Lao flight swaps from Silk to Scoot

SINGAPORE, 11 January 2019: Low-cost Scoot, a member of the Singapore Airlines Group, has opened reservations for a service to Luang Prabang and Vientiane in Laos that will replace SilkAir services on this route 1 April.

SilkAir currently offers a three-weekly service that flies directly from Singapore to Luang Prabang, a popular World Heritage town in Laos, and then continues to Vientiane before returning direct to Singapore.

Singapore Airlines announced last year that SilkAir over a three-year period would be merged with the parent airline as part of a rationalisation of the group’s airline products.

The process begins this April with the service to the two cities in Laos and extends to services to India, China and Thailand later in the year.

According to Airlineroute’s timetable information, Scoot has now opened reservations for flight TR350 that will depart Singapore at 0900 for Luang Prabang. It will arrive in Luang Prabang at 1110, Vientiane at 1300 and complete the circular routing in Singapore at 1800.

The flight using an Airbus A320 will fly on Monday, Thursday and Saturday. 

Scoot is likely to generate more passengers travelling from Australia to Luang Prabang in Laos as the airline is actively selling discounted fares on its flights from Australian cities that offer a stopover in Singapore before connecting with Scoot’s morning flight to Luang Prabang.

The flight from Perth, in western Australia connecting with the service to Luang Prabang in Singapore sells for AUS189 each way.

From Australia’s east coast cities Scoot fares are AUS199 from the Gold Coast and AUS209 from Sydney and Melbourne.

The fares on sale this month are valid through to 26 October.

Founded in 2011, Scoot, the long-haul low-cost carrier will take over SilkAir routes starting with the Laos services 1 April and then Coimbatore, Trivandrum and Visakhapatnam in India starting in May.

China will follow with the switch to Scoot on routes to Changsha, Fuzhou, Kunming and Wuhan by June 2019.

Other destinations where SilkAir will be replaced by Scoot are Chiang Mai in Thailand (October 2019), Kota Kinabalu in Malaysia ( December 2019), and Balikpapan, Lombok, Makassar, Manado, Semarang and Yogyakarta in Indonesia (May 2020 and July 2020).

In a related move, Singapore Airlines will takeover Scoot services to Bangalore and Chennai in India (May 2019 and May 2020), destinations that are also served by Singapore Airlines.

In addition, SilkAir will convert its route to Mandalay to a seasonal service. Existing services will end in March and resume in November 2019, continuing until January 2020. Scoot will suspend its service to Honolulu in June this year due to limited demand.

“Now we are halfway through our three-year transformation programme… (it) represents a further significant development. Changes in routes will strengthen the SIA Group in the long term, thanks to the use of the most suitable aircraft for each market,” said SIA CEO Goh Choon Phong last year when announcing changes.

SIA announced last May that its regional SilkAir wing would have to support a significant investment programme to upgrade its cabin products prior to its merger with SIA. The programme will provide SilkAir’s cabins with new Business Class reclining seats and the installation of on-board entertainment systems, positioned on the back of the seats, in both the Business and Economy classes.

The investments will ensure greater consistency between product and service for the entire SIA Group’s full-service network. Meanwhile, the low-cost fleet of Scoot will grow considerably following the transfer of 14 Boeing 737-800 from SilkAir.

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