Here’s good news for seat sale hunters: a budget airline is finally flying direct to Europe from Southeast Asia. Scoot, a subsidiary of Singapore Airlines, recently launched its first flight to Athens, Greece. The 11.5-hour flight on Scoot’s Boeing 787 Dreamliner takes off from Singapore every Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday.
One-way promotional fares as low as S$268 (around P9,798) were offered to mark the new route. ABS-CBN News and selected media from the Philippines and Asia were invited to join Scoot’s inaugural flight last June 20.
Lee Lik Hsin, Scoot’s chief executive officer, explained why they chose Athens to be their first long-haul destination.
“Nobody flies to Athens. It’s a good opportunity,” he said. “From Greece, this part of Europe, there is no direct flight to Asia. So we are creating more convenient ways to travel for Greeks and people from Southern Europe to Asia and vice versa.”
“Athens in itself is very rich in leisure, in attractiveness, in resources,” he added.
Scoot CEO Lee Lik Hsin poses for a photo with passengers in Greek costumes during the airline’s inaugural flight to Athens. Facebook.com/flyscoot
Singapore is a short 3.5-hour flight from Manila and is a popular destination among Filipino travelers. Singapore Airlines and another one of its subsidiaries, Tigerair, are only among the many carriers offering trips to Manila.
Tigerair and Scoot will merge by July.
Lik Hsin said: “The full service of Singapore Airlines will continue, it will continue to be there and thrive, but there are two segments of the market and we are tapping both.”
Scoot aims to change the way people look at budget airlines, with Lee noting that the model is often associated with short flights.
He said that thanks to low fuel cost and improvements in aircraft technology, the five-year-old company is able to explore routes as far as Europe.
To attract more budget-conscious travelers, Scoot goes beyond in-flight meals and extra legroom, offering add-ons such as a child-free cabin, Wi-Fi connectivity, movies and TV shows that can be streamed to mobile devices, and charging ports.
Passengers also have the option to book up to two empty seats so they can relax during their flight, have priority check-in and boarding privileges, and get pre-flight lounge access for an extra fee.
There is also ScootBiz, a pricier seat category that offers bigger seats and legroom, a hot meal, in-flight entertainment and other perks. (full ABS-CBN)
PS a legitimate question: do Scoot airplanes fly also back? Is the same spot price possible also for flights form Athens to Singapore?