Scoot to stop flying to four cities

Scoot will suspend services to four cities starting in June due to weak demand and a shortage of planes.

The affected cities are Lucknow, in India; Kalibo, the Philippines; Quanzhou, south-east China; and Male in the Maldives.

All flights are operated with Scoot's Airbus 320 aircraft, the airline said yesterday.

The budget carrier currently serves Lucknow, Kalibo and Quanzhou three times weekly, and Male four times a week.

The last flights from Singapore will depart on June 29 for Lucknow, June 30 (Kalibo), Aug 24 (Quanzhou) and Oct 25 (Male).

Customers with existing bookings have been contacted and offered several options, including bringing forward their travel dates while the services are still operating.

They can also obtain a full refund on their booking via their original mode of payment, or a 120 per cent refund via a Scoot Travel Voucher.

The aircraft shortage has come about because SilkAir is no longer able to transfer its Boeing 737-800NG aircraft to Scoot in the current financial year, as originally announced last November, Scoot said.

Both Scoot and SilkAir are part of the Singapore Airlines group.

Earlier this month, The Straits Times reported that SilkAir will keep 14 of its B737-800NG aircraft which it had earlier agreed to transfer to Scoot.

This is to ensure that SilkAir has enough aircraft to maintain its operations while issues with the B-737 Max are being sorted out.

On March 12, SilkAir grounded all six of its B-737 Max jets following two crashes involving the aircraft type - last October and in March this year.

The accidents triggered a global grounding of the jet and it remains unclear when the B-737 Max will fly again.

Engineer Kuek Jia Jun, 27, said it is a pity that Scoot will no longer fly to Kalibo, from where travellers can access Boracay island. He flies off next Monday.

"I'm glad that my upcoming trip will not be affected, but I may think twice about making a trip there in the future if I can't fly direct from Singapore."

Teacher Jane Oh, 56, was also very disappointed that the Kalibo route will be dropped.

"I just visited Boracay a few weeks ago and I was already thinking of going again next year as it's so beautiful," she said.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 30, 2019, with the headline 'Scoot to stop flying to four cities'. Print Edition | Subscribe