Singapore - Singapore Airlines Group subsidiary SilkAir has delayed its plans to transfer fourteen Boeing 737-800 to another Group subsidiary Scoot because of the ongoing worldwide grounding of the Boeing 737 MAX jets after the second fatal crash of the type in Ethiopia.
SilkAir currently has six grounded Boeing 737 MAX 8 in its fleet. The airline expects 31 more over time, but the future of the aircraft is still unclear.
"As a result of the recent B737 MAX 8 grounding, the B737-800 transfer plans are being suspended and the aircraft will remain with SilkAir until there is clarity on the MAX 8 situation," a group spokesperson said.
SilkAir announced the transfer plan of fourteen Boeing 737-800 to Scoot last year in November. The first Boeing 737-800 had been planned for pre-delivery maintenance in May 2019 and was being expected to enter into service with Scoot in June or July.
The airline currently operates seventeen Boeing 737-800. The three aircraft that are excluded from the transfer plan would be retired by the carrier.
Scoot has announced that the suspended transfer of the Boeing 737-800s wouldn't change the network restructuring that is currently in the process. The low-cost Group subsidiary is preparing to take over some routes from its full-service sister SilkAir, such as Singapore-Luang Prabang and Singapore-Vientiane.
Scoot also said it would consider the wet-leasing option to continue with the pre-planned network growth.
Scoot currently operates one Airbus A319-100, 26 Airbus A320-200, two A320-200neo, ten Boeing 787-8, and eight B787-9.
SilkAir is set to merge with Singapore Airlines from 2020 as part of the plan to decrease the number of airlines in the Group from three to two as one Full-Service airline (Singapore Airlines) and one low-cost operator (Scoot).