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SilkAir Inaugurates Flights to Kolkata

Today marks a new chapter in SilkAir’s operations to India, when the airline, as the regional wing of Singapore Airlines, operated its first flight to Kolkata, the capital city of the state of West Bengal.

With the introduction of this four times weekly service, SilkAir now serves seven destinations in India.

The first flight, MI 488, took off at 1315 hours today from Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 2 and is scheduled to arrive at Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport at 1500 hours. The return flight will depart from Kolkata at 2350 hours tonight and arrive in Singapore at 0635 hours tomorrow (all times local).

To mark this special occasion, customers on the first flight out of Singapore were presented with special souvenirs, comprising namecard holders and inaugural flight certificates signed personally by Chief Executive SilkAir, Mr Marvin Tan, and the flight commander.  A similar set of souvenirs will be presented to passengers on the first flight from Kolkata.

Chief Minister of West Bengal, Ms Mamata Banerjee, will grace the occasion with her presence at a special ceremony held at the airport to welcome the flight.

These newly introduced flights to Kolkata will complement Singapore Airlines’ three times weekly flights to the city. In total, the SIA Group of airlines will offer a combined daily flight service between Singapore and Kolkata. (For flight schedules, click here)

“SilkAir is delighted to add Kolkata to our growing network of destinations. We believe Kolkata offers tremendous opportunities for both inbound and outbound travel, be it for business or leisure. SilkAir is well placed to tap on this growth with our extensive combined network with our parent company, Singapore Airlines.

“SilkAir’s new flights add to Singapore Airlines’ existing services, thus giving our customers more flexibility and choice of schedules,” said Mr Tan.

The flights out of Singapore will cater to leisure and business travelers, as well as those traveling to visit friends and relatives. The flights will also enable convenient connections for customers travelling from America, Europe, Australia, Malaysia and Indonesia.

For customers from Kolkata, the new service will offer direct flights to Singapore and the convenience of onward connections to more than 90 international cities in the joint Singapore Airlines-SilkAir network.

Formerly known as Calcutta, the city was established in 1690 by the East India Company and is known for prominent icons such as Mother Teresa, the Catholic nun who devoted her life to helping the poor and sick and Rabindranath Tagore, the first Asian winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature.

The city is the main business, commercial and financial hub of eastern India and houses a rich collection of buildings of significant historical interest and heritage, with many still retaining a colonial architecture reflecting Kolkata’s past as the former capital of British India.

For Kolkatan customers keen to visit Singapore, the Lion City promises a multitude of attractions, such as the integrated resorts, the famous Night Safari at the Singapore Zoo, Sentosa, the Singapore Flyer, Arab Street, Chinatown and Little India.

SilkAir’s foray into the Indian market began in June 1999 when it began services to Thiruvananthapuram (also known as Trivandrum), the capital of the southwestern state of Kerala. Since then, the airline has steadily built up its Indian network over the years. Besides Kolkata, the other Indian destinations are Bangalore (four times weekly services), Chennai (six times weekly services), Coimbatore (three times weekly services), Kochi (daily services), Hyderabad (daily services) and Thiruvananthapuram (three times weekly services),

For more information on SilkAir, including its destinations and services, please visit silkair.com.

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About SilkAir

A full-service premium airline, SilkAir currently flies to 38 destinations across 11 countries and is the regional wing of Singapore Airlines. This year, the airline was awarded Best Regional Airline 2011 by CAPA - the Centre for Aviation. SilkAir was also ranked 2nd in the Best Regional Airline (Asia) category in the 2011 Skytrax World Airline Awards. Last year, the airline was inducted into TTG Asia's Travel Hall of Fame following its 10th win as Best Regional Airline in the TTG Travel Awards 2009. SilkAir was also ranked among the Top 10 Airlines for Best Cabin Service Worldwide 2011, 2010 and 2009 by Hong Kong-based online travel magazine, Smart Travel Asia. For more details visit silkair.com. SilkAir is also now on Facebook. Follow us at www.facebook.com/SilkAir.

The Regional Wing of Singapore Airlines

SilkAir’s pedigree as one of Asia-Pacific’s leading regional carriers began in the mid 1970s. Tradewinds Pte Ltd was formed in 1975 as the tours and travel arm of Singapore Airlines. Tasked with developing and wholesaling holiday tours, Tradewinds exclusively marketed SIA holiday packages in the early 1980s.

On 21 February 1989, Tradewinds the Airline was unveiled, catering to passengers holidaying in exotic destinations in the region, including Pattaya, Phuket, Hatyai, Kuantan and Tioman. As the carrier developed, regional business destinations such as Jakarta, Phnom Penh and Yangon were added.

On 01 April 1992, Tradewinds was renamed SilkAir. This change marked the carrier’s evolution from a holiday resort airline to a full-fledged regional carrier. The company’s Tours & Travel Division was restructured into a wholly-owned subsidiary of SilkAir, retaining the name Tradewinds Tours & Travels Pte Ltd.

SilkAir’s positioning as a premium, short-to-medium haul regional carrier gives it a unique appeal amongst leisure and business travellers in Asia. Whilst offering carefully selected meals, a full bar service and elements of inflight entertainment, SilkAir places great emphasis on providing attentive, friendly and relaxing service. The carrier’s regional flair is expressed through both its cabin crew and its cuisine – ensuring that your experience of the destination you’re heading to begins when you step onto our plane.

SilkAir
101 Thomson Road #10-03 United Square
307591 Singapore
Singapore