SIA to stop direct flights to Vancouver, Scoot to end services to Gold Coast in Australia

SIA will suspend direct flights between Singapore and Vancouver from October while Scoot will end its services to Gold Coast in July. ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

SINGAPORE - Travellers planning to take a direct flight on Singapore Airlines (SIA) to Vancouver or Scoot to the Gold Coast from Singapore will soon have to look for other options.

SIA will suspend direct flights between Singapore and Vancouver from October while its budget arm Scoot will end its services to Australia’s Gold Coast in July, the national carrier said in a third-quarter earnings report on Tuesday.

“The group will continue to monitor the demand for air travel, and adjust its capacity accordingly,” it added.

SIA returned to the Canadian market in December 2021 and added a non-stop service to Vancouver in June 2022. The flights run three times a week, according to Routes Online.

In response to queries, an SIA spokesman said its last flight between Singapore and Vancouver will be on Sept 30. It is the only direct SIA flight connecting Singapore and Canada, he added.

He said: “SIA regularly reviews our network operations to adjust capacity to match demand for services in our various markets. As a result, it is taking a difficult decision to suspend its Vancouver services.”

The carrier launched flights to Vancouver and Seattle in December 2021 to enable customers to reunite with their loved ones, and to provide an additional holiday destination when Canada was included in Singapore’s vaccinated travel lane arrangements, he added.

Meanwhile, Scoot’s last flight out of the Gold Coast will be on July 17, a spokesman for the budget carrier said.

Scoot is now the only airline that flies directly from Singapore to the Gold Coast – after it reinstated the route in February 2022 following a break during the Covid-19 pandemic.

A check on Scoot’s website showed the flights currently run four times a week. From Feb 28, this will be reduced to three flights a week.

In 2019, Scoot served nearly 130,000 travellers taking that route, according to Gold Coast news outlet myGC.

“Australia remains an important market to Scoot and we are committed to connecting travellers between Australia and other parts of the world,” Scoot’s spokesman said, adding that the move came as it “adjusts capacity and optimise resources in response to demand”.

Gold Coast mayor Tom Tate said he was surprised at the decision as he “was a party to putting that deal together”, reported myGC. “If there was something I could’ve done, I would’ve done it,” he added.

Scoot will continue to operate 10 weekly flights from Singapore to Melbourne and Sydney, and increase its flights to Perth to 12 times a week from March 26.

The changes come amid moves by Scoot to resume flights to China by June, it said on Wednesday. It will increase its flights to China in stages, from 14 a week now to 57 by June.

SIA posted a net profit of $628 million for the third quarter of its financial year ending March 30, 2023, adding up to a record $1.56 billion net profit between April and December 2022.

SIA said the momentum of passenger sales for the fourth quarter (January to March 2023) remains strong, supported by the easing of travel restrictions across China, Hong Kong, Japan and Taiwan.

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