SilkAir is flying direct to Hiroshima with its newest plane – here’s what its Boeing 737 Max 8 is like

When you only have a week (or two) of your annual leave to spare, you probably wouldn’t want to spend a quarter of your vacation up in the air.

And it seems most Singaporeans would agree with that, as a Google study found that affordable and accessible getaways are preferred over long-haul destinations.

If you’re a frequent flyer of short-haul flights, you’ll probably be familiar with SilkAir, the regional wing of Singapore Airlines that boasts routes to all 10 ASEAN nations and more within Asia.

Today (Oct 4), the airline welcomed their newest “baby”, the Boeing 737 Max 8 which reportedly costs a whopping $112.4 million (S$152.9 million).

Is it drastically different from any other commercial aircraft? Will flying on one blow your mind and change your travel experience forever?

Probably not. But if you’d like to see what’s special about it, here’s what the experience on board will be like:

 SilkAir today showcased the newest aircraft to join its 31 aircraft fleet – the Boeing 737 Max 8, which was first unveiled by Boeing two years ago.

The first of 37 Max 8s ordered by the company, the new aircraft can hold 156 passengers – 12 in the business class and 144 others in economy. 

But before we get into the interior, you might have noticed a small detail along the wing that makes the Boeing 737 Max 8 stand out from its predecessors. 

Zoom in on the wing tip, and you’ll notice its curious design, which Boeing claims will help the aircraft reduce fuel consumption by 1.8%

That, together with it’s fuel-saving CFM International Leap 1B engines, will allow the plane to stay in the air longer, making further destinations more commercially viable. 

And indeed, SilkAir will be launching the Max 8’s inaugural flight on Oct 30 to Hiroshima, the first Japanese destination that the airline is adding to its network. 

With a return flight service running thrice a week, this route will also be the only non-stop service between Hiroshima and Singapore with a flight duration of about seven hours. 

Although the interior is much less impressive (it looks like any other commercial aircraft), there’s an interesting difference that you’ll notice the moment you take a seat.

Supplied/ SilkAir

Leg-room in the economy class is nothing much to crow about.
Supplied/ SilkAir

Unlike the traditional headrests/trays you’ll see on just about every other flight, seats in economy are fitted with handy-dandy holders for tablets and mobile phones and USB charging ports, so you’ll be able to enjoy a meal on board with hands-free comfort. 

Probably a life-saver for parents with kids who are obsessed with their gadgets.
Supplied/ SilkAir

You’ll have to download the SilkAir Studio app for their in-flight entertainment service though, which you can connect to on board.

Pull a tab and the holder will pop right open.


If you’re wondering whether to upgrade your seat, the Max 8 is said to feature “an enhanced business class” that’s 25% bigger with additional seat recline. 

Supplied/ SilkAir

Business class passengers can also look forward to the added perk of gourmet coffee from illycaffe brewed freshly on-board. 

Score one for those who turn their noses up at instant coffee.

Two more Max 8s will be delivered before year-end with the other 34 on order.

There’s a good chance you’ll find yourself on one of these planes if you’re planning on taking a flight with SilkAir on its longer-haul routes to Cairns, Darwin, Kathmandu, Hyderabad or Bangalore.

Supplied/ SilkAir