Singapore Airlines wholly owned regional subsidiary Silk Air, originally founded in 1992, is to be merged fully into the parent airline and the brand dropped.
Silk Air is in the middle of transition from older Airbus A320’s across to 737 Max.
Singapore Airlines has ordered a massive cabin upgrade programme and the modification of ‘to be delivered’ aircraft to a higher SIA specification.
The new interiors are dependent on seating, that because of manufacturers backlogs, won’t be delivered until 2020.
SIA isn’t going to drop the brand until the majority of aircraft are re-equipped and repainted. The whole programme will take until 2022.
This is an interesting strategy. SIA announced a significant profit after serious losses – it ruthlessly implemented cost and planning changes. It seems to have decided that there is a major need for a premium regional flyer, something seriously missing in the SE Asia market.
Singapore itself is also a relatively wealthy market and demand for premium is higher than almost anywhere else in Asia.
One of the crucial brand strengths the airline possesses is its unrivalled service and quality.
Cathay Pacific has taken the view that watering down that aspect of its business and levelling up Cathay Dragon is one strategy- they meet somewhere below where one was and above the other.
SIA seems to have made up its mind that its strength is its premium service – and it isn’t willing to water that down, but will bring that quality to its regional offering.
I wish them well!