Scoot starts flying to India from May 24

One of Scoot's Boeing 787 Dreamliners at the Singapore Airshow in February. The SIA subsidiary will use Dreamliners for all its flights to India. To mark the launch of its services, Scoot is offering promotion fares starting from $99 for economy clas
One of Scoot's Boeing 787 Dreamliners at the Singapore Airshow in February. The SIA subsidiary will use Dreamliners for all its flights to India. To mark the launch of its services, Scoot is offering promotion fares starting from $99 for economy class and $239 for business class. ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG

Chennai, Amritsar will be first stops, followed by Jaipur later in the year

Budget carrier Scoot is entering the Indian market in a big way, offering new destinations and options for travellers.

The Singapore Airlines (SIA) subsidiary will start flying to Chennai in South India and Amritsar in the northern state of Punjab from May 24.

Flights to Jaipur, capital city of the state of Rajasthan and an increasingly popular tourist destination, will be launched in October.

Currently, there are no direct services from Singapore to Amritsar and Jaipur.

Scoot's foray into India is an important part of its plans to expand its network since launching operations in mid-2012. The airline now flies out of Singapore to 17 destinations in seven countries, including Australia and China.

Scoot's foray into India is an important part of its plans to expand its network since launching operations in mid-2012. The airline now flies out of Singapore to 17 destinations in seven countries, including Australia and China.

Scoot's flights to India will also boost the presence of the SIA group in one of the fastest-growing markets in the world.

SIA operates 51 flights a week to six destinations in India while its regional arm SilkAir flies to eight points 44 times a week.

India is a key market for SIA, which also owns 49 per cent of New Delhi-based domestic airline Vistara. The remaining stake in Vistara, which started operating early last year, is held by Indian conglomerate Tata.

In announcing the launch of services to India yesterday, Scoot said all flights will be operated with its fleet of Boeing 787 Dreamliners.

Scoot chief executive Campbell Wilson said the airline is excited about bringing its product to the Indian market.

On Scoot flights, travellers will be able to access inflight Wi-Fi and in-seat power, among other amenities.

Mr Wilson said: "Our launch in Chennai will complement the SIA group's existing services, while Scoot's new services to Amritsar and Jaipur will bring travellers to the magnificent Golden Temple and the stunning Pink City."

This is not the first time the SIA group is offering flights to Amritsar. SIA started services in late 2004 but pulled the plug about four years later due to poor yields.

Mr Wilson is confident that Scoot, which has a lower operating cost structure, will be able to make the route work.

To mark its launch in India, Scoot is offering a limited-time promotion from now until next Thursday, with all-in fares starting from $99 for economy class and $239 for business class.

Technician J.S. Gill, 55, who flies to India about once in two years, said: "Jaipur is an interesting new destination and I'm sure direct flights to Amritsar will be well received too. It saves us the trouble of having to fly via New Delhi."

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 23, 2016, with the headline 'Scoot starts flying to India from May 24'. Print Edition | Subscribe