On 4th October 2017, SilkAir, the regional arm of Singapore Airlines, received its first Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft. The delivery of the new aircraft, the first of 37 that Silkair has on order, marked a new chapter in the operator’s fleet history, with the narrow-body craft allowing it to penetrate new markets and expand its network connectivity.

One of the main features of the Max 8 is its new engine, which burns about 14% lesser fuel as compared to the engine used in its predecessor, the B737-800 NG. Its improved fuel burn and longer range have allowed Silkair to open up new destinations for its customers, first of which is Hiroshima, Japan. The first inaugural Max 8 flight to Hiroshima took off from Changi Airport on 30 October 2017. This route is the only nonstop service between Hiroshima and Singapore, providing travellers greater connectivity from Japan to Singapore, as well as to the rest of the region.

As with any new aircraft type entering into service in Singapore, CAAS works closely with the air operator to ensure all regulatory requirements are met. In this case, a CAAS team, comprising of engineers, pilots and cabin safety specialists, worked to ensure that Silkair has established procedures and processes, and conducted the relevant training for its crew, to safely operate the B737 MAX.

CAAS officers conducting inspection

CAAS officers conducting inspections on the Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft.

Through the Type Acceptance exercise, the CAAS team studied the design and specifications of the new aircraft to ensure its airworthiness. The new engine, the CFM LEAP-1B, was assessed to meet the stringent ICAO noise emission requirements. Based on the study, CAAS also set out requirements for pilot licensing, cabin crew operations, aircraft operating procedures and future aircraft modification certification works for this new aircraft type.

After confirming that the aircraft conforms to CAAS’ requirements, the aircraft was awarded the Certificate of Airworthiness, paving the way for its official addition to SilkAir’s fleet.

For more information about the new aircraft, visit silkair.com/max8, a dedicated MAX 8 microsite created by Silkair.