SINGAPORE (June 27): SilkAir, the regional wing of Singapore Airlines, commenced its maiden flight today to Hangzhou — the capital of Zhejiang province in China.
Hangzhou will be the 48th destination in SilkAir’s network, extending the airline’s reach to eight destinations in China.
SilkAir’s other Chinese destinations include Changsha, Chengdu, Chongqing, Kunming, Shenzhen, Wuhan and Xiamen, the airline said in a statement here.
Flight MI918 departed Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 2 at 1000 hours, and is scheduled to arrive in Hangzhou’s Xiaoshan International Airport at 15.20 hours.
The return flight, MI917, will depart Hangzhou at 16.20pm, and is scheduled to reach Singapore at 2125 hours (all times stated are local).
Chief Executive SilkAir, Leslie Thng, said that SilkAir will be the only full service carrier connecting Hangzhou directly to Singapore.
SilkAir was confident that the service will see strong demand from the different market segments, he said.
“China is an important market for SilkAir. The launch of our flights to Hangzhou, shows that we remain committed to develop this market, which has strong potential for growth," he said in the statement.
Flights to Hangzhou are four times weekly, with departures on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. The flights will be operated by the A320 aircraft, featuring both Business and Economy Class.
Well known for its breathtaking scenery and cultural sites, Hangzhou, like other modern Chinese cities, has gone through recent urban development, but yet, still retains its historical and cultural heritage.
The city’s main draw is the picturesque West Lake, where popular attractions, such as Lingyin Temple and Six Harmonies Pagoda, can be found.
Hangzhou is also famous for its Longjing or Dragon Well Green tea, and boasts acres of lush tea fields, growing some of the finest grades of this tea.
With this latest launch, SilkAir’s frequencies to China will now increase to 50 flights weekly.