Will operate under single Scoot brand: Singapore’s Budget Aviation

Chennai, Nov 4 (IANS) Singapore based Budget Aviation Holdings Pte Ltd. that owns and operates the budget airlines Scoot and Tigerair announced on Friday that it would continue operating under single Scoot brand in 2017.

Budget Aviation, part of the Singapore Airlines (SIA) group said in a statement : “The integration is expected to be realised between mid and end 2017, given the full spectrum of commercial, operational and regulatory considerations. This will encompass flight scheduling and connections, as well as touchpoint integration for guests including a common website, contact centre and check-in counters.”

“Scoot and Tigerair have made good progress in their integration since the establishment of Budget Aviation Holdings as a common holding company in May,” Singapore Airlines CEO and Budget Aviation Holdings Chairman, Goh Choon Phong was quoted as saying in the statement.

“The integration has already led to commercial and operational synergies between Scoot and Tigerair that are providing growth opportunities for both airlines, an example being Scoot’s plan to launch its first European service, to Athens, next year. Following a review, we have determined that the logical next step is to pursue a common operating license and common brand identity to enable a more seamless travel experience for customers,” he added.

Budget Aviation Holdings CEO Lee Lik Hsin said a single brand touchpoint will also enable a more seamless travel experience for guests across our network and allow us to bring “Scootitude” to more guests in the region.

Scoot is a low cost, medium-to-long-haul carrier while Tigerair is a low cost short haul airline.

Scoot operates between Singapore and Sydney, Gold Coast, Perth, Melbourne, Bangkok, Hong Kong, Taipei, Tokyo, Osaka, Tianjin, Shenyang, Nanjing, Guangzhou, Qingdao, Seoul, Kaohsiung, Hangzhou, Jeddah, Chennai, Amritsar, Jaipur, Sapporo and Dalian across nine countries.

Scoot has also announced that it will be launching a four times a week Singapore-Athens service from June 20, 2017.

“The merger of Tigerair-Scoot at the corporate level has been completed. We are in the process of merging the brand. In order to have a single Scoot brand in India, it would take some time as the Air Operator Certificate (AOC) has to be obtained,” Bharath Mahadevan, Country Head-India of Scoot Airlines told IANS in a recent interaction.

“Scoot and Tiger Airways combine fly 50 flights in India. The Singapore Airlines group operates 15 destinations in the country, the largest that foreign carrier is operating in India. The group is second only to Air India to operate a large number of international flights out of India,” he said.

Currently, Scoot connects Singapore with Chennai, Amritsar and Jaipur in India.

“Our load factor between Chennai-Singapore is 90 per cent, while this month (October) it was 80 per cent as less people travel during this festival season.”

“In Amritsar, we started with 80 per cent load factor and it is around 60 per cent. Similarly, the load factor on Jaipur-Singapore route is around 60 per cent,” Mahadevan said.

According to him, Scoot with its bigger Boeing 787 Dreamliner replaced Tigerair flights out of Chennai, giving the economies of scale.

However, there is no move to bring in bigger aircraft under Tigerair brand now as the airline operates on smaller routes.

“Our market share in the Chennai-Singapore sector will be around 25 per cent. In Chennai, we are trying for early departure, say around 11.30 p.m. for Singapore from the current 1.20 a.m.,” Mahadevan said.

The Chennai-Singapore sector has been profitable for Scoot Airlines from day one, whereas Amritsar and Jaipur sectors are expected to turn profitable in around nine months’ time, he added.

“The market to fly to Singapore out of South India is large and there is a lot of demand. The cargo capacity has increased with Scoot coming into the picture in India with its bigger aircraft,” he said.

According to Mahadevan, the revenue from food and beverages is around five per cent, as two of the Scoot flights out of India are in the night.

Scoot currently has 12 Dreamliners in the fleet and eight more are on order.

Looking ahead, he said: “The airline is looking at organic growth — increasing the frequency in the sectors currently served by it — and also targeting tier-2 Indian cities.”

Singapore Airlines is a joint venture partner in the Tata SIA Airlines Ltd. that owns and operates Vistara airlines in India.