Budget airline Scoot to launch five new routes

Scoot's inaugural flight to the Greek capital arrived at Athens International Airport yesterday.
Scoot's inaugural flight to the Greek capital arrived at Athens International Airport yesterday.PHOTO: SCOOT

Low-cost carrier Scoot will be launching five new routes over the next 12 months, with one of them long-haul, and the others short- to mid-haul flights.

Scoot chief executive Lee Lik Hsin said at an event in Athens, Greece, yesterday that more details would be revealed on July 25, when Scoot's integration with Tigerair is complete.

While Mr Lee declined to reveal the destinations, The Straits Times had previously reported that Scoot had plans to fly to Honolulu, United States, with a stop in Osaka, Japan.

Scoot's inaugural flight to Athens - also its first European destination - took off from Changi Airport at 2.45am yesterday with 316 passengers on board. Passengers were treated to in-flight games and prizes.

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The plane, the airline's newest Boeing 787 Dreamliner dubbed the Mous-Scoot-Ka - a reference to the popular Greek dish moussaka - landed at Athens International Airport at 8.45am (1.45pm, Singapore time).

The 11-hour flight is the longest one operated by Scoot, with the distance exceeding 10,000km.

On board the inaugural flight was marketer Hendric Tay, 29, who was on his second trip to Greece. "It's exciting that a low-cost carrier is flying to Europe. Finally, Singaporeans can fly to Europe on the cheap," he said.

Mr Lee said Athens was chosen as Scoot's first European destination as it was an untapped market. "Scoot is currently the only airline and low-cost carrier offering direct flights between South-east Asia and Greece," he said.

He added that demand for the route has been good, with seven out of 10 seats booked on average for each flight.

Amid mounting competition, Singapore Airlines is expanding its budget operations through subsidiaries Scoot, which operates medium- and long-haul flights, and Tigerair, which operates shorter flights within the region.

Tigerair will officially come under the Scoot brand on July 25.

No staff member will be made redundant during the move, said Mr Lee, as good growth is expected in the next few years.

The addition of Athens brings the Scoot and Tigerair network to 60 destinations in 17 countries.

Scoot's Singapore-Athens flight operates four times a week.

To celebrate its inaugural Athens flight, Scoot is offering promotional one-way fares from Singapore to Athens, starting at $268, from now until June 30.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 21, 2017, with the headline 'Budget airline Scoot to launch five new routes'. Print Edition | Subscribe