November 1st, 2011
07:51 AM GMT
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Singapore (CNN) – Singapore Airlines has launched a new long-haul budget airline called “Scoot” which will offer airfares at 40% less than full-services airlines.

Flights are expected to begin in mid 2012 with destinations in Australia and China. Specific cities will be announced in the months ahead, airline officials said.

The no-frills airline will have an initial fleet of four Being 777 aircraft, purchased from its parent company Singapore Airlines (SIA) which made an initial investment of $223 million.

The new airline is banking on creating a strong brand identity with its unusual name.

“Scoot” CEO Campbell Wilson says the name is “short and snappy” and “stands out.”

“An airline with a different attitude.  People with a different attitude – Scootitude,” says Wilson.

Wilson told reporters the budget travel segment had grown “from nothing” to nearly a quarter of passenger traffic though Singapore’s Changi Airport in less than a decade.

“They’re going after the low end of the market – which is much faster growing than the premium sector.  In order for SIA to grow, they’ve come to realize they have to go after this segment,” says Brendan Sobie, senior analyst with CAPA, Centre for Aviation – an Australia-based global aviation company.

In this segment “Scoot” will be competing with AirAsia X, a long haul budget carrier based in Malaysia, and with Singapore-based low cost airline JetStar, a subsidiary of Qantas.

Singapore Airlines is also a majority shareholder in Tiger Airways, a Singapore-based budget carrier for Asia routes.

Scoot is hoping to offer a wireless in flight entertainment system – which allows passengers to use their own devices to log into the entertainment system.  Getting this relatively new technology in place by a mid-2012 launch may be a challenge for Scoot but it is “safe to say this is a future standard for the industry,” Sobie says.

Branding is always important for an airline, but “for this sector of the market branding is even more important,” says Sobie.

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soundoff (29 Responses)
  1. Vishnu Mahant

    I hope it succeeds and spreads to my part of the world. I have trouble flying 500 miles round trip for under $500. Good luck Scoot!

    November 1, 2011 at 12:23 pm |
  2. Stephen

    hahaha......just the name alone makes me NOT want to fly this and clearly market research has not been undertaken. SQ...always playing catch-up in markets it shouldn't even try and touch. Why does it insist on diluting it's brand image – Tiger namely. What a fiasco that is. Google Tiger and see how well it fares in the satisfaction department.
    SQ – you were, once upon a time, a great brand. Then you tried to do too much and failed – your IFE systems as an example. The world's best? Most content? I never had a flight (in Raffles) where it functioned properly or gave up half-way through a flight and you 'compensated me' with a 50 dollar in-flight duty free coupon. Yes, I stopped flying you a long time ago. You took hundreds of thousands of dollars in fares from me over 15 years, but you didn't deliver as your advertising promised. All I can say is 'good luck Scoot' – with a snicker.

    November 1, 2011 at 4:13 pm |
  3. EJ

    I would have prefer for Singapore Airlines to stick with its image as a premium airline rather than try to go to a business wherein Air Asia and Tiger Airways are years ahead in being a low-cost airline. Asia Air has proven to be a success. Better stay as one of the top ten airlines.

    November 2, 2011 at 1:48 am |
  4. johnny

    Scoot to Australia for us definitely, we can always count on SIA's excellent standard of service to be practised.

    November 2, 2011 at 1:52 am |
  5. Kulai

    Stephen must be a Malaysian...

    November 2, 2011 at 2:01 am |
  6. George F Mohn

    There are rumors that the new Scoot has had to hire staff from U.S. airlines such as United and Continental. The U.S. staff is needed to show the Asian staff how to treat passengers as badly as profitable operation of a budget airline requires. Asians are naturally polite people and find it difficult to treat passengers with the rudeness that U.S. passengers have had to accept.

    November 2, 2011 at 2:57 am |
  7. Jack (expat in Singapore)

    Hi EJ. The whole idea behind making Scoot is NOT to dilute the SQ brand!! They can continue with their premium service at SQ flights and target the budget customers under the Scoot brand (It would be diluting if they made this move under the SQ brand). I think its a clever move by SIA.

    Hi Stephen. I have not had the experience you had. I fly both economy and business on SQ flights. They are far better than what I have experienced in terms of seats, entertainment and service on Qantas, Air France, SAS, NW and Lufthansa. I would say Thai/TG is almost on par with SQ on service and friendliness, but they are far behind SQ on seats and entertainment system.

    November 2, 2011 at 3:58 am |
  8. Jworried

    Have you noticed all the ceos of airlines are westerners. Are there no local staff?

    November 2, 2011 at 4:43 am |
  9. Stephen

    Jack – fair enough. Some are lucky; some are not. But after spending so much on SQ I moved my business to other carriers. The last straw was Raffles from FRA to SIN and the IFE closed down for the entire flight about 15 minutes after take off. This happened innumerable times on so many sectors I flew with them. Either it was a partial breakdown and they could re-boot it, or it was a complete shut-down. Granted it was a long time ago and maybe now they have got it right but it was enough for me to stop my loyalty to them. I am loyal to Star Alliance, however I will avoid an SQ leg. And really, Scoot is not an appropriate name. It's an antiquated term that was used by American kids in the '50s and it means to dash or hurry along, or in another context, shift your butt so I can sit down. I envisage the fuselage emblazoned with Cow n' Chicken or Sponge Bob Square Pants images....
    Having said that, I concur that SQ crew are fabulous and I agree that TG is in a par with them – as are SK and MH. But one would think if SQ is a majority shareholder, that some of the attributes of what they have built up over the years would extend to Tiger....but oh no, it doesn't. That is why I don't see Scoot being any better. For the record, I tried out Air Asia two times, Tiger three times – and never again. Get it right with SQ levels of service and on-time performance it might well fly but lordy – change the name to something a little more 21st Century.

    November 2, 2011 at 5:05 am |
  10. Venkat

    I have been a passenger with SQ for over 20 years and have travelled in a number of SQ routes. What I have seen is that the service in SQ has consistently deteriorated. While efficiency remains high, the human side of customer service has significantly gone down. Nowadays I minimise flying with SQ because I dont see the value for money. SQ artificially lowers its ticket prices but compensates for it in high taxes and charges. Redeeming miles is a joke with SQ, especially in short haul flights because the taxes and charges more than offset the total fare of other airlines.

    Given this background, I wonder what strategy SCOOT has in place to bring down the total cost. Or is it another way of misleading customers by putting the charges in between premium brand SQ and the so called low cost Tiger and yet charging them high airport fees and charges for changi. In what way is it going to be different from Tiger which even now flies to Australia.

    November 2, 2011 at 5:35 am |
  11. Bill Simpson

    I've got an idea for the ultimate budget travel – the Boeing 747, no seats, cargo version. They could call it Third World Airways. (Don't laugh. Some billionaire would do it if they thought they could get away with it. I can hear Sir Richard now, "We thought it would be beneficial to give lower income people the opportunity to experience flight.")

    November 2, 2011 at 5:48 am |
  12. john

    they can't come up with a better name?

    November 2, 2011 at 5:53 am |
  13. kate

    scoot?? It should have been called "Can La!"

    November 2, 2011 at 6:04 am |
  14. Blah

    Stephen: "change the name to something a little more 21st Century"

    "Scootr". You're welcome.

    November 2, 2011 at 7:12 am |
  15. Dan Thomas

    This sounds good, but where will they fly to from Singapore? Obviouslly they wouldnt out a flight on to London becasue their current one does that. If they put a budget airline onto the same flight path as current flights, the income for the more expensive airline wont get as much business.

    November 2, 2011 at 7:46 am |
  16. Stephen

    Scoot....not to be confused with something hunters look, touch and sniff to determine what beast was recently there..

    November 2, 2011 at 7:59 am |
  17. ananda

    great to hear that budget airlines

    November 2, 2011 at 8:46 am |
  18. Sq1

    To : Stephen (top entry) who complains about SQ...
    Tell me of an Airline that has standards like they do. All American airlines are well below any respectable standard, BA KLM AF, Lufthansa, SAS, i can go on, do only cut backs and dont give a F*** about the passenger at all. At SQ you at least feel that they care that your around. Ohh yes and then there are the middle eastern Airlines, but lets not compare then as that will not last long with the way they are spending.

    November 2, 2011 at 10:02 am |
  19. Ali

    That name isn't really very good... maybe they should have done ome market reasearch on the name! I like the suggestion can La... so sing!

    November 2, 2011 at 10:30 am |
  20. Stephen

    To SQ 1
    Cathay Pacific; Malaysian; Bangkok Airways, All Nippon; Asiana: Thai Airways and the only European contender would be SAS. In my opinion, and I have been flying for 46 years now, all great carriers with good standards, I fly roughly 300,000 miles per annum but as I explained, I have no gripe about the crew nor service – but the IFE which, when you spent a considerable premium over other carriers, and you didn't get the promised product, then I have a right to decide where my money goes. Or don't I? I concur with you about the ME carriers....a flash in the pan, so to speak.

    November 2, 2011 at 10:43 am |
  21. David R

    What's a Being 777? Did you all miss that?

    November 2, 2011 at 1:29 pm |
  22. Kulai

    Stephen...Singapore Airlines or Scoot won't go bankrupt if you don't fly with them....in fact it is one less spoilt passenger

    November 2, 2011 at 3:34 pm |
  23. BeeKay

    A forum defined "Sccot" as follows:-

    "Scoot refers to the act of rubbing or dragging the anal area or perineum (the area between the anus and genitals) on the ground. Typically, the hind legs are extended in front of the animal as the pet drags itself forward. Dogs will scoot much more commonly than cats. Anything that causes an irritation or itching to the area under the tail may cause an animal to scoot."

    November 3, 2011 at 4:22 am |
  24. Yvonne

    @ Stephen
    Maybe it's time you consider a budget private jet. I see Scoot targetting young travellers, seeing the world within reasonable prices .. budget travelling is cool and mind you, onnly young to young at heart backpack! Not people who leech on their corporate benefits.

    November 3, 2011 at 7:43 am |
  25. Superkepo

    Scoot? yeah next time their flights screw up, you'll hear ppl say, "My Scooptid flight screw up again!"

    November 7, 2011 at 4:57 am |
  26. Dilamani

    SCOOT.... I love that cute name... :)

    November 25, 2011 at 4:50 am |
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