Singapore Airlines will begin operating flights with the Boeing 737 on March 4th. The former SilkAir fleet has been upgraded for shorter, regional routes. The first destinations to see the 737-800s will be Phuket, followed by Brunei. Let’s find out more about Singapore Airlines’ new 737s.
Singapore Airlines will start operating its first 737 after over 40 years this Spring. The first 737-800NG will enter service with the airline on March 4th, flying from Singapore to Phuket. This is a former SilkAir route, which means passengers will likely see an upgraded service experience on this under two-hour flight.
The next route to receive the 737 will be Brunei, which is not a former SilkAir destination, and received a 777 before the pandemic. Notably, Singapore Airlines is already flying this route using a SilkAir 737-800 aircraft since the route resumed in November. However, come March, the aircraft deployed on the route will be an upgraded 737 in Singapore Airlines livery.
Singapore Airlines plans to phase in the nine 737-800s over this financial year, ending on March 31st, 2022. This timeline does not include any former SilkAir or new 737 MAXs that the carrier might take delivery of in the next year. But what can passengers expect inside the aircraft?
Singapore Airlines hasn’t dramatically changed the layout on the 737-800s, continuing with a two-class configuration. The aircraft features 12 seats in business class (2-2) and 150 in economy (3-3). This is the same as SilkAir’s 737 layout, although Singapore Airlines has likely changed the branding onboard the aircraft.
Seatback entertainment screens are also not present, which means content can be accessed through a web-based system. However, the airline is highlighting the upgraded food and beverage selection and Singapore Airlines’ high-quality service.
In November, Singapore Airlines confirmed that the SilkAir merger remained on track for completion by mid-2021 despite the pandemic. The reason to continue with the merger was to offer the carrier more flexibility depending on demand. In a statement, CEO Goh Choon Phong said,
“The introduction of the SIA 737-800 NG will bring about a more comfortable and seamless travel experience for customers on our regional routes. Integrating SilkAir with SIA also allows us to be nimble and flexible in aircraft deployment, and supports our fleet and network growth strategy.”
Similar to Emirates and Cathay Pacific, Singapore Airlines was also an all-widebody airline prior to the pandemic. However, the sharp and sustained drop in demand has forced carriers to reconsider their fleet choice in the last year. With the entry of the 737, Singapore Airlines will be able to match demand with capacity, a key requirement going forward.
What do you think about Singapore Airlines’ new 737 fleet? Are you excited to fly this aircraft? Let us know in the comments below!