After more than two years of inactivity, the Singapore Airlines Boeing 737 Max will soon fly high again.
Singapore Airlines disclosed that its six Boeing 737 Max aircraft (now 737-8) would resume service. It will only be available on short to medium-haul flights throughout the domestic carrier’s network. Countries where service becomes accessible include Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Nepal, Cambodia, and the Maldives. However, it still needs regulatory approval.
The Boeing 737 Max used to fly under the Silkair brand. Silkair is now a non-operating regional subsidiary of the Singapore Airlines Group.
The Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) suspended the Boeing 737 Max in March last year. It’s because of two isolated deadly incidents that occurred within a few months involving the narrow-bodied aircraft.
Indonesian Airlines Lion Air 737 Max 8 crashed in October 2018 and killed 189 people in Indonesia. Last March, another incident occurred with the same model used by Ethiopian Airlines, killing 157 people.
This September, CAAS rescinded the hiatus of the Boeing 737 Max to fly in and out of Singapore. Its six aircraft flew back to Singapore from Alice Springs, Australia, where it parked while being grounded.
Notable Enhancement in Singapore Airlines Boeing 737 Max
Singapore Airlines invested around S$230 million in developing, designing, and installing new industry-leading cabin products for the new 737-8.
“This is the culmination of three years of innovation and hard work, involving extensive customer research and close partnerships with designers and suppliers. This significant investment demonstrates Singapore Airlines’ commitment to maintaining our leadership position in the airline industry,” said Lee Lik Hsin, SIA commercial executive vice-president.
The improvement will provide passengers the same customer experience when boarding a wide-bodied aircraft. It offers a systematic and superior travel journey throughout its network. The aircraft has 154 seats – 10 in Business Class and 144 in Economy Class.
Business Class passengers will love the reclining seats that can turn into full-flat beds. Thompson Aero Seating manufactured the seats while London-based Factorydesign is responsible for the design. Collins Aerospace remodeled the “sleek and line seats” in the Economy Class cabin.
Passengers in the Business Class cabin will enjoy the Panasonic’s X-Series seat-back in-flight entertainment. They will also take advantage of the WiFi service and mobile data connectivity services.
SIA has completed software upgrades and technical modifications to the new Boeing 737-8. It established operational readiness flights in line with applicable US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) airworthiness standards proposed in November 2020.
Countries that Approved Singapore Airline’s Resume of Service
Many countries endorsed the Boeing 737-8, including Australia, India, Japan, and Malaysia. China and Indonesia have not yet approved the Singapore Airlines’ Boeing 737-8 flight to their respective countries.
However, China’s aviation regulator articulated its satisfaction with the changes in the designs, resolving safety issues. Boeing Chief Executive David Calhoun mentioned that the aircraft firm was doing its best to gain China’s approval by the end of this year.
Currently, Singapore Airlines has six Boeing 737 Max planes. It has another 31 on order for flights around Asia.
Additional Training for Singapore Airlines Boeing 737 Max Pilots
After lifting the suspension of the Boeing 737 Max, its pilots will need to go additional training. It’s because they need to familiarize themselves with the new improvements. These include using the flight control software and any incidents they may encounter during the flight.
Each pilot needs to complete an extensive training program. It encompasses computer-based learning and simulator training.
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