Scoot announces second Dreamliner service to Europe

Scoot, the low-cost arm of the Singapore Airlines group (SIA) has announced plans for another long-haul service to Europe.

From the second half of 2018, Scoot expects to fly four times a week between Singapore and Germany’s capital city, Berlin.

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Brandenberg Gate, Berlin

 

With Scoot’s connections to much of Asia and Australia, the flights will open up yet another corridor into Europe.

And, like it’s existing service to and from Athens, the new Berlin link will feature Scoot’s acclaimed Boeing 787 Dreamliners, subject to regulatory approval.

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Sleek wing of a Scoot Dreamliner

The Berlin link will be the group’s fourth destination in Germany.

Singapore Airlines planes currently fly into and out of Düsseldorf, Frankfurt and Munich.

American market too

The announcement of the Berlin corridor comes just as Scoot is set to also break into the American market with flights to Honolulu in Hawaii.

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Honolulu, Hawaii

In February, Scoot will also add Kuantan, Malaysia to its destination list.

Chief Executive Officer, Mr Lee Lik Hsin, said Scoot’s position as a long-haul flyer had strengthened following its merger with TigerAir Singapore.

“Athens has lived up to expectations, while bookings for Honolulu have been very promising.

“We are excited to bring our unique Scootitude to Berlin and can’t wait to launch those great value fares that Scoot is known for”.

Scoot intends to launch sales for Berlin in the first quarter of 2018.

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The Berliner Dom Cathedral, Berlin

The airline currently flies to 62 destinations across 16 countries.

Scoot has a fleet of 16 Dreamliners and 23 Airbus A320’s – with a further four Dreamliners and 39 Airbus A320neo aircraft on order.

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The striking sky windows on Scoot’s Dreamliner

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ScootBiz premium cabin, Scoot Dreamliner

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Economy, Scoot Dreamliner

  Award winner

AirlineRatings.com recently named Scoot as the Best low-cost airline in Asia-Pacific for the fourth successive year.

Scoot was also ranked in the World’s Top 10 Best Low Cost Airlines in 2015 by Skytrax.

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Changi Airport, Singapore, from where Scoot currently flies to 62 destinations

Air news airlines Scoot

Heightened security: what to expect

If you haven’t travelled for some time, then you’ll notice some big changes in airport security.

Laptop and device restrictions

For example, soon after the latest terrorist attacks, increased security was announced for passengers flying direct to Australia from the Middle Eastern airports of Doha, Abu Dhabi and Dubai.

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The new measures, which are being implemented at boarding gates, include random explosive trace checks on electronic devices, but stopped short of a complete ban on carrying such devices in cabin luggage.

A much more strict carry-on ban – on laptops, e-readers, cameras and almost any other electronic device that is not a phone – may occur on some flights into the US and U.K.

In fact, these are probably the most significant restriction on air travel since liquids of more than 100ml were banned from carry-on luggage.

At the time of writing this, the US and UK bans involved eight countries in the Middle East and North Africa.

Unfortunately, the selection of certain airports And not others has only increased the inconsistencies from one country to another that have become the bane of a traveller’s life.

IMG_2361However, life everywhere changed dramatically after the World Trade Centre attacks in New York City and often-frustrating security checks at airports and elsewhere are just one result.

As Australian travellers, we keep a close eye on our Federal government’s website smarttraveller.gov.au when on the move and planning a trip.

Check airline and airport websites

It’s also wise for all travellers to check the websites of airports that they will be using as well as their airlines.

Often important security information is posted on these sites, as well as sudden changes in procedures and rules.

Of course, travellers won’t only encounter heightened security at airports.

They should also be prepared for strict checks at places such as other transportation hubs, big shopping centres, tourist attractions and public events.

Air news Travel industry changes

Singapore Airlines to boost flights

Singapore Airlines has marked 2017 by boosting several key routes.

The group has announced increased flight frequency to points in Australia, Europe, Southeast Asia and West Asia in the Northern Summer operating season (26 March 2017 to 28 October 2017) to meet growing travel demand.

Australia

From 4 June 2017, Sydney will be served 33 times per week, up from 31 times per week. To cater to peak period demand, flight frequency to Sydney will be further increased to 35 weekly flights from 18 June to 30 September 2017.

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Melbourne will be served with 31 weekly flights, up from 28 – from 17 July 2017.

Flight frequency to Brisbane will increase to 28 per week, up from 24 – starting on 22 August 2017.

Europe

Rome will be served four times per week from July 2017, up from the current two weekly flights.

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As announced earlier, Moscow will be served five times per week, up from four times – from 30 May 2017, when services beyond Moscow to the new destination of Stockholm are introduced.

Southeast Asia

Bangkok flight frequency will increase to six per day from five – from 26 March 2017.

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Bangkok

Ho Chi Minh City will be served 19 times per week from the same day, up from the current 17 per week.

West Asia

The Indian city of Ahmedabad will be served four times per week, up from the current three – from 26 March 2017.

Bangladesh’s capital Dhaka will be served 10 times per week with effect from 19 July 2017 – up from the current seven flights per week.

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Singapore Airlines says the additional services are subject to regulatory approvals. Tickets will be made available for sale progressively through the various distribution channels.

 

Air news

How do low-cost airlines do it?

We’re often asked how low-cost airlines manage to offer cheap fares.

The broad answer is that they reduce overheads – but just how that’s done can vary greatly.

Most low-cost airlines have streamlined booking by selling tickets electronically or over the phone only – and by charging for things like food and drink on an ‘as needed’ basis.

There are also usually luggage fees, some restrictions on hand luggage and often charges for seat selection and use of a credit card to pay for it all. And, it’s wise to ensure you are within the luggage limit – and to check for any other taxes before agreeing to buy a ticket.

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Newer, fuel-efficient planes

Interestingly, many low-cost airlines also reduce their costs by other general management factors that help create savings.

For example, budget airlines often have newer planes than the traditional carriers.

Increasingly, these newer aircraft are more fuel-efficient – a key factor.

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Simplified fleets

And low-cost carriers, typically, have one type of plane only.

RyanAir, for example, flies only Boeing 737s; Easyjet uses only the A320; and Scoot has a largely Boeing Dreamliners.

Pilots, flight attendants, mechanics and ground staff, therefore, need only be trained on one type of plane.

Point-to-point flying

Low-cost carriers do not necessarily have a base or hub airport – allowing their planes to be in the air longer, making runs from point-to-point destinations, with shorter loading times.

The downside here can be that some of the airports they use might be quite a distance from major centres.

It’s smart to check this and factor-in transport costs.

Do some research

Safety is a central concern to all airlines and there are regular published audits.

It’s a similar story with delays and cancellations. We always recommend that the cancellation policy of individual airlines be checked before booking a ticket.

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Are there savings?

So, after all this, can low-cost airlines really save you money?

A check of any online fare comparison site shows that the answer is a clear YES – if you are willing to do without all the extras.

Air news Finding cheap flights

Airbus passes 10,000 plane mark

Airbus has delivered its 10,000th aircraft – an A350-900 for Singapore Airlines.

Featuring a special ’10,000th Airbus’ logo, the aircraft will be used to launch the airline’s non-stop service between Singapore and San Francisco.

Airbus delivered its first aircraft, an A300B2, to Air France on 10 May 1974.

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Initially working exclusively in the widebody sector with the A300 and A310, the manufacturer moved into the single aisle market in the mid-1980s with the launch of the A320.

The latest delivery is the sixth for Singapore Airlines, out of a total order for 67.

Photos courtesy Airbus

Air news

Gatwick Airport sets record

One of the UK’s biggest airports has announced a passenger record.

Gatwick Airport has broken its own record for the number of passengers travelling on a single runway – more than 42 million annually.

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The news came in the wake of Cathay Pacific’s new Hong Kong-Gatwick route, which has boosted the airport’s links to China and the Far East.

This route is among several additional long-haul destinations introduced this year.

Gatwick is pushing for a second runway at the airport, with a spokesman describing the situation as “expansion-ready”

“Gatwick expansion would secure the same number of new routes and economic benefit Britain needs; can be delivered faster; with dramatically lower environmental impacts; and without the £5 billion of taxpayer funding Heathrow would require for surface access improvements.”

Gatwick airport is located 29.5 miles south of Central London and about 2.7 miles north of Crawley, West Sussex.

Air news

Big Airbus to head Virgin Atlantic fleet

Virgin Atlantic Airways has selected the A350-1000 to become the latest aircraft in its fleet,

The UK-based airline is purchasing eight A350-1000s scheduled for delivery from 2019, with at least another four on long term lease.

Virgin Atlantic will deploy the aircraft initially at London Heathrow to strengthen the trans-Atlantic network and later at Gatwick airport on leisure routes to the Caribbean.

Airbus President and Chief Executive Officer, Fabrice Bregier, said the new aircraft would complement Virgin Atlantic’s existing fleet of 10 A330-300s and offer crews the advantage of familiarity with Airbus operating procedures around the network.

Airbus says the new plane features 18 inch wide seating in economy; latest aerodynamic design; carbon fibre fuselage and wings and low emission Rolls Royce engines that together deliver a 25 per cent reduction in fuel burn.

Photo courtesy Airbus

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