Scoot, the LCC subsidiary airline of Singapore Airlines (SIA) has resumed its flagship Singapore-Amritsar route after it remained suspended for almost 2 years due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Apart from Amritsar(ATQ), Scoot has also resumed its Singapore(SIN)-Vishakhapatnam(VTZ) and Singapore(SIN)-Trichy(TRZ) routes. The scheduled launch of Singapore(SIN)-Hyderabad(HYD) route by Scoot has been replaced by Singapore Airlines (SIA) instead.
Pre-Covid, Scoot used to operate to 6 Indian Cities- Amritsar, Coimbatore, Hyderabad, Tiruchirappalli, Trivandrum, and Visakhapatnam. However, currently it will be resuming only 3 of these stations (SIN-ATQ,VTZ,TRZ)
As of now, the airline will fly 3/weekly nonstop between Amritsar & Singapore every Monday, Wednesday and Friday (scale down from the pre-Covid 5/Weekly)
While Vishakhapatnam route will also be operated 3/weekly every Sunday, Wednesday and Friday. Trichy route will be operated 5/weekly every Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.
Capacity & Equipment
Trichy & Vishakhapatnam routes will be operated by the narrowbody Airbus A320 Neo Aircraft with a capacity of 186 Passengers.
Meanwhile, the flagship Amritsar Route of Scoot will be operated by the infamous widebody aircraft Boeing 787 Dreamliner with a capacity of 335 Passengers.
Route Wise Capacity Distribution
Keeping the aircraft capacity and frequency of operations into account, the airline is offering the following route wise weekly capacity (each side)
|Route||No. of Weekly Seats Offered (each sector)|
Economics of Fares
- Out of the multiple foreign carriers (Inclusive of FSC’s and LCC’s) which used to operated on India-South East Asia Market (To name a few- Air Asia X, Thai Air Asia, Nok Scoot, Thai Airways, Malindo), Scoot is one of the first airlines to (re)launch operations to its market after almost 2 year of disruption due to pandemic.
- Thanks to 2 year buffer, it needs to shell out sales & promotional fares in order to regain the confidence of pax to fly again and that’s what the airline apparently seems be doing right now. It is resuming the 3 sectors at a very attractive promotional fares.
|ROUTE (Flying Time)||STARTING FARES|
|AMRITSAR-SINGAPORE (6 Hours)||5980 /- INR|
|TRICHY-SINGAPORE (4 Hours)||5786/- INR|
|VIZAG-SINGAPORE (4 Hours)||5480/- INR|
Source: Google Flights
What is Scoot’s Plan?
- If you tend to notice, Inaugural Fares of Amritsar-Singapore sector set by Scoot are significantly less than say, Amritsar-Mumbai or Amritsar-Bangalore sector on most of the forward booking period within 15-20 days. This clearly, represents the Scoot’s strategy to re-gain its foothold in India-SEA Market by starting off with extremely attractive fares, gaining pax base and gradually increasing fares as pax regain confidence in International travel post 2 years of pandemic pause.
- On some research, one found find that this is a repetition of Scoot’s strategy when it first launched in India in 2016 in order to gain foothold and has been successful since than baring some markets like Jaipur(JAI), Lucknow (LKO) and Kochi(COK) which did not went as per plans and had to be consequently suspended permanently due to poor loads.
Economics of Market: What Passenger Profile is Scoot Targeting in Post Covid recovery?
Since its inception, Scoot’s major market base had been majorly split between
- A)Leisure traffic to/from Singapore from Secondary Markets (OD)
- B) VFR Pax (OD)
- C)Connecting Pax through its Singapore Hub
- D)Business traffic to/from Singapore from Secondary Markets (merging with Primary<>Secondary, Secondary<>Secondary and Primary<>Primary markets through SIA, Silk Air’s Codesharing at Changi)
When we discuss about Scoot’s resumption in India, it is IMPORTANT to convey that all of these resumptions are NOT part of the VTL (Vaccinated Travel Line) Arrangement. What this means for pax is, unlike before, No, a pax cannot directly book a flight from Amritsar to Sydney or Gold Coast transiting via Singapore using Scoot’s codesharing. Therefore, practically, all these flight resumptions are only to/from Singapore.
It makes evident that due to the non-VTL restrictions the airline cannot target C & D Market base (mentioned above). This lefts Scoot with no other option but to try to make its strong foothold in India-SEA Market using A & B Passenger profile, ie. Majorly Leisure traffic and VFR Pax. Scoot is trying to get the early mover advantage in doing so, by being the first airline to resume secondary markets post Covid.
With all the Origin-Destination pax, Connecting traffic still used to hold a major component in the overall market base of Scoot, helping fill a good proportion of seats, not only in Scoot’s own flights but also in sister airlines, SIA and Silk Air’s flights. No Wonder this proportion only increased from trunk secondary routes like Amritsar, which has a very huge chunk of diaspora market across Oceania, Gold Coast & rest of South East Asia. Scoot is trying to compensate for this market loss by reducing the capacity at first and (re)introducing attractive fares but will the Scoot be successful in capturing this market for a long term only on the wheels of Origin Destination traffic remains to be seen. What do you think? Will Scoot be able to pull this challenge off?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Sanchit Chugh is a young Aviation Enthusiast from Amritsar,Punjab. He is currently an undergrad student at BITS Pilani pursuing Bachelor’s of Technology and Masters in Economics as major. He has been a part of Fly Amritsar and has deep interest in Aviation. https://www.linkedin.com/in/sanchit-chugh-24b4b1228