The Philippine Star



Scoot, the awardwinni­ng low-cost airline of Singapore Airlines group, just added Berlin to its internatio­nal destinatio­ns, flying journalist­s aboard a 787 Dreamliner (nicknamed “Bo Jio”) last Tuesday to Germany’s capital city on its inaugural

launch. Last year, Scoot ventured into Greece, and before that Honolulu and Australia. Scoot’s flight TR374 departed Changi Airport in Singapore at 12:25 a.m. and arrived to a traditiona­l water cannon salute at Berlin Tegel Airport at 7:07 a.m., Wednesday local time.

Scoot, founded in 2012, has a reputation for youthful campaigns, and Flight TR374 was no different, with a Berlin Photo Booth set up near the front cabins, lots of prizes, giveaways and a “mile-high heavy metal dance competitio­n” held midflight. That’s because Berlin’s population is young and tends to party hard, especially with FIFAgames going on — which is why the Scoot event was called “Ballin’ in Berlin.”

Scoot’s fleet, like its target market, is young and peppy. The Boeing 787 Dreamliner­s offer more overhead space to stow bags, more headroom, 78 percent larger windows than its competitor­s that can dim at the touch of a button, dynamic LED lighting that’s more relaxing for passengers (we saw it light up like a disco during the dance competitio­n), plus environmen­tal-friendly features such as super-efficient engines that use 20 percent less fuel emissions and produce 60 percent less noise, and lower cabin altitude (6,000 feet instead of 8,000) to offer cleaner air and reduce flight fatigue.

Southeast Asians are also young and vibrant, lured by Berlin’s biergarten­s, music, culture and history. Scoot and Berlin think it’s a match made in heaven. The upstart airline won Best Low Cost awards four years running from airlinerat­, and at Tegel Airport, Scoot CEO Lee Lik Hsin and Scoot chief commercial officer Vinod Kannan were joined by Tegel representa­tives, Berlin Mayor Michael Müller and others to welcome the entry of this feisty carrier into German airspace.

Kannan noted that the low-cost carrier conveys a “distinctly youthful, fun brand that we call ‘Scootitude.’” He added: “Berlin is known as one of the most exciting cities for millennial­s. More than 50 percent of our passengers today were between the ages of 18-35.” Because Berlin is a “vibrant, creative city steeped in history, we’re confident this destinatio­n will appeal to any market and demographi­c.”

Key to this is rising demand for nonstop flights to Europe. Mr. Lee said, “When I mentioned to friends how we planned to launch the 787 Dreamliner­s straight to Berlin, that it would get there in less than 12 hours, and that the one-way fare would start at 195 euros, they looked at me with disbelief, and great excitement.”

He called the launch “the start of a new chapter of two great cities — one in the heart of Europe and the other in Southeast Asia,” noting that 234,000 Singaporea­ns traveled to Berlin last year, and some 340,000 Germans visited Singapore. Adding to SIA’s 27 direct daily flights to Germany, Scoot will fly four daily flights between Berlin and Singapore.

Scoot now departs Changi for Berlin at 12:25 a.m. on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. Return flights from Berlin to Singapore are offered on the same days at 9:40 a.m.

Other officials present lauded Scoot for entering early into the local market, as Berlin prepares to open its BER Internatio­nal Airport hopefully in 2020. Tegel manager Lutke Daldrup noted the increasing demand for nonstop Asian flights, noting that while 270,000 Berliners fly to Asia yearly, “only one-fifth fly nonstop, so we want to improve that” — something the Scoot fleet of 24 A320s and 17 Dreamliner­s (with 20 more on order) hopes to address.

* * * Book your epic Berlin holiday now at or using the Scoot mobile app. On Instagram and Twitter, visit @flyscoot.

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 ??  ?? Scoot CEO Lee Lik Hsin and communicat­ions officer Vinod Kannan outline Scoot’s plans.
Scoot CEO Lee Lik Hsin and communicat­ions officer Vinod Kannan outline Scoot’s plans.
 ??  ?? Scoot attendants dressed in Bavarian costumes serve soft drinks, beer and wine.
Scoot attendants dressed in Bavarian costumes serve soft drinks, beer and wine.
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