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AirAsia ‘forces’ Scoot to take over route
Published on: Wednesday, June 12, 2019
By: David Thien

KOTA KINABALU: Singapore’s low-cost airline Scoot will take over SilkAir routes between the island republic and here by end of this year.

Kota Kinabalu will be Scoot’s eighth destination in Malaysia, after Ipoh, Kuala Lumpur, Kuantan, Kuching, Langkawi, Penang and Kota Bharu.

Scoot Airlines (TZ) is the low-cost carrier of the Singapore Airlines Group which is phasing out its regional airline SilkAir in a merger.

According to Philip Tze, in charge of the SilkAir operations here, his office will be closed and staff would be transferred or laid off due to Scoot not maintaining any office presence.

The competition posed by Air Asia’s low fares has affected the regional airline load after Singapore granted landing rights to Malaysia’s low-cost airline.

Scoot flies to about a dozen destinations in Australia, China, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and Thailand from its hub at Singapore Changi Airport.

Its fleet features a two-cabin configuration with Business Class (known as ScootBiz) and Economy Class.

ScootBiz seats feature a reclining seat, footrest, in-seat power, meals and in-flight entertainment.

Economy Class passengers can book Standard Economy Seats, Super Seats (with a greater seat pitch and width) and S-t-r-e-t-c-h Seats, which are Super Seats in the bulkhead and emergency exit rows.

Scoot is also a part owner of the Thailand-based low-cost carrier, NokScoot. 

“We are thrilled to expand our network in Malaysia as it is a very important market to us.

“This beautiful country has so much to offer and with Kota Kinabalu, travellers will be able to ‘Escape the Ordinary’ with our unique Scootitude experience on board,” Scoot’s chief commercial officer Vinod Kannan said.

The Kota Kinabalu-Singapore route is one of 17 routes that SilkAir will be transferring progressively to Scoot from 2019 to 2020, as part of a detailed Singapore Airlines Group network review to better meet evolving customer needs.

Scoot took to the skies in June 2012 and merged with Tigerair Singapore in July 2017, retaining the Scoot brand and positioning it well for a new chapter of growth.

Scoot currently serves a network of 66 destinations across 18 countries and territories, with 17 more destinations from Laos, India, China, Malaysia and Indonesia to join the network by the second half of 2020.

The carrier has a mixed fleet of 18 widebody Boeing 787 Dreamliners and 29 Airbus 320 family aircraft, with two more Boeing 787 Dreamliners and 37 Airbus A320neo aircraft on order.

Many Sabahans still travel to Singapore for tourism, medical treatments and for ease of transit with a free Singapore holiday experience while waiting for their next direct flight, for example, to London that Royal Brunei Airlines could not offer.

Royal Brunei Airlines’ London flights involved a very brief rush refuelling and passenger stopover in Dubai that may not appeal to some passengers having to leave the plane and walk through Dubai shopping airport to re-board the same aircraft at the long end walk to another terminal airbridge.

In future, Qatar Airlines may serve the Kota Kinabalu–London route via its Kuala Lumpur stopover as there is prospect of a sustainable market segment considering the success of Royal Brunei Airlines profiting from Sabahans and other tourists to and fro London hub to other destinations in Europe.

Royal Brunei Airlines brings in some East Asia tourists into Kota Kinabalu after they had visited the sultanate, while most of the Europeans head to Melbourne upon transiting from London.

June 10, 2019 marked the official opening of the canopy walkways in Changi’s Jewel attraction that continues to position the airport as the best leading aviation and shopping hub in the world.

 



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