Singapore Airlines (SQ, Singapore Changi) will begin B737-800 operations on March 4, marking the final phase of its absorption of regional sister carrier SilkAir (MI, Singapore Changi).

Although Singapore Airlines Group said it would merge SilkAir into the mainline carrier as far back as 2018, so far no aircraft or routes have been transferred.

Singapore Airlines said in a statement that the first Silk Air route to be taken over will be to Phuket, starting on March 4, 2021, followed by the service to Bandar Seri Begawan as of March 15.

"More SilkAir routes will be progressively transferred as nine B737-800NGs join the SIA fleet. This would also allow SIA to operate the aircraft to points within its current network... The full integration of SilkAir into Singapore Airlines is scheduled for completion in the 2021/22 financial year," the airline said.

According to the ch-aviation fleets advanced module, SilkAir currently operates seventeen B737-800s, as well as six still grounded B737-8s. The carrier confirmed to ch-aviation that the remaining eight B737-800s will be put up for sale. Besides the six delivered B737 MAX 8s, SilkAir has a further 31 units of the type on firm order from Boeing.

Singapore Airlines is in the process of reconfiguring the B737-800s it is inheriting with 12 business class seats and 150 economy class seats. Among the first units to be transferred is 9V-MGK (msn 44227).

Singapore Airlines is currently an all-widebody fleet operator. The group also includes a low-cost carrier, Scoot (TR, Singapore Changi), which operates a mix of Airbus narrowbody aircraft, and B787-8 and B787-9s widebodies.

Editorial Comment: Article updated with the information about the fate of the non-transferred B737-800s. - 29.01.2021 - 09:59 UTC