Singapore-based carrier Scoot on Friday announced its entry into the Indian market with flight services to Chennai and Amritsar from next month, making it the fourth airline from the island city-state to establish its presence in the world’s fastest growing aviation market.
The long-haul, low-cost, wholly-owned subsidiary of Singapore Airlines would also operate to Jaipur in the later part of the year, its country head Bharati Mahadevan said.
“We are going to start flights from May 24 into India. Chennai and Amritsar are both going to be launched the same day. Services to Jaipur will be launched from October 2, ” Mahadevan told PTI.
“We are a very young airline, just four years old, but have always been interested in the Indian market. Last year, when aircraft deliveries started coming in, we have been eying Indian market. We started the ground work early last year to commence operations here,” he said.
While Chennai will be a daily service, flights to Amritsar and Jaipur will operate three times a week to began with, Mahadevan said, adding that Soot’s India operations will be carried out with Boeing 787 Dreamliner in two class configuration — economy and premium economy.
CEO Campbell Wilson said, “Scoot is excited to bring our proposition of value travel and service to guests in India –
who will soon be able to fly to amazing destinations in our network through the Singapore hub.”
“Our launch in Chennai will complement the SIA Group’s existing services, while Scoot’s new services to Amritsar and Jaipur will bring travellers to the magnificent Golden Temple and the stunning Pink City, enabling guests in Scoot’s network to discover India’s mystique and allure,” he added.
While Chennai and Jaipur will have 335-seater 787-800 aircraft, services to Amritsar will be operated with a 375-seater 787-900, Mahadevan said.
The airline plans to scale up services to Amritsar and Jaipur to four times a week from July 1 and October 28 respectively, he said adding, “we hope to double our operations by 2017 in terms of number of cities.”
Scoot, which has a large part of its operations to Australia and China besides other regions and countries, has also announced special promotional all-inclusive economy class fares for its flights from India, starting as low as USD 64 (Rs 4,250 approx) and USD 179 (Rs 11,900 approx) for ScootBiz to various international destinations.
Besides parent Singapore Airlines, two of its subsidiaries Tiger Air and Silk Air also operate to India at present. SIA also holds 49 per cent stake in Indian full service carrier Vistara, in which Tata Sons is a majority stake holder with 51 per cent.
Once Scoot commences operations to the three cities here, Singapore Airlines group will become the largest international airline group operating into India in terms of destinations (16), Mahadevan said.
“It will also make the group the second largest airline operating out of India in terms of destinations,” he added.
“With these destinations, India will be number two market for SIA group in terms of number of destinations after China. And for Scoot, third market after China and Australia,” Mahadevan said.
Interestingly, domestic airlines’ body Federation of Indian Airlines which has Jet Airways, SpiceJet, IndiGo and GoAir as its members, is urging the government not to allow creation of overseas hubs by foreign carriers.