SilkAir Fleet Transition from Airbus A320s to Boeing 737-800s and 737 MAX 8s - What does it mean for Passengers?

I do not travel on SilkAir often as the product is in no way comparable to the Singapore Airlines product (especially on Business - even on regional routes!). There are however some routes that are operated by MI-metal only and therefore it is impossible to take an SQ-metal alternative (e.g. HKT, DAD and REP). As of 01 January 2017, SilkAir operates 31 aircraft: 17 Boeing B737-800, 11 Airbus A320-200 and 3 Airbus A319-100 aircraft.

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Photo Credit: SilkAir

Photo Credit: SilkAir

While the seat map for the Boeing 737 MAX 8s have not been published, here are a number of ways the Boeing 737-800 experience will different from the A320s and the A319s:

  • More Seats on the Boeing 737-800: The 737-800s come with 12 Business Class and 150 Economy Class seats. On the other hand, the A320-200s and the A319-100s come with 12 Business Class and 138 Economy Class as well as 8 Business Class and 120 Economy Class seats respectively. While this is great for the airline, a bigger cabin generally mean a less enjoyable experience. 
  • Reduced Seat Pitch and Seat Width on the Boeing 737-800: While it is always exciting to hop on a new plane, traveling in the Boeing 737-800s instead of the current Airbus planes operated by SilkAir means less seat pitch and seat width on Economy and on Business.  
SilkAir
Fleet
Economy Business
Seat Pitch Seat Width Seat Pitch Seat Width
Boeing 737-800 30 17 34 18
Airbus A320-200 31 18 40 20
Airbus A319-100 31 18 40 20
  • Row 9 on 737-800 is Windowless: If you are ever flying on the Boeing 737-800 in Economy Class, remember Row 9 seats are windowless (these are generally viewed as a disadvantage).
  • More to come on the Boeing 737 MAX 8: The first delivery of the Boeing 737 MAX 8 was to Malindo Air and while SilkAir does not currently operate any, it is expected to debut it fairly soon. It is unclear at this point whether the number of Business Class and Economy Class seats will change but the plane is expected to operate at a higher efficiency amongst other improvements.