Singapore Airlines' low-cost offshoot Scoot will take delivery of its first Boeing 787-9 in November this year and shift to an all-Boeing 787 fleet by the middle of 2015 as the airline seeks to parlay the Dreamliner's increased fuel efficiency into a healthier bottom line.
Scoot says the first destinations for the Boeing 787-9 will "include Australia, Japan and Taiwan".
The airline currently flies six ageing Boeing 777-200s which were handed down from Singapore Airlines, but all of these will now be retired by the middle of next year.
In their stead will be a clutch of new Boeing 787s – ten of the original Boeing 787-8 and ten of the larger, longer-range 787-9 – which Scoot inherited from Singapore Airlines after its parent bulked up its order for the Airbus A350.
Scoot's November 2014 inaugural will make it only the second airline in the world to fly a Boeing 787-9 after launch customer Air New Zealand picks up the keys to its own next-gen jetliner in July this year.
Scoot's Boeing 787-9 will be kitted out with 35 'all-leather' premium seats in ScootBiz class, arranged in a 2-3-2 layout.
Each features include an extendable leg-rest and a 'cradle' recline position.
There'll also be AC power sockets and USB ports for every traveller.
The bulk of the bird will of course be given over to a sea of 340 economy seats in a 3-3-3 configuration, for a total head count – or should that be bum count – of 375.
The standard economy seat is a slimline slab sans headrest.
However, the seats in the extra-legroom Stretch rows and child-free 'Scoot in Silence' cabin will sport adjustable headrests.
Pleasingly, all seats from tip to tail will enjoy access to AC power and "streaming Internet connectivity."
Also read: Scoot's Boeing 777 seats reviewed
Scoot will receive only Boeing 787-9s until the middle of 2015, at which point the first of 10 smaller 787-8s will arrive. These will pack the same seats but with a total seatcount down to around 330, the airline predicts.
Scoot CEO Campbell Wilson believes the 787s will gives Scoot the flexibility to launch new routes, or add more flights to existing routes, where economics might not favour the larger and less fuel-efficient Boeing 777.
"They're operationally interchangeable so there's no efficiency impact, but the different capacities open more options with respect to network and deployment" Wilson said.
Scoot joins Jetstar as one of the low-cost carriers stumping for the Boeing 787, based on its reduced running costs via lower fuel consumption and longer time between major maintenance checks.
"The economic advantages of this later generation aircraft – including a fuel-burn saving of around 20% per seat – ensure that costs and thus airfares can be kept low so that more people can travel more often" Wilson promised.
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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.