Scoot to stop flying to four cities due to weak demand, aircraft shortage

If you're thinking of visiting Boracay, take note. The last flights from Singapore to Kalibo - and vice versa - will be on June 30, 2019. ST PHOTO: MAK MUN SAN

SINGAPORE - 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 on Monday (April 29).

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 for Kalibo, Aug 24 for Quanzhou and Oct 25 for 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 in November 2018, Scoot said.

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

On April 9, 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.

Earlier, on March 12, SilkAir grounded all six of its B-737 Max jets following two crashes involving the aircraft type in Indonesia in October 2018 and in Ethiopia in March 2019.

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 whence travellers can access Boracay island. He flies off next Sunday (May 5).

"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.

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