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SIA group to shuffle routes around ahead of merger with SilkAir
AHEAD of a merger between Singapore Airlines (SIA) and regional wing SilkAir, budget airline Scoot will take over a number of SilkAir's routes over the next two years, while also transferring some of its services to existing destinations served by SIA and SilkAir.
SIA, which is currently undergoing a transformation programme amid a challeging operating environment, has conducted "a detailed review to identify which airlines in its portfolio are best suited to meet evolving customer demand," the group said on Thursday.
Between April 2019 and 2H2020, Scoot will take over the following routes from SilkAir: Luang Prabang and Vientiane, Laos in April 2019; Coimbatore, Trivandrum and Visakhapatnam in India, between May 2019 and Oct 2019; Changsha, Fuzhou, Kunming and Wuhan in China, between May 2019 and June 2019; Chiang Mai, Thailand in October 2019; Kota Kinabalu in Malaysia, in Dec 2019; as well as Balikpapan, Lombok, Makassar, Manado, Semarang and Yogyakarta in Indonesia between May 2020 and July 2020.
Meanwhile, Scoot will transfer Bengaluru and Chennai in India, to SIA in May 2019 and May 2020 respectively, while SilkAir will take over Shenzhen in China and Kochi in India from Scoot in June and October next year respectively.
In addition, SilkAir will be converting its Mandalay route to a seasonal service, while Scoot will suspend its long-haul services to Honolulu from June next year owing to weak demand.
All the route changes are subject to regulatory approvals.
SIA chief executive Goh Choon Phong 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."
In May, SIA announced that it will invest over S$100 million overhauling SilkAir's cabin products from 2020, introducing lie-flat Business Class seats and in-flight entertainment systems in both Business and Economy cabins, ahead of its eventual merger into SIA. This will allow for closer product and service consistency across the SIA group's full-service network.
Meanwhile, Scoot will receive 14 Boeing 737-800s from SilkAir. SilkAir will continue to take delivery of the Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft that it has on order.