The Singapore Airlines group, which operates 175 weekly flights out of India, including 17 from the city, is replacing its ageing Boeing 777 fleet with the modern A350s in the Mumbai-Singapore sector from Saturday.
The airline group, which way back in 1992 had tried to enter the country with the Tatas and has since then tied up with same group and operates Vistara, refused to speculate on whether it is interested in the national carrier Air India, which has been put on block for privatisation.
“As a policy we don’t respond to market speculation,” was all Singapore Airlines India general manager David Lim would say when sought his views on the government’s move to disinvest the debt-ridden airline and whether his group will be interested in the same.
The aviation policy allows 49 per cent ownership by foreign carriers in domestic airlines. The details of the Air India divestment is not clear.
He also announced discount fares as part of Singapore Airlines’ 70th anniversary, starting from Rs 22,070, to the city-state in the new aircraft beginning tomorrow.
Singapore Airlines, on its own, operates over 55 flights a week from India, while the group, that comprises Silk Air, Scoot and Tiger Air, operates the rest connecting 15 cities in the country.
The new 253-seater wide-body plane, which is the youngest aircraft in the industry now, will have 42 business class seats, 24 premium economy and 187 economy seats, while the 777 was carrying 263 passengers.