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SilkAir
Silkair.png
IATA
MI
ICAO
SLK
Callsign
SILKAIR
Founded 1989 (as Tradewinds)
Hubs Singapore Changi Airport
Frequent flyer program KrisFlyer
Member lounge SATS Premier Lounge
Fleet size 16 (+10 orders)
Destinations 31
Company slogan Where the world unwinds
Parent company Singapore Airlines Limited
Headquarters Singapore
Key people Chin Yau Seng (Chief Executive)
Website http://www.silkair.com

SilkAir (Singapore) Private Limited is an airline based in Singapore. It is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Singapore Airlines and operates scheduled passenger services from Singapore to 31 cities in Southeast Asia, South Asia and China. As the regional wing of Singapore Airlines, it serves 31 out of 50 short-haul destinations in the Singapore Airlines Group network, and flew 1.56 million passengers in 2006. It made a profit of S$30 million, as turnover rose 20.4% to $415 million.[1]

Contents

History

The airline had its roots as a regional air-charter company in the form of Tradewinds Charters, formed in 1976, and using planes predominantly leased from parent company Singapore Airlines serving leisure destinations. Scheduled services were introduced as Tradewinds Airlines on 21 February 1989, when it leased McDonnell Douglas MD-87 airplanes for services to six destinations, namely Bandar Seri Begawan, Pattaya, Phuket, Hat Yai and Kuantan from Singapore's Changi Airport and Tioman from Singapore's Seletar Airport. As the carrier matured, regional business destinations such as Jakarta, Phnom Penh and Yangon were added to its network, thereby broadening the airline's appeal beyond the holiday-maker to include the business traveller.

SilkAir A319-100 at Singapore Changi Airport, with a Singapore Airlines (parent company) Boeing 777 in the background.

A major marketing overhaul was started in 1991, culminating on 1 April 1992, by giving the airline its present name and logo as a new corporate identity [2]. The re-branded airline utilised up to six of the new Boeing 737-300s introduced just a year earlier. The mid-1990s saw two Airbus A310-200 aircraft in use and the expansion of services to India as well as mainland China. It was the first Asian carrier to offer handheld portable video-on-demand (VOD) in-flight entertainment in the form of the DigEplayer 5500, available on flights to selected countries. [3]

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Incidents and accidents

  • On December 19, 1997, SilkAir Flight 185, operated by a Boeing 737-300 and piloted by Captain Tsu Way Ming, plunged into the Musi River in Sumatra during a routine flight from Jakarta to Singapore, killing all 104 people on board. The Indonesian NTSC ruled that the cause of the accident could not be determined, while the United States NTSB concluded that the incident was "consistent with ... intentional pilot action". There was no conclusive evidence to support suicidal motives, and a subsequent court case concluded that the crash was caused by a defective servo valve in the plane's rudder, resulting in a rudder hard-over. Lawsuits and counter-suits filed by Boeing and Singapore Airlines against each other over the rudder issue were eventually withdrawn by both parties.

Destinations

Fleet

SilkAir began operations with 2 leased McDonnell Douglas MD-87 aircraft in 1989, before investing in its own fleet of six Boeing 737-300s, the first of which began operations in 1991. It operated two Airbus A310-200s for a brief period from 1993 to 1995 before they were transferred to Singapore Airlines, and two Fokker F70 from 1995 to 2000. It began replacing its Boeing fleet with Airbus aircraft when the first Airbus A320-200 arrived in 1998, and retired all Boeing aircraft a year later. [4]

Today, the SilkAir fleet, with an average of 5.5 years in operation, consists of the following aircraft [5]:

SilkAir Fleet
Aircraft Total Orders Options Passengers
(Business/Economy)
Routes
Airbus A319 6 4 0 118 (12/106)
120 (8/112)
Short haul
Airbus A320 10 6 9 142 (16/126)
144 (12/132)
Short haul

On 20 December 2006, SilkAir signed an agreement to purchase 11 Airbus A320-200 aircraft with nine more on option. These aircraft will be delivered between 2009-2012 [6].

Services

Cabins

There are only two classes of cabins available on all SilkAir flights - business class and economy class.

SilkAir A320-200 Economy Class cabin

Business Class

Business class cabins are available on all SilkAir flights. The business-class cabins offer a seat pitch of between 39 to 40 inches and legroom of 19.3 inches. Business class passengers now get to enjoy leather seats.

Economy Class

All economy class cabins on SilkAir have a seat pitch of 31 inches and legroom of 12 inches. It now features a new colour scheme.

In-flight

Dining

SilkAir offers Oriental and Western menus which emphasise on flavours of the region. Local delights such as Hainanese chicken rice, laksa, mee siam and mee rebus are available on selected flights.

Entertainment

SilkAir offers a selection of short story books and magazine titles on board and screens a series of short features on their inflight screens.

Codeshare partners

Tradewinds Tours and Travel

Tradewinds Tours and Travel Private Limited is a wholly-owned subsidiary of SilkAir, providing package tours to destinations flown by the airline, as well as chartered flights within the Asia region. The company was incorporated in 1975, and became a fully-licensed tour operator in 1984.

SilkAir, the regional wing of Singapore Airlines, was once known as Tradewinds Charters at its founding in 1976, before earning its present name in 1991. The chartered operations were hence continued to be handled by Tradewinds Tours and Travel.

References

External links


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