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SIA to take over SilkAir’s Busan flights, raise seat capacity

SINGAPORE Airlines (SIA) will take over its regional wing SilkAir’s services to the South Korean port city of Busan, starting from Oct 28.

SIA will use a bigger aircraft on the route, boosting seat capacity by 76 per cent, in order to meet growing travel demand, both carriers said in a joint statement on Thursday.

Subject to regulatory approvals, SIA will operate flights to Busan four times a week, maintaining SilkAir’s current flight frequency.

The route will be served with SIA’s 285-seat Airbus A330-300 aircraft, which feature 30 business class and 255 economy class seats.

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The A330s can accommodate 123 more passengers per flight than SilkAir’s 162-seat Boeing 737-800s which serve the Singapore-Busan route.

Since the route was launched on May 1 this year, demand has been “very encouraging”, said Tan Kai Ping, SIA’s senior vice-president of marketing planning.

“Busan has proven to be another popular gateway into South Korea, complementing SIA’s services to Seoul,” Mr Tan added. “We look forward to helping further grow travel to and from South Korea with the increase in capacity.”

In addition to Busan, SIA and its low-cost subsidiary Scoot operate a total of 31 weekly flights to Seoul in South Korea.

Sales for SIA’s new Busan flights started on Thursday. Customers with existing bookings on SilkAir’s Busan flights on and after Oct 28 will be re-accommodated on SIA’s flights.

Shares of SIA were trading at S$9.21 as at 3.25pm on Thursday, up 18 cents or 1.99 per cent.