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Title:[NEWS] SilkAir Will Add as Many as 10 Planes by 2013 on Travel Demand
Post 1 [NEWS] SilkAir Will Add as Many as 10 Planes by 2013 on Travel Demand Apr 21,08 09:14 PM

News web:http://en.carnoc.com/list/7/7092.html
Source:Bloomberg News
Author:Chan Sue Ling
Subject Concerned:Aircraft   Opinion   Airlines   

SilkAir, the regional unit of Singapore Airlines Ltd., plans to add as many as 10 planes to its fleet over the next five years to meet growing demand for air travel in Asia.

The carrier, which currently flies 14 Airbus SAS A320s, will need to add between one to two aircraft annually to meet capacity expansion of as much as 15 percent a year, Chief Executive Officer Chin Yau Seng said in an interview.

Chin, who took the helm a year ago, plans new routes to China and India as economic growth increases business and leisure travel. SilkAir relies on its parent for as much as 40 percent of its passengers, giving it an edge over other budget airlines in the region.

"They have got a niche area to certain destinations that no one else serves," said Rohan Suppiah, an analyst at Kim Eng Securities Co. in Singapore. "SilkAir caters to a different class of people and a very specific group of holidaymakers. You also have a lot of corporate travelers with a lot of cash."

The airline flew 1.3 million passengers in the nine months ended Dec. 31, 11 percent more than the year before and boosted capacity by almost 11 percent in the period. It also carried 15 percent more business-class travelers.

SilkAir, which flies to 28 destinations within five hours from its base in Singapore, plans to boost capacity to cities in East Malaysia, Myanmar and Nepal.

More Expansion

"There are a lot of opportunities and we will continue to expand," Chin, 36, said on Mar. 26. "We are filling more business class seats. We also fly to places where economic growth has been robust."

The carrier will get one new aircraft in August. It last bought planes in December 2006, ordering 11 single-aisle aircraft from the A320 family, with delivery starting from next year. It has options for another nine and will have to make a decision on three of those by next year, Chin said.

SilkAir is poised to post a profit in the period ending March for the 10th consecutive year. Net income almost doubled to S$21.7 million (US$15.7 million) in the nine months to December from the year before and has already surpassed last year's profit of S$19.8 million.

Growth in air travel in the region is projected to outpace the global average, according to the International Air Transport Association, or IATA, which represents more than 240 airlines.

To win more customers, the airline is spending S$2 million per aircraft to add features including new in-flight entertainment systems and leather seats in its business cabins. It is also making more use of its airplanes by flying them almost 11 hours a day on average, compared with about 7 hours three years ago.
Post 2 Re:[NEWS] SilkAir Will Add as Many as 10 Planes by 2013 on Travel Demand 2008-04-21 21:14:37.0
Best wishes to SilkAir - where the world unwinds.
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