UPDATE | Check out our review of Scoot's seats, from business to economy (including the 'super' and 'stretch' options) with all you need to know about pitch, legroom, seat layout and more!
PREVIOUS | With start-up airline Scoot taking to the skies today, Australian Business Traveller has the first pictures of the economy and business class seats to feature on Singapore Airlines' low-cost offshoot, plus full details of the layout and legroom.
Scoot business class
At the front of Scoot's fleet of Boeing 777-200 jets you'll find 32 'ScootBiz' business class seats.
Each leather-clad seat is 22 inches wide, with an 8 inch recline and footrest. Scoot promises "at least 38 inches of legroom" throughout the cabin.
All seats have their own AC power socket to keep your tech juiced up on the eight hour flight between Sydney and Singapore (and, starting on Tuesday June 13, the Gold Coast and Singapore).
The seats are designed by German firm Zim, a relative newcomer to the airline seat-making business, and marketed as a premium economy product.
That puts it more in line with a regional business class seat than a long-haul international business class. They're certainly penny-wise rather than plush.
However, Scoot CEO Campbell WIlson doesn’t expect his ScootBiz seats to be a hard sell to business travellers.
“A lie-flat seat consumes a huge amount of space and it’s a very expensive seat to build and maintain" Wilson tells Australian Business Traveller.
“Of course you’d take a lie-flat seat if you were given the choice, but are you prepared to pay for that privilege? Our target market wants value and they also really just want to get from A to B in many respects.”
Wilson says everybody at Scoot “was quite impressed with the comfort and recline in the Zim seat, and we believe our passengers will be as well. We got bids in from all the big seat manufacturers but Zim had the right price, the right product and the right delivery schedule.”
Read our full interview with Wilson in Scoot’s new business class: not “business as usual"
Scoot economy class
In keeping with its low-cost nature, Scoot's economy seats – also designed by Zim – are much more about budget than bum-comfort.
Scoot hasn't released the width of the seats, which march down the bulk of the Boeing 777 in a 3-4-3 layout which will make travel a bit tight for those in the middle row (especially the middle of the middle row).
The standard economy pitch is a squeezy 31 inches – and as Scoot is foregoing a hard-wired inflight entertainment system in favour of iPads (read further down for details) passengers will have a little extra room to plant their feet under the seat in front.
At first glance, however, an immediate concern we have about these seats is the lack of a headrest. This doesn't seem like the the most comfortable way to spend eight hours between Sydney and Singapore.
As for legroom: if 31 inches isn't enough, Scoot offers a choice of two extra legroom options – both for a price, of course.
For $24 extra, 'Super' seats give you a 35 inch pitch.
If you're willing to dig a little deeper, $60 lands you in a 'S-t-r-e-t-c-h' seat (as shown above) located at the front row of each section of the economy cabin, behind the bulkhead wall or the the emergency exit door, for maximum legroom.
What's the deal with seat pitch vs legroom, and how is it measured on the plane? Here's our guide to 'Seat Pitch 101'.
iPads for in-flight entertainment
From tip to tail, none of the Scoot seats will be fitted with conventional in-seat video screens.
Passengers will be offered an Apple iPad 2, which will be free in business class and rented in economy at around S$22 per flight.
The tablets will initially be preloaded with films, TV shows, musics and games, but later this year Scoot will adopt an inflight wireless streaming system – similar to that recently trialled by Qantas – to beam content to all devices over WiFi.
Passengers will then be able to bring their own iPad onto the flight and pay for wireless access to the server (the wireless service will be offered free in Scoot Biz).
Inside Scoot's aircraft
The cabins of Scoot's Boeing 777-200s, which are refurbished hand-me-downs from parent Singapore Airlines, play off the same yellow-and-black yellow palette of the airline's logo and livery, and the similar colours of its cabin crew uniforms.
It's all about giving Scoot a fresh, casual and vibrant look.
Scoot's Aussie flight schedule
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.
For more details, visit FlyScoot.com.
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.