.

The programme will see SilkAir’s cabins fitted with new lie-flat seats in Business Class, and the installation of seat-back in-flight entertainment systems in both Business Class and Economy Class.

The investments will ensure closer product and service consistency across the SIA Group’s full-service network, the airline said then.

Scoot’s fleet will meanwhile be expanded with the transfer of 14 Boeing 737-800s from SilkAir, while SilkAir will continue growing its operations in the years ahead as it takes delivery of new Boeing 737 MAX8 aircraft.

The route transfers are:

From SilkAir to Scoot:

• Luang Prabang and Vientiane in Laos, in April 2019

• Coimbatore, Trivandrum and Visakhapatnam in India, between May 2019 and October 2019

• Changsha, Fuzhou, Kunming and Wuhan in China, between May 2019 and June 2019

• Chiang Mai in Thailand, in October 2019

• Kota Kinabalu in Malaysia, in December 2019

• Balikpapan, Lombok, Makassar, Manado, Semarang and Yogyakarta in Indonesia, between May 2020 and July 2020

From Scoot to SIA (Both are existing SIA destinations):

• Bengaluru and Chennai in India, in May 2019 and May 2020

From Scoot to SilkAir (Both are existing SilkAir destinations)

• Shenzhen in China, from June 2019

• Kochi in India, from October 2019

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