Scoot gives the boot to stablemate Tigerair
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
The bright yellow livery of a Scoot Boeing 787