SilkAir (Singapore) Private Limited (Tamil: சில்க்ஏர்)(Chinese: 勝安航空 Shèng’ān Hángkōng) is an airline with its head office in Airline House in Singapore; previously it was on the fifth storey of the SIA Superhub in Singapore. It is a wholly owned subsidiary of Singapore Airlines and operates scheduled passenger services from Singapore to 43 cities in Southeast Asia, South Asia, China and Australia . As the regional wing of Singapore Airlines, it serves the short-haul destinations in the Singapore Airlines Group network, and flew 1.56 million passengers in 2006. It made a profit of S$30 million, as turnover rose 20.4% to $415 million.
The airline had its roots as a regional air-charter company as Tradewinds Charters formed in 1976, and using planes predominantly leased from parent company Singapore Airlines serving leisure destinations. Scheduled services were introduced as Tradewinds Airlines on 21 February 1989, when it leased McDonnell Douglas MD-87 airplanes for services to 6 destinations: Bandar Seri Begawan, Pattaya, Phuket, Hat Yai and Kuantan from Singapore’s Changi International Airport and Tioman from Singapore’s Seletar Airport. As the carrier matured, regional business destinations such as Jakarta, Phnom Penh and Yangon were added to its network, thereby broadening the airline’s appeal beyond the holiday-maker to include the business traveller. SilkAir began operations with two leased McDonnell Douglas MD-87 aircraft in 1989, before investing in its own fleet of six Boeing 737-300s, the first of which began operations in 1991. It operated two Airbus A310-200s for a brief period from 1993 to 1995 before they were transferred to Singapore Airlines, and two Fokker 70s from 1995 to 2000. It began replacing its Boeing fleet with Airbus aircraft when the first Airbus A320-200 arrived on September 18, 1998, and retired all Boeing aircraft a year later. SilkAir offers Oriental and Western menus which emphasise on flavours of the region. Local delights such as Hainanese chicken rice, laksa, mee siam and mee rebus are available on selected flights. SilkAir offers a selection of short story books and magazine titles on board and screens a series of short features on their inflight screens. SilkAir inflight magazine, Silkwinds is complimentary for all passengers. It is published once every two months.
Silkair won successive Best Regional Airline: Southeast Asia in 2009 and 2010 by Skytrax at each year’s respective World Airlines Awards. In October 2011, SilkAir was awarded the Regional Airline of the Year by the Centre for Aviation (CAPA), an aviation research body.