Singapore Airlines, one of the worlds great airlines. The Asian based airline flies to 137 destinations all around the world with its fleet of 130 jets including 129 widebodies like the 777 and A380. But wait, why are only 129 widebodies? What about the one leftover? Well, my friends, I have the answers to this, sit back, grab a soft drink and let me tell you a tale.
SilkAir, another Singapore based airline who was owned by Singapore Airlines used to fly them and the reason I say “was” is because SIA decided to kill off the SilkAir brand and transfer SilkAir’s operations over to the main SIA branding. This ultimately means that all of SilkAir’s fleet is now part of the SIA fleet which includes a jet Singapore hasn’t flown in over 4 decades, the Boeing 737.
SIA first flew the jet in 1972, in fact, they flew the earliest model, the 737-100. The stubby little thing could only carry a maximum of 124 passengers and they didn’t last long either, they were only in the SIA fleet for 8 or so years before they were all transferred to Air Flordia in 1979 and 1980. Since then Singapore itself has been focusing its operations on mainly long haul routes and leaving its many subsidies to pick up shorter routes. But on Thursday all of that changed. SIA operated it’s first 737 flight in more than 40 years after an ex SilkAir 737-800 jet departed Singapore bound for Pucket, successfully touching down after 1hr and 30mins of flight time.
Now there is a bit of a catch here, the product isn’t what we would have hoped for. Seats won’t feature inflight entertainment and the promised lie-flat business class seats aren’t there however there are amenity kits and “signature dishes” which are a step up from SilkAir. SIA has 12 more of the 737’s set to bear the new livery however the fates of SilkAir’s other aircraft are unknown.
New horizons for this 737 image credit