Scoot serves up Bangkok surprise
BANGKOK, 3 May 2012: Scoot, Singapore Airlines’ budget subsidiary will fly the short haul route to Bangkok from 5 July adding even more stress on a cut-throat sector served by Thai AirAsia, Jetstar as well as its own subsidiary Tiger Airways.
Introduction of a Bangkok service came as a surprise, as it was not mentioned on the intended destinations list. Scoot was pitching at medium and long haul routes from Singapore namely Australia, New Zealand, China, India. Europe and even the US at a stretch. This strategy is reflected in its fleet choice of mid to long-range wide-bodied B777-200s (32 business seats and 370 economy seats).
Critics will say it was an opportunist move to tap the popular Bangkok with a daily evening flight departing Singapore at 1725 and returning from Bangkok at 2000.
But the airline will be stretched to make it work as competitors serving the route give passengers more choices. Thai AirAsia and Tiger Airways operate five daily services, while Jetstar offers two. Full-service carriers, Singapore Airlines fly five daily flights; Thai Airways International, four to five flights daily and Cathay Pacific Airways, a single daily service.
One is more user friendly booking categories.
They are: Fly (seat only with carry-on luggage); FlyBag (seat with 15 kg checked baggage); FlyBagEat (seat with 15 kg checked baggage and a meal) and ScootBiz (premium class with 38-inch seat, 20 kg baggage, up to two complimentary meals, priority boarding and check-in, in-flight entertainment, in-seat power and comfort kit if travel overnight).
Extra charges apply for seat assignment, wider seat, exit-row seat, additional checked baggage allowance, sports gear, meals, iPad in-flight entertainment and amenity kit.
On the Bangkok-Singapore route, during the introductory period, all-in roundtrip fares start from Bt3,363, Fly fare; Bt3,963, FlyBag; Bt4,803,FlyBagEat and Bt10,123, ScootBiz.
If the passenger only requires a checked baggage allowance on one leg of the trip, they can buy a Fly fare and 15 kg of checked baggage, Bt375 per sector, instead of paying the FlyBag fee. Passengers can buy up to 40 kg of checked baggage on top of any fare.
Looking at the fares quoted by other low-cost carriers, Thai AirAsia sells the route from Bt6,330; Jetstar, from Bt4,590 and Tiger Airways, Bt5,680 (seat with hand-carry luggage only).
The fares of these carriers can be cheaper during promotional campaigns or the traditional teasers when they sell a basement fare without telling us the deal is limited to just a few seats.
Scoot passengers should recognise the late arrival in Singapore means surcharges on taxi fares and by the time you check in the downtown room at S$500 a night it will be almost time to get up for breakfast.
Comparing fares with full-service carriers, the ScootBiz fare of Bt10,123 is more expensive. Singapore Airlines sells a fare of Bt8,400 per seat if two persons travel together and Bt9,150 for an individual and the seat is comparable to what ScootBiz offers.
THAI’s 52nd Anniversary promotion quotes Bt9,475 up until 30 September and Bt11,330, outside of the promotional period.
Cathay Pacific sells at Bt8,690 for its afternoon flight departing Bangkok at 1145 and returning from Singapore at 1335.
Scoot will kick off services, 4 June, with a Singapore-Sydney service (daily) and on 12 June, Singapore-Gold Coast (five weekly); then on 5 July, Bangkok and in August, Tianjin in China.
All fares are inclusive of taxes and surcharges and subject to change due to availability and currency fluctuations.