Singapore Airlines to fold SilkAir, launches vroom hotel booking options, Air Belgiums second chance to make a first impression and Emirates’ dangerous games with pilot fatigue

Posted on May 21, 2018 by in Travel Deals

– good news from Singapore Airlines – the Silkair brand will soon be folded into the ‘mainline’ Singapore Airlines brand

The changes are part of a turnaround program that is already increasing profits for Singapore Airlines.

Singapore Airlines also promises to install lie flat seats in the new 737 MAX Business Class that Silkair has on order.

Some Silkair routes will end up in the Scoot portfolio – others will see mainline service.

Singapore Airlines is serious about improving their portfolio after killing the Tiger brand last year. And if you need an award ticket you could not add Silkair flights before – when they come under the Singapore Airlines umbrella – you can!

– Singapore Airlines Krisflyer also launched vrooms that allows you to earn and redeem Krisflyer miles for hotels and car rentals

You will quickly notice that the redemption rates aren’t great and neither are the earn rates but it is always good to have more options.

– Air Belgium has finally secured Siberian overflight rights (Russia typically makes them available only to one airline per country i.e. Brussels Airlines in that case) and the airline plans to launch June 3rd, 2018

– Emirates is battling their ‘pilot shortage’ with drastic measures – now just three pilots will be on duty for ultra long-haul flights

Apparently a lot of pilots are concerned – not just by the reduction of in-flight rest (by about 1/3) but also in combination with the pre-existing Emirates requirements of 100 pilot hours per month and many new pilots who have just minimal experience.

Here is what one poster (presumably an industry insider) has to say:

To try to solve the pilot shortage, Emirates is attempting to recruit desperate guys from Venezuela who have a CPL only, poor English, zero experience of LVO/Winter Ops, some with no experience working at an airline, or flying a jet.

Emirates is willing to put them straight into an A380 – operating a 3 man 17hr FDP before disruption, to East Coast US during January Snowstorms, or over the Himalayas through the night to China. And they’ll be watched over by a 30 year old ex-cadet Captain who may not have seen more than 1/2 de-icing in his life and has never flown a plane above 500ft.

Emirates is flying these big jets with a minimal crew (less than any other airline for flights of that distance) and is pushing the limits. This does not seem like a good or safe decision.