After merger, Scoot adds 5 destinations

Scoot unveiled new cabin crew uniforms yesterday.With the completion of the integration of the Scoot and Tigerair brands under a single operating licence and brand, all Tigerair flights will now operate under the Scoot brand.
Scoot unveiled new cabin crew uniforms yesterday.With the completion of the integration of the Scoot and Tigerair brands under a single operating licence and brand, all Tigerair flights will now operate under the Scoot brand.ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

Budget airline Scoot marked the completion of its merger with Tigerair yesterday with the announcement of five new destinations - Harbin, Kuantan, Kuching, Palembang and Honolulu - bringing the total number of destinations to 65.

Honolulu is Scoot's first stop in the United States and its second long-haul destination outside of Asia, after Athens in Greece.

Honolulu represents a "big gap" for Scoot to fill, said the airline's chief executive, Mr Lee Lik Hsin, but because of the distance, flying to other destinations in the continental US is something that has to be "reviewed very carefully".

Another long-haul destination is likely to be announced by the year end.

While Scoot aims to have about three or four such long-haul destinations within the next two to three years, Mr Lee said it remains focused on the Asian region.

"Asia has to be the predominant region for Scoot," he said, adding that the airline aims to double its current fleet size of 37 planes within the next five years. The fleet is made up of 23 Airbus A320s and 14 Boeing 787 Dreamliners, which are used for long-haul flights.

When asked if Scoot was concerned about long-haul flights offered by other budget carriers, Mr Lee said the aviation sector has "always been challenging" and that competition was part of "daily business" for the airline.

In May, European carrier Norwegian announced that it would begin offering flights between London and Singapore in September. The 10,841km flight, which will take about 13 hours, is the longest budget flight ever operated.

Scoot's flights to Harbin, Honolulu, Kuching and Palembang will start by the year end, while flights to Kuantan are expected to begin by the first half of next year.

Beginning in October, Scoot will fly to Kuching daily, while flights to Palembang will be conducted four times a week.

Scoot will be taking over these routes from SilkAir, another airline under the Singapore Airlines group. The budget carrier is expected to fly to Kuantan thrice weekly.

The new destinations were revealed at a media conference held at the ArtScience Museum, announcing the completion of the integration of the Scoot and Tigerair brands under a single operating licence and brand.

The last Tigerair Singapore flight was on Monday night from Singapore to Tiruchirappalli in India, and all Tigerair flights will now operate under the Scoot brand.

The airline also unveiled new cabin crew uniforms at the event yesterday, along with a new livery on its first A320 aircraft.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 26, 2017, with the headline 'After merger, Scoot adds 5 destinations'. Print Edition | Subscribe