Frequent fliers on some SilkAir routes will soon have to fly Scoot, SIA announces ahead of merger

Scoot will be taking over some of SilkAir’s routes.
Singapore Press Holdings

Scoot over, SilkAir. Scoot will soon be taking over some of your routes.

Travellers will no longer have the option to fly on SilkAir to certain destinations like Chiang Mai and Kota Kinabalu, Singapore Airlines (SIA) announced on Thursday (Nov 22). Instead, they will have to book tickets on low-cost carrier Scoot.

This follows the announcement in May of SilkAir’s merger into SIA.

Scoot, SIA’s budget arm, will also be terminating four of its services to existing destinations – Bengaluru, Chennai, Kochi and Shenzhen – which are served by SIA and SilkAir.

If you’re planning a holiday soon, take note that these changes are expected to take place between April 2019 and the second half of 2020, SIA said.

Customers with existing bookings will be provided the option to switch to the new Scoot, SIA or SilkAir flights where possible, or be provided refunds, Singapore’s national carrier added.

The planned changes (which are subject to regulatory approvals) 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

SIA said that the changes are the result of a “detailed review” to identify which airlines in the SIA Group portfolio are best suited to meet evolving customer demand.

In addition, SilkAir will be converting its Mandalay route to a seasonal service. Existing services will end in Mar 2019 and will resume in Nov 2019 until Jan 2020.

Meanwhile, as a result of weak demand, Scoot will be suspending services to Honolulu from Jun 2019.

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Goh Choon Phong, SIA’s CEO said: “We are now at the halfway 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.”

SIA announced in May that its regional wing SilkAir will undergo major upgrades to its cabin products and eventually be merged into SIA.

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

Read also: Singapore Airlines finds premium economy a tougher sell on new non-stop US flights

SIA said that the investments will ensure closer product and service consistency across the SIA Group’s full-service network.

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 MAX 8 aircraft

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