Scoot gives the boot to sta­ble­mate Tig­erair

The Weekend Australian - Travel - - TRAVEL & INDULGENCE -

A merger of low-cost car­rier sib­lings Scoot and Tig­erair Sin­ga­pore has been mooted since May, when a joint man­age­ment team was ap­pointed by par­ent com­pany Bud­get Avi­a­tion Hold­ings, a wholly owned sub­sidiary of Sin­ga­pore Air­lines.

It’s now of­fi­cial that medium to long-haul Scoot will take over the routes of short-haul Tig­erair Sin­ga­pore in the sec­ond half of next year. In a com­pre­hen­sive re­brand­ing that sees the death of Tig­erair Sin­ga­pore, ser­vices will all fly un­der the sin­gle ban­ner and liv­ery and we can ex­pect to see those bright yel­low Scoot air­craft buzzing like bees to ex­panded re­gions. Scoot, which re­cently launched ser­vices from Sin­ga­pore to Jaipur, In­dia, also plans to de­but into Athens next year, broad­en­ing the scope of its net­work to its first port out­side Asia-Pa­cific home ter­ri­tory.

Speak­ing to Linette Lim of Chan­nel NewsAsia in Septem­ber, Bud­get Avi­a­tion Hold­ings chief ex­ec­u­tive Lee Lik Hsin was quoted as say­ing, “Ex­pan­sion is go­ing to be fairly rapid over the next few years. We have eight more air­craft com­ing into the fleet, over a pe­riod of three years, so that’s 20 [which is] a very, very high av­er­age growth rate. So we ob­vi­ously will need to fly to new points.”

Tig­erair Sin­ga­pore has a fleet of 21 Air­bus A320s and two A319 nar­row-bod­ied air­craft fly­ing to 40 des­ti­na­tions in 12 coun­tries. Scoot has a dozen Boe­ing 787 Dream­lin­ers serv­ing 24 des­ti­na­tions in 10 coun­tries.

In pas­sen­ger terms, the merger strength­ens Sin­ga­pore as a re­gional hub for low-cost short, medium and long­haul flights, there will be one reser­va­tions sys­tem and web­site and more seam­less con­nec­tions and take­off and land­ing slots, es­pe­cially into and out of Changi, where Scoot ser­vices have of­ten unattrac­tive de­par­tures, in- clud­ing 01.45am daily to Syd­ney. It will also stream­line re­gional travel for pas­sen­gers be­tween Europe and South­east Asian des­ti­na­tions plus Scoot’s Aus­tralian ports of Syd­ney, Mel­bourne, Perth and Gold Coast.

And good­bye to the con­fu­sion with our do­mes­tic car­rier Tiger Air­ways, a wholly-owned sub­sidiary of Vir­gin Aus­tralia, which in 2014 boosted its 60 per cent stake­hold­ing to 100 per cent by buy­ing the re­main­ing 40 per cent for a measly $1 when the then trou­bled car­rier was at its loss-mak­ing low­est.

Unusu­ally for a low-cost car­rier, Scoot at­tracts cor­po­rate cus­tom with ScootBiz, a ded­i­cated pre­mium cabin with 35 seats set across five rows of two-three-two con­fig­u­ra­tion. It does not com­pete with busi­ness class on a full-ser­vice air­line, but the leather seats are com­fort­able, and pas­sen­gers have ac­cess to pri­or­ity check-in, board­ing and dis­em­barka­tion plus 30kg of checked lug­gage and gen­er­ous cabin-bag al­lowance.

You still need to pre-book meals and ex­tras and do take a neck-sup­port pil­low, light blan­ket or throw, a stash of snacks and ask for cups of (free) chilled and pu­ri­fied wa­ter on tap or you’ll be slugged $4 for a small bot­tle. • fly­scoot.com

SU­SAN KURO­SAWA

The bright yel­low liv­ery of a Scoot Boe­ing 787

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