SILKAIR B737-MAX 8 NEW BUSINESS CLASS
Silkair took delivery of their latest B737-MAX8 back in October last year. They also took the opportunity to introduce a whole new business class cabin which i am about to take today.
What's the deal?
I took advantage of Singapore Airlines Spontaneous Deal back in August where we see the usual discounted redemption rates for Singapore Airlines & Silkair.
So i thought why not let's take this opportunity to fly on their latest baby. Even with a small fleet of 5 B738 MAX, they currently serve 11 destinations with it. These destinations includes Kuala Lumpur, Phuket, Phnom Penh, Fuzhou, Chongqing, Kathmandu, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Darwin, Cairns and Hiroshima.
After much consideration to my schedule and budget, i decided to go for Phuket with a small redemption amount of 10000 miles and taxes adding up to about SGD$18. I would estimate the street value of this redemption plus taxes to be about roughly SGD $218.
Silkair is a full service regional airline founded in 1989. It is a wholly owned subsidiary of Singapore Airlines and served short to medium haul destinations in the Singapore Airlines Group network.
However in May 2018, it was announced that Silkair will be merged with its parent brand after undergoing a major $100 million dollars cabin upgrades in Year 2020.
Singapore Airlines CEO Mr Goh Choon Phong
Photo by : The Business Times
"SilkAir has always played a critical role for SIA as a regional feeder. Even with the merger, it won’t detract from that role. However, we believe that with the merger and one single brand, it will make it much easier for customers to understand that both narrow body and wide body (planes) belong to the same organisation and brand." said Singapore Airlines CEO Mr Goh Choon Phong.
In a nutshell, yes. Silkair will be a thing of the past very soon. BUT according to Mr Goh, no one will lose their job despite the merger. For us enthusiast, we think it's an epic thing to finally see narrow-body aircrafts(A320s, B737s) in Singapore Airlines Livery.
This Merger News is also one of the reason why i decide to go for this.
SilkAir flights operates from Changi Airport Terminal 2. Business class check in was empty as usual and i was hoping to get the SilkAir Boarding Pass but was issued the Singapore Airlines Business Class instead.
SilverKris Lounge was nothing special as usual. Inbound flight was delayed by an hour hence boarding only commenced 50 minutes past scheduled departure time.
Going onboard 9V-MBD. Delivered in April 2018, that makes it merely 5 months old.
I was the last few to board the aircraft mainly because since i am seated in business class, i don't need to worry about not being able to find storage space. As this is a narrowbody aircraft, there is only 1 door for boarding. So all economy class passengers will pass by the business class section and when it comes to a stop, there is some awkwardness and unwanted stare.
There wasn't any IFE screen for anyone. Be it Business or Economy. So safety video was played thru the overhead screens.
The flight attendant came by and ask for our choice of meal.
Immediately after take off, we were served our meal. It's pretty short flight hence meal service is fast. I went with the Shell pasta with seafood ragout option. Basically shell pasta with a small service of calamari and fish drenched in tomato sauce. Not excellent but acceptable & edible meal.
Before the flight, i did some research online and found out that they don't serve alcohol on flights shorter than 2 hours. But surprisingly they offered me 2 choice of wine.
Paul Mas Chardonnay 2016 and Arrogant Frog Ribet Red Cabernet Sauvignon 2016 are french wine.
After my meal service i asked for a glass of their signature cocktail. The Joy Cocktail consist of 7-Up, Orange Juice, Lemon Juice & Red Wine. Mix it before drinking and trust me you will love it. I am missing this drink as i am typing this review.
Time to explore after meal service. It's the same 12 seaters 2-2 configuration across the 737 fleet in Silkair.
We can see an increase of 11 inch in seat pitch as compared to their existing fleet of B737-800.
With the increase in seat pitch, it makes the whole cabin more spacious. The ambience and environment. (Some fire equipment behind the seats)
The new product however is not fitted with any flatbed but the same old recliner style seats that Silkair employ across the whole fleet.
But don't belittle this simple looking recliner seats. I personally find it very comfortable to have a nap on short flights.
Even with the seat in front of you fully reclined, you don't feel intruded. There is still plenty of space.
There is still plenty of space with your leg stretched.
There isn't any adjustable neck lumbar which in my opinion, they could have just install them.
But the standard adjustable headrest so that you can lean towards one side while napping.
Back to my original seat armrest is the compartment space. This compartment space consist of audio jack, wall plug & USB charger. Enough space for a rimowa amenity kit but if you like to charge your laptop, i foresee that you have to leave that flap open.
This compartment space consist of audio jack, wall plug & USB charger. Enough space for a rimowa amenity kit but if you like to charge your laptop, i foresee that you have to leave the flap open.
It's extremely dirty underneath the flap with all the nuts and i hope silkair will follow up accordingly.
If the compartment isn't enough, there are some more in front of you. As you can see, it's able to hold something as thick as the rimowa amenity kit.
On the other side, you can find your tray table.
Initially i thought there will be some pulling or press to eject kind of tray table just like any Boeing 737. But it was a latch that slide the tray out in a very classy manner.
Seat control are pretty idiotproof. Just 3 button, backrest, leg rest and foot rest. No hightech automatic electronics so you have to force it back to original position.
Footrest is adjustable so no problem for the tall. Even the footrest is wrapped with leather!
Point of view from the fully reclined position. Just see how spacious is it!
The toilet however isn't max out. It's the usual tight and small 737 toilets.
For Business Class toilet, you can find the toothbrush available. No combs, shaver or anything like that.
It's a really silent aircraft. Having spent over 40 trips on the Boeing 737-800 this year, i felt much different on board the MAX 8.
It's also my first time on SilkAir Business Class and it appears to me that the cabin crew is a little cold which is something i wouldn't expect from the regional wing of Singapore Airlines. Nonetheless they did their job well and efficiently.
Whatever i request , they deliver. Like a plate of warm nuts and taking out the wine bottle just for photo taking.
Overall, it was a pleasant experience with SilkAir.
I was hoping to fly with them to Hiroshima or anywhere further than this 1.5 hour flight.
Missing the joy cocktail.