Asian long-haul, low-cost carrier, Scoot, has confirmed it will be the second airline in the world to operate the new stretched -9 variant of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner after Air New Zealand. The carrier, a subsidiary of full-service carrier, Singapore Airlines (SIA), will receive its first aircraft in November this year and confirms it will likely make its debut on routes to Australia, Japan and Taiwan.
Scoot launched operations in June 2012 between Singapore and the Australian destinations of Gold Coast and Sydney and has progressively expanded its network across Asia. It now serves 12 points from Singapore, adding flights to Bangkok (July 2012), Tianjin (August 2012), Taipei (Sydney 2012), Tokyo Narita (October 2012), Shenyang and Qingdao (November 2012), Seoul and Nanjing (June 2013), Hong Kong (November 2013) and Perth (December 2013).
“Scoot has been operating for just over 18 months, in which time we’ve expanded to a fleet of six aircraft and 13 destinations, and carried more than two million guests. It’s been an extremely exciting and busy first phase for the airline, but just as exciting is what’s coming next: the induction of Boeing’s latest generation aircraft, the 787, from November 2014,” said Campbell Wilson, chief executive officer, Scoot.
Its current flights are operated using the six Boeing 777-200s that Scoot initially acquired from SIA ahead of its launch, but the arrival of the first of 20 modern generation Boeing 787 Dreamliners from this year will boost the efficiency of its operations and open up a range of new network opportunities for the carrier, facilitating its ongoing expansion.
The airline inherited the 20 aircraft order from its parent SIA, but it has now split the commitment between the two variants of the Dreamliner and is due to receive ten -8s and ten -9s. Scoot confirms that the first of the smaller -8s variants will arrive in the middle of next year by which time it expects to have introduced at least six 787-9s into service, at which times its current 777s will be retired and it will become an exclusive 787 operator.
This flexibility, according to Wilson, will help drive the carrier’s future network growth by facilitating the launch of new routes and frequency changes on existing services. "They're operationally interchangeable so there's no efficiency impact, but the different capacities open more options with respect to network and deployment. 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,” he said.
Scoot is expected to formally unveil further details on its 787 plans in the coming weeks but a publicity video released by the carrier provides an insight into the planned interior for the aircraft. Both the 787-8s and 787-9s will be configured with a two-class arrangement with the latter seating 35 passengers in the airline's premium cabin ScootBiz and around 340 passengers in Economy. The 787-8 will have a capacity of around 330 seats.