What does the Singapore Airlines SilkAir Merger means for Indian flyers?

In May this year, SIA announced that they will be merging SilkAir with the parent carrier, Singapore Airlines. Over three years, SilkAir will be absorbed into Singapore Airlines. As part of the restructuring process, SIA announced changes with respect what carriers will fly on many routes.

Singapore Airlines SilkAir Merger

Singapore Airlines has three distinct brands. The first one is the namesake airline, which primarily focuses on long and medium-haul international operations. The second is SilkAir, which is a full-service regional carrier with an all narrow-body fleet. And last is Scoot, a no-frills carrier.

All three airlines carry passengers from India to Singapore. The Singapore Airlines metal flies to six major cities in the country. SilkAir has scheduled services to eight destinations and Scoot flies to seven destinations including tier 2 cities such as Lucknow and Amritsar. In total, the SIA group has more than a dozen destinations in India as part of their network. That makes them one of the larger players operating on the India-Singapore routes.

Earlier this week, Singapore Airlines announced a redistribution of routes between their three arms. All of these routes are in Asia. Most of the routes will be transferred by the end of 2019 while some will be handed over in 2020. Here is the list of routes that will be transferred from SilkAir to Scoot.

RouteTransfer Period
Luang PrabangApril 2019
VientianeApril 2019
CoimbatoreMay 2019-October 2019
TrivandrumMay 2019-October 2019
VisakhapatnamMay 2019-October 2019
ChangshaMay 2019-June 2019
FuzhouMay 2019-June 2019
KunmingMay 2019-June 2019
WuhanMay 2019-June 2019
Chiang MaiOctober 2019
Kota KinabaluDecember 2019
BalikpapanMay 2020-July 2020
LombokMay 2020-July 2020
MakassarMay 2020-July 2020
ManadoMay 2020-July 2020
SemarangeMay 2020-July 2020
YogyakartaMay 2020-July 2020

Scoot in return will be handing over the Bengaluru and Chennai route to Singapore Airlines in May 2019 and May 2020 respectively. SilkAir will get the Shenzhen and Kochi from Scoot in June and October next year respectively.

Clearly, the big losers here are the destinations who have been downgraded from SilkAir, a full-service carrier to Scoot, a no-frills carrier. Shenzen and Kochi on the other hand level up to a full-service carrier.

Bottomline

SilkAir’s merger with Singapore Airlines is geared to happen gradually over the next few years. Singapore Airlines will be revamping SilkAir’s product to bring it in¬†line with their own fleet. The Singapore Airlines SilkAir merger process has just started and I expect more changes over the coming months and years.

What do you think about Singapore Airlines’ move to rejig routes?

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