The order is worth $4.9 billion at list prices, and is the largest in SilkAir’s history. With this order, SilkAir starts a transition towards a predominantly Boeing fleet. The airline’s fleet currently consists of 22 aircraft – 16 Airbus A320-200s and 6 Airbus A319-100. SilkAir also has two Airbus A320-200 on its order list, and these aircraft will be delivered in 2012-2013.
The 737 MAX and Next-Generation 737 have the capacity to fly farther in comparison to competing aircraft, and this will enable SilkAir to start offering services on new routes. SilkAir Chief Executive, Leslie Thng, said, "The capability of the 737s will enable us to spread our wings to even more destinations and increase capacity on existing routes."
Commenting on the order, Boeing’s senior VP of Asia Pacific and India Sales, Dinesh Keskar, said, "As air travel in the Asia Pacific region continues to grow, we're proud to support SilkAir as it plans to fly more passengers and serve more cities. Passengers will soon experience not only SilkAir's award-winning service, but the comfort of the 737 Boeing Sky Interior."
Modern, Advanced Aircraft
Nearly fifty years after the 737 first flew; passengers are now enjoying unparalleled comfort and luxury in advanced variants of the aircraft.
The Next-Generation 737 and 737 MAX both have Boeing Sky Interior with trendy sculpted sidewalls, LED lighting, and bigger pivoting overhead stowage bins. The 737 MAX is a variant that builds on the strength of the 737 Next Generation.
The state-of-the-art CFM International LEAP-1B engines power the aircraft. The 737 MAX offer more reliability, efficiency, and customer comfort. The redesigned and re-engined 737 MAX will debut in 2017. The 737 MAX offers a 13% improvement in fuel use compared to the most fuel-efficient airplanes currently available in the single aisle market.
Boeing 737 Breaking Record
For the first in the 737s’ history, more than 1,000 orders have been placed within a single year – SilkAir’s order brings the total number of 737’s ordered in 2012 to 1,031 aeroplanes.
Besides SilkAir, Aeromexico and Gol made recent large 737 purchases. Aeromexico signed a purchase agreement with Boeing on 6 November 2012 for up to 90 737-8 and -9 aircraft, worth $9 b at list prices. On 1 October 2012, Gol, a Brazilian low-cost airline, ordered 60 Boeing 737 Max 8 airplanes, which will be delivered in 2018.
Third Boeing Final Assembly Line for 737 in 2015
In a related development, Boeing has announced that it will open a third final assembly line at its Renton factory in Washington in 2015, to increase its 737 production capacity. The third line will be initially used to build the first 737 Max 8 aircraft, and after that, the line will be used to boost overall production.
Previously, Boeing announced its plans to open a second line focused on building wings for the 737 in Renton, Washington, to produce about 60 ship sets each month.
737 Max Configuration Finalized
Boeing recently announced that it has added new changes to the final 737 Max configuration, namely an electronic bleed air system for optimizing cabin pressurisation and de-icing systems, and large format cockpit displays.
This announcement comes several months before the start of the detailed design phase of the re-engined aircraft.
As a wholly owned subsidiary of Singapore Airlines, Silk Air serves the short-haul destinations in the Singapore Airlines Group network. SilkAir operates passenger services between Singapore and 40 cities in Australia, China, Southeast Asia and South Asia. The airline employs about 300 staff and its annual turnover over the past few years averaged about $415 million.