Singapore Airlines and Lufthansa Group have signed a partnership agreement that will see the two airline groups operating routes between Singapore and Europe on a joint-venture basis, in addition to expanding codeshare ties significantly and deepening commercial cooperation.

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Singapore Airlines and Virgin Australia are claiming a world first for frequent flyers, by allowing members of their respective KrisFlyer and Velocity Frequent Flyer loyalty programs to convert their miles and points from either program to the other.

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Singapore Airlines is boosting its Indonesia services from July by introducing a daily flight to Surabaya, along with increasing service frequency to the capital Jakarta and the resort island of Bali.

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With this agreement, the firm orderbook for the Boeing 737 MAX family has reached 969 aircraft to date. SilkAir’s order also brings the net year-to-date total for 737s ordered in 2012 to 1,031 aircraft, the first time orders for 737s have exceeded 1,000 aircraft in a single year.

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SilkAir operates 16 round-trips a week to Yangon with single-aisle Airbus A320-family aircraft. Singapore Airlines will take over seven of those round-trips with Boeing 777-200 widebody aircraft, increasing the group’s weekly seat capacity on the route by 55 per cent.

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SilkAir has signed a letter of intent to purchase up to 68 new Boeing 737s from the manufacturer. Its 737 order will comprise firm orders for 54 aircraft and purchase rights for another 14. The carrier will place firm orders for 23 Boeing 737-800s and 31 Boeing 737 MAX 8 jets.

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As part of a joint plan to increase services to northern Australia, Singapore Airlines’ regional full-service airline SilkAir will begin four-times-weekly service between Singapore and Darwin on March 26. Virgin Australia will complement these flights with daily service between Sydney and Darwin from April 2.

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SilkAir, the regional wing of Singapore Airlines, expects to take over the operation of Singapore Airlines’ services between Singapore and Penang from December 1.

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Singapore Airlines’ U.S.-based tour brand, Singapore Airlines Vacations, is offering a new slate of short vacation packages to Singapore, Bangkok and Phuket.

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