Lifestyle

A Brief History Of Scoot, The Budget Airline S'poreans Love Taking For A Shoestring Adventure

Singaporeans are known to be kiasu, so it’s no surprise that they love a good deal. When it comes to traveling, they go all out to scour for deals and discounts that can help them to save more for their next holiday.

Homegrown airline Scoot, which is also the sister company of Singapore Airlines (SIA), is known to be the best low-cost carrier in Asia and is constantly giving Singaporeans a reason to ‘scoot’ away on a budget since its inception in 2012.

Among many other reasons why people love Scoot are its tongue-in-cheek comebacks and witty responses on social media, friendly cabin crew (affectionately called Scootees), as well as their comfortable flights.

Many might not know this, but before any of their planes first took off, they had already garnered a strong following of about 50,000 fans on Facebook.

When it finally launched, it was reported that they had “sold 30,000 seats in less than a week after it announced S$88 fares for its launch flights to Sydney”.

So how did they achieve this?

Keeping It Low Cost, High Quality

Scoot currently flies to 68 destinations across 15 countries and has quickly caught up with SIA on the number of destinations served. Its network has further widened this year, with the launch of new destinations in China, India, Laos as well as Malaysia.

In 2020, Scoot will be launching another six new destinations in Indonesia, giving Singaporeans more options for weekend travel, spontaneous travel and everything else in between.

scoot boeing 787 dreamliner
Boeing 787 Dreamliner / Image Credit: Scoot

Scoot started out from a humble fleet of three Boeing 777-200 aircraft, and now owns over 40 aircraft consisting of Airbus A320s and Boeing 787 Dreamliners. It will be adding 16 new A321neo aircraft to its fleet to support its growth and with the addition of these new planes, customers can look forward to traveling in increased comfort.

Scoot CEO Lee Lik Hsin has expressed confidence that the airline will see steady growth next year as it continues striving to keep fares affordable for customers.

It also stays true to its business mantra of not letting customers pay for what they don’t need. With options like fare bundles, customers can easily book flights, bags, meals, and other frills with just one click.

They have also removed all processing fees for bookings on their direct channels (think website and mobile app) in September — a move celebrated by travellers, since potential savings start from S$20 for credit card payments.

Who Says Last-Minute Flight Tickets Are Expensive?

As an advocator of spontaneous travel to escape the ordinary, Scoot is constantly innovating to light the ‘travel spark’ in all of us.

Last-minute flight tickets are typically pricey, but Scoot wants to change that notion. With Scoot’s ‘Escape Class’, Singapore-based travellers looking to go on a spontaneous trip can score last-minute tickets at unbeatable prices.

scoot escape class
How Scoot’s ‘Escape Plus’ works / Screenshot from Scoot website

If customers are looking to break away from the norm and don’t want to overthink their travel decision, Scoot has got it all planned out for them. They can simply choose from any of the five zones, select their preferred travel dates, pay for the trip, and Scoot will then send them to a mystery destination.

For more bargains, Scoot also offers an ‘Insider’ programme, which gives customers access to insider-only privileges such as birthdays deals and exclusive discount vouchers.

In addition, Scoot holds weekly Got-to-Go promotions, which features various discounted destinations. Customers who are KrisFlyer UOB, Passion and NTUC cardmembers will stand to enjoy more perks beyond the low fares.

scoot ttg travel awards
Scoot at TTG’s travel awards ceremony / Image Credit: Scoot

Such customer-centric approaches have not only helped to revive customers’ travel spirit, but also upsize their savings. This is also why Scoot recently won the title of ‘Best Low Cost Carrier’ in Asia at the 30th TTG Asia Awards and the Travel Weekly Asia 2019 Readers’ Choice Awards.

Premium Perks With ScootPlus

Budget travel does not necessarily mean flying in Economy Class.

Scoot’s premium product, ScootPlus, is exclusively available on their Boeing 787 Dreamliners, and it promises to make the journey even more comfortable.

scootplus
ScootPlus / Image Credit: Scoot

It’s a fuss-free option that will ensure customers have everything they need for a great flight, from priority check-in and boarding, upsized baggage allowance (up to 15kg of cabin luggage and 30kg check-in baggage), in-flight meals, double legroom, in-seat power to charge devices, as well as free 30MB of Wi-Fi so they can stay connected.

These premium perks make ScootPlus a value-for-money option, especially for long-haul flights. 

The Spirit Of Scoot

Scoot might have clocked seven years of operations to date, but it is certainly not an airline that flies on auto-pilot.

Back in June 2017, Scoot announced that it will merge with its sister budget airline, Tigerair, the following month. This very move enabled Scoot’s expansion at an even faster rate, having gained aircraft and destinations.

Following the merger, Scoot’s flight designator code changed from TZ to TR, the code used for Tigerair’s flights. By mid-2018, the integrated fleet comprising Scoot’s Boeing 787 Dreamliners and Tigerair’s Airbus A320 aircrafts were adorned in Scoot’s bright yellow livery.

Scoot continues to innovate and enhance its services as it launched last year a transactional chatbot that helps to respond to customer queries, search for flights, display fares and availability, make flight bookings, and perform credit card payments.

scoot marvie chatbox
Scoot’s chatbot M.A.R.V.I.E / Image Credit: Working with Grace

Called M.A.R.V.I.E, which stands for Most Awesome and Resourceful Virtual Intern Ever, its official deployment date coincides with the first anniversary of the Scoot-Tigerair merger.

Since its soft launch in July 2018, M.A.R.V.I.E. has serviced an average of 2,500 unique visitors per week, and successfully resolved 79.25 per cent of queries on its English-language Facebook pages.

With a super-intelligent chatbot, more comfortable plane rides, and unique product offerings, it’s no wonder Scoot has managed to overcome all of its challenges with flying colours.

So what are you waiting for? Book your ticket to your next shoestring adventure in a jiffy and ‘Scoot’ out of here!

This article was written in collaboration with Scoot Airlines.

 

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