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SilkAir 2017 outlook: needs to rebrand as 737 MAX arrives amid challenging conditions

SilkAir is approaching an important juncture in 2017, with potential strategic ramifications for the Singapore Airlines (SIA) Group, as the full service airline subsidiary takes delivery of its first 737 MAX aircraft. SilkAir has grown by approximately 30% since taking its first 737NG aircraft three years ago, but has not expanded as rapidly as initially planned.

The 737 MAX aircraft could usher in a new phase of faster growth. SilkAir will be able to use the improved range of the MAX to open new longer range routes and take over more flights from the parent airline, accelerating a trend which has emerged over the past several years.

However, as SilkAir continues to expand and starts operating alongside SIA in more markets, it will need to review its product and commercial strategy. With the MAX, SilkAir has the opportunity to improve its product and close the gap with SIA mainline. Closer integration with SIA and a rebranding should be considered.

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