Singapore's new budget airline set to take off

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 02 November, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 02 November, 2011, 12:00am


Scoot, a brand new budget carrier wholly owned by Singapore Airlines, is set to take off in the middle of next year, jumping on the budget carrier boom in the region.

Campbell Wilson, who headed Singapore Airlines in Hong Kong before joining Scoot as chief executive, said the name of the new airline tried to convey spontaneity, movement and a touch of quirkiness.

The Singapore-based carrier will serve medium- and long-haul destinations, including Australia, New Zealand and the mainland, in the first year, bringing it head to head with Jetstar Airways, a subsidiary of Qantas, and Air Asia. In the long run, Scoot targets runs to India, Europe, Africa and the Middle East.

It is not the only attempt by a full-service carrier in the region to tap into the low-cost market. All Nippon Airways and Japan Airlines announced plans to set up budget airline subsidiaries this year. Three Japanese budget carriers, including Peach Airlines, Air Asia Japan and Jetstar Japan, will be up and running between March and December next year.

Scoot will at first deploy four Boeing 777-200s, which it purchased from Singapore Airlines. Passengers could expect air fares 40 per cent lower than full-service carriers, Scoot's website said.

The carrier expected to get its air operator's certificate from the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore by the end of the first quarter of 2012.

Recruitment is under way for administrative staff and pilots, and a publicity campaign to attract cabin crew will begin early next year.

Singapore Airlines already owns a majority stake in Tiger Airways, a Singapore-based budget carrier operating from a budget terminal at Changi Airport. Tiger Airways Australia, which serves domestic flights in Australia, was forced to suspend flights in July because of air safety concerns. The service resumed on August 12.


Singapore Airlines is the world's second-largest airline by market value