Asian low-cost, long-haul carrier Scoot has announced that subject to government approval, it will launch a five times weekly route between Singapore and Melbourne using its brand new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners. The new route is due to launch in November 2015 and will see the airline complement the existing operations of parent, Singapore Airlines, on the city pair.
Scoot already offers flights to the Gold Coast, Perth and Sydney, but has been considering serving the Melbourne market for a number of years. “It's been a long time coming, but we can't wait to bring Melburnians and travellers to Melbourne more choice, more fantastic value and, of course, Scootitude!” said Campbell Wilson, chief executive officer, Scoot at the official launch of the new route this week at the Queen Victoria Market in Melbourne.
The Singapore – Melbourne city pair is currently dominated by Singapore Airlines, which offers four daily rotations, but is also served only a daily basis by Qantas and Emirates (as a continuation of its flights to/from Dubai) and a four times weekly schedule by Jetstar Airways. According to Wilson, the arrival of its new 787s, the first of which is due for delivery this month, has helped facilitate the network growth for next year.
“We've heard loud and clear the demands for Scoot to fly to Melbourne, and we're delighted to finally be able to answer them! Melbourne, with its world-class culture, events, dining and surrounding scenery, has long been on our radar and the arrival of our new Boeing 787s gives us this chance to add it to our network” he said.
Scoot currently plans to launch scheduled operations with the 787-9 from February 1, 2015, having this week postponed the debut of the aircraft for a second time. It had tentatively scheduled January 16, 2015 for the first service on the Singapore - Perth route, followed by deployment on Singapore - Hong Kong from January 17, 2015. However, its latest schedule updates shows the Dreamliner is now due to enter scheduled service on both routes from February 1, 2015.
With regard the Melbourne service, the airline believes its low fares will appeal to the large Singapore student population in Melbourne. According to data from the Australian Department of Education, there are 21,069 Singaporean students enrolled in education institutions in Victoria, as of September this year. They include students in university, pre-university courses, schools and non-award programmes.
According to MIDT data an estimated 425,000 bi-directional O&D passengers flew between Singapore and Melbourne in 2013, up 1.9 per cent on 2012, but a small decline on the 2011 high of 430,000. The local demand accounted for 36.6 per cent of the total traffic on the route in 2013. Scoot will be mainly targeting O&D traffic, and in our chart, below, we look at annual demand by airline over the past ten years.