Scoot is poised to launch its first service between Sydney and Singapore in mid-2012.
As previously reported, the airline, with a two-cabin configuration, will offer airfares that are up to 40 per cent less than legacy carriers (see story here). The carrier will operate B777-200 aircraft configured to carry up to 402 passengers on each flight.
Regarding concerns about lack of comfort in a rather dense configuration (see story here) for such a long flight, Scoot's chief executive, Campbell Wilson, said: “ The 10-abreast in a 777 is by no means new – indeed, a number of well-respected legacy airlines already operate such configuration quite successfully. We do not expect this to detrimentally affect sales in our target market segment, which is people seeking great value and choice."
A rapidly increasing number of LCCs are also flying longer routes between major cities, just like their legacy carrier counterparts. Qantas’s low-cost subsidiary, Jetstar, has a long-haul Singapore-Melbourne service (see story here). AirAsia X plies between Kuala Lumpur and London. Wilson said: “Scoot’s decision to operate the long-haul low-cost services is underpinned by the growth potential, which remains hugely appealing. Generally speaking, the region’s economies are still growing at a healthy pace, and more and more people are entering the middle class with the time, money and inclination to travel. There is a large population that is now familiar and comfortable with no-frills travel [and] wants to fly farther a field."
Although independent of Singapore Airlines, Scoot aims to draw upon its parent carrier's know-how. "As a 100 per cent subsidiary, Scoot can leverage the group’s buying power, expertise and economies of scale in various areas [such as] fuel and currency hedging, certain contracts where we can ride on SIA's volume for economies of scale, and of course their contacts with outside suppliers and experts. There's a lot of technical knowledge we can tap within SIA, too, especially in the engineering area," he added
"However, we’re not beholden to use SIA or its suppliers – we have the mandate and freedom to do what’s in the best interests of Scoot."
Scoot will be based at Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 2. In its first year, the carrier will roll out routes to link cities in Australia, Singapore and China.