Milestones

Frontiers March 2013 Issue

SPREADING ITS WINGS With new Boeing 737s on the way, SilkAir looks to expand its reach By Wilson Chow From its beginnings as a leisure carrier serving a handful of exotic destinations, SilkAir has grown to become one of the leading regional airlines in the world. SilkAir, the regional wing of Singapore Airlines, now operates 300 weekly flights to 42 destinations in a dozen countries, with Singapore as its hub. Last year alone, SilkAir added to its network Darwin, Aus-tralia; Wuhan, China; Hanoi, Vietnam; and Visakhapatnam, India. That growth is planned to continue this year and beyond. “With the positive long-term prospects for the Asia-Pacific air travel market, SilkAir is aiming for double-digit annual capacity growth over the next 10 years,” said SilkAir Chief Executive Leslie Thng. To take advantage of the opportunities in Asia, SilkAir will soon begin its most important transformation. The airline will transition from its fleet of Airbus airplanes to Boeing. In November 2012, the airline ordered 23 Next-Generation 737-800s and 31 737 MAX 8s worth $4.9 billion at list prices. The first 737s are set to arrive in early 2014. “The purchase of these new Boeing planes will enable us to spread our wings further to even more destinations and increase capacity on existing routes,” Thng said. The 737-800 has more range and can carry more passengers than the plane it is replacing, Thng noted. Additionally, SilkAir passengers will experience the Boeing Sky Interior in the 737s. It features modern sculpted sidewalls and window reveals, LED lighting that enhances the sense of spaciousness, and larger pivoting overhead stowage bins. “This year looks to be an exciting one for SilkAir as we gear up and lay the groundwork for the arrival of our new Boeing aircraft,” Thng said. “Our vision is to be the world’s leading regional full-service network airline.” n wilson.chow@boeing.com “The purchase of these new Boeing planes will enable us to spread our wings further to even more destinations and increase capacity on existing routes.” – Leslie Thng, SilkAir chief executive PHOTO: SILKAIR 1989 – Begins operations as Tradewinds the Airline, operating McDonnell Douglas MD-87 aircraft 1992 – Tradewinds renamed SilkAir 2005–2008 – Only regional airline to break into Travel & Leisure magazine’s coveted list of world’s Top Ten Airlines in 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008 2007–2008 – Winner of “Best Foreign Route” Airline (outside the U.S.) Award in Conde Nast Traveler’s Annual Readers’ Choice Awards in 2007 and 2008 2011 – Named Regional Airline of the Year by Centre for Aviation 2012 – Orders 23 Next-Generation 737-800s and 31 737 MAX 8s and begins a fleet transition to Boeing airplanes The Silk road GRAPHIC: An artist’s concept of a 737 MAX 8 in SilkAir colors. BOEING 36 BOEING FRONTIERS / MARCH 2013


Frontiers March 2013 Issue
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