Singapore Airlines' low-cost offshoot Scoot will launch on Monday June 4, with its first flight from Singapore to Sydney – some three weeks ahead of schedule for the airline, which had previously listed its daily service starting June 26.
Singapore-Gold Coast flights will start one week later, on Tuesday June 12.
Scoot this morning released 'members only' fares for what it described as "our first two weeks of flights". The economy-only fares begin at A$118 one-way – which includes taxes and surcharges but no meals, checked luggage or even choosing your seat. That special fare is in fact more expensive that the previous one-way promotional fare of A$88.
ScootBiz business class ranges from A$473 to A$499 each way.
Scoot is promising its regular fares will be up to 40 percent lower than full-service ‘legacy’ carriers such as Qantas and its own parent Singapore Airlines.
Scoot's Sydney-to-Singapore flight TZ1 will leave each day at 12.50pm for wheels-down into the Merlion City at 7pm.
The TZ2 Singapore-Sydney leg leaves at 2.10am for an 11.40am arrival into Sydney.
There will be five flights per week out of the Gold Coast – on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.
TZ5 will leave the Gold Coast at 9am and reach Singapore at 3pm, with the return TZ6 departing at 10.25pm and reaching the Gold Coast at 7.50am the next day.
All flights will be on Boeing 777-200 aircraft be fitted with business and economy class.
The leather-clad business class seats will be more in keeping with international premium economy or regional business class, however: each is 22 inches wide with a 38 inch pitch, an 8 inch recline and footrest.
iPads for in-flight entertainment
Instead of conventional in-seat video screens, Scoot will rent iPads to passengers (except in business class, where the loan of an iPad is included in the cost of your ticket).
Each iPad 2 will be loaded up with movies, TV shows, music, games, ebooks and digital editions of magazines.
Down the track, however, Scoot hopes intends to stream movies, TV shows and music wirelessly to devices, similar to the technology recently trialled by Qantas.
Scoot tickets, bundles and extras
Things kick off with a pure no-frills airfare – a seat from A to B – simply branded Fly. "No bells, no whistles, just a fare" says the airline.
There's a predictable raft of add-one extras such as meals, choosing your seat, priority boarding, extra legroom, even buying an on-board 'comfort kit' – in other words, if Scoot can sell it you'll be able to buy it.
Scoot's extra legroom seats fall into two categories.
One row of 'S-t-r-e-t-c-h' seats (and that's the first and last time we're going to type it that way!) is located at the front of each section of the cabin, and give you maximum legroom for an extra $60 on top of your booking.
Behind these sit a few rows of 'Super' seats, which at $24 extra give you a 35 inch pitch compared to the standard 31 inches of economy.
Note also that even selecting a regular economy seat will cost $4 as a pre-seating fee.
If you're connecting to another flight out of Singapore's Changi Airport there's also a Scoot-Thru transfer option, which Scoot describes as "a facilitated or hassle-free transfer product for transiting passengers."
FlyBag partners the basic airfare with 15 kilograms of check-in luggage, while FlyBagEat adds – go on, take a wild guess... yes, it adds a meal! (You also get to choose your seat rather than fight the scrum of fellow passengers as they board).
ScootBiz lands you a spot in the 32 seat 'premium' cabin, where you'll enjoy "at least 38 inches of legroom" in a leather seat that's 22 inches wide with an 8 inch recline and footrest.
These are premium economy seats designed by German firm Zim and shown below, although you can expect a much better colour scheme for the seats and cabin than shown in Zim's generic catalogue shot.
Each seat will be fitted with its own AC power socket.
Other creature comforts in ScootBiz include:
- preferred seat selection
- fast-track check-in at Scoot's dedicated ScootBiz counter
- priority boarding
- an iPad for in-flight entertainment
- up to two free meals, with drinks, depending on the flight
- 15kg or two bags of carry-on baggage
- 20kg of checked luggage
- a comfort kit on overnight flights
No points, perks or privileges
Scoot won’t be part of Star Alliance or even have a frequent flyer program “in the beginning, although whether that happens in years to come, time will tell” Scoot CEO Campbell WIlson tells Australian Business Traveller. “But we want to walk before we run.”
And even the most high-flying member of Singapore Airlines' KrisFlyer scheme won't earn points or enjoy special treatment such as priority boarding.
Read our full interview with Wilson in Scoot’s new business class: not “business as usual"
About David Flynn
David Flynn is the editor of Australian Business Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.