By Madelaine B. Miraflor
Singapore – Scoot, a low-cost airline owned and operated by Singapore Airlines, is now seeing the possibility to expand its commercial flights in the Philippines after merging with Tigerair, which sells flights from Singapore to several locations in the country like Manila, Kalobo, Clark, and Cebu.
Several months after Scoot and Tigerair announced their intention to pursue a single brand and operating licence, the airline industry already bade farewell to Tigerair Singapore.
From now on, all previous Tigerair flights will now be operated under the Scoot brand, marking the completion of their integration process that began last May when the airlines were brought under a common holding company, Budget Aviation Holdings.
Scoot and Tigerair are both owned by Singapore flag carrier Singapore Airlines and both operate as budget airlines.
Tigerair Singapore has been flying in and out of the Philippines for several years now, while Scoot will be a relatively new brand name for Filipinos.
Regarding this adjustment, Scoot chief executive officer Lee Lik Hsin said in an interview with reporters here that the company still hopes to capture its Tigerair market in the Philippines as well as penetrate other local routes in the future.
“We are confident that we have the right platform and we have the right brand moving forward. Awareness is one thing but building customer confidence is a different view. But we are confident,” Mr. Lee said.
“The Philippines market is very important. It is a very big country in Asia… We do not have immediate plans but we have a high growth trajectory…. For other points in the Philippines, we have to be on the radar as well,” he further said.
However, he said that from the aviation perspective, there are still a lot of constraints in expanding its commercial flights in the Philippines.
Post-merger, Scoot announced that it will soon fly to five new destinations, including Honolulu, Harbin, Kuantan, Kunching, Palembang.
Coupled with the addition of the previous Tigerair network, the five new services will bring Scoot’s total destination count to 65 across 18 countries.
When asked if the company will be making major investments soon, Mr. Lee said Scoot wants to double its fleet size in the next five years.
As part of the launch, the company also unveiled the new Scoot cabin crew uniform and the roll-out of their first A320 aircraft with Scoot livery.
Scoot took to the skies in June 2012 and has so far carried over fifty million guests. It now operates a fleet of 14 state-of-the-art, widebody Boeing 787 Dreamliners and 23 young and modern Airbus A320 family aircraft, with six more Boeing 787 Dreamliners and 39 Airbus A320neo aircraft on order.