Scoot to create new travel demand for Singapore – CEO

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Singapore Airlines’ (SIA) new low-cost carrier, Scoot, will boost travel demand for Singapore and destinations across Asia, its CEO has said.

Campbell Wilson at the launch of Scoot last year
Campbell Wilson at the launch of Scoot last year

Speaking to Travel Daily today, Campbell Wilson confirmed that Scoot will launch services to Sydney on 4 June, followed by the Gold Coast a week later on 12 June. Bangkok flights will start on 5 July, with Tianjin services commencing in late August. Both Sydney and Bangkok are already served by SIA, but Wilson rejected the suggestion that Scoot’s services could have a negative effect on its parent company.

“We want to create new demand for travel and bring incremental revenue to the group,” Wilson told Travel Daily. “Low-cost carriers have been proven to stimulate new demand. A few years ago all the traffic coming through [Singapore’s] Changi airport was on full-service carriers. Today about 26% of that traffic is on LCCs, but the demand for full-service carriers is still rising.”

Wilson added that Scoot would complete the SIA group’s portfolio of airlines, filling a gap in the market.

“We have Singapore Airlines as a long-haul full-service carrier, SilkAir as the short-haul full-service airline, and our affiliate Tiger Airways is a short-haul low-cost airline. Scoot fills in the remaining space in the quadrangle as the group’s long-haul, low-cost carrier,” Wilson said.

Commenting on the airline’s expansion plans, Wilson revealed that Scoot plans to announce “two to four” new destinations in the coming months, at least one of which will be in China. When asked about the possibility of launching flights further afield, Wilson said that Europe is “on our radar”, although he added that the price of fuel meant that it was “not a very attractive proposition” at present. Flights to India are also a possibility, Wilson said, but the airline is in “no rush” to make a decision.

Scoot will launch with a fleet of two Boeing 777-200 aircraft, both of which are currently being fitted out with the airline’s products. The twin-aisle aircraft will be configured with 402 seats – 370 in economy class and 32 in business class, although Wilson said ‘ScootBiz’, as the front cabin is branded, would be more like a premium economy product. While no seatback screens will be available in either cabin, the airline is planning to offer other in-flight entertainment options, possible in the form of tablet devices, which will be available at a charge for economy passengers and free for those in ScootBiz.

Two more B777s will arrive by October, and one or two new aircraft will be introduced every year until 2015.

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