The growing popularity of Laos boosted by new air service

Long regarded as one of the world’s mystical and enchanting gems, stunning Laos is emerging as a travel hotspot for 2019.

As travellers, increasingly, search for genuine cultural experiences ahead of the hectic tourist trail, Laos with its stilt houses, elephants, paddy fields, plateaus, rivers and forests, carries great appeal.

And, for Australians at least, this attractive country has just become even cheaper to visit with a new air link opened by Singapore Airlines low-cost arm, Scoot.

The new route will take Aussies to the Loatian cities of Luang Prabangb and Vientiane from just $AUD189 one-way.

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A land of mountains, temples, plateaus and rivers, Laos is generally revered for its authenticity.   The country has retained many of the traditions that have disappeared amid development elsewhere in Asia.

What it lacks in designer shopping, Laos more than makes up with a timeless quality; enchanting wildlife, forests and waterfalls.

“We are thrilled to welcome Laos to our network,” Scoot CEO, Lee Lik Hsin, said.

 “Scoot is confident that the addition of Vientiane and Luang Prabang will boost its proposition as a network carrier, offering refreshing travel opportunities for those seeking authentic experiences off the beaten track.

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“Travellers can also look forward to more extraordinary travel experiences with us as we plan to add even more new destinations to our network this year.”

The Laos sale will run until Tuesday, January 22 at 1.59am (AEST) and is valid for travel before October 26, 2019.

Scoot’s Laos offer includes one-way fares from Perth for $AUD189; from the Gold Coast for $AUD199 and from Sydney and Melbourne for $AUD209. Fares do not included baggage or meals and all flights have a stopover in Singapore.

Travellers who take advantage of the new Scoot service will have the opportunity of joining enriching cultural experiences such as the alms giving ceremony at dawn in Luang Prabang – an  historic town encircled by the Phou Thao and Phou Nang mountains. 

French influence abounds here, deftly blended with local styles and traditions, and the former royal and religious capital of the Silk route, is said by legend to be where Bhudda rested and smiled on his travels.

Travellers will also be able to take a hike; go caving or trekking; or sail on a relaxing sunset cruise down the majestic Mekong River towards Vietnam. 

And, Laos also offers the opportunity of bathing in the extraordinary Kuang Si waterfalls, or visiting the elephant sanctuary where rescued gentle giants are washed in the river. 

Alternatively, travellers can Scoot to Vientiane – now the country’s administrative capital – whose French influences are seen in modern alfresco cafes, riverside restaurants and architecture. 

Take a leisurely tour around town in a songthaew (open share bus) and the National Museum will provide an insight into the city’s history.

You’ll see rice paddies on the edge of town and be able to enjoy peaceful time at Pha That Luang, the historic Bhuddist Temple dating back to the 1500’s.   

 The three-times-weekly flights operated with Scoot’s A320 aircraft are due to start on 1 April 2019 subject to regulatory approval. 

They will operate a circular route leaving Singapore for Luang Prabang, followed by Vientiane, before heading back to Singapore. 

These routes were transferred from sister airline SilkAir, making Scoot the only airline offering direct Singapore-Laos flights from April 2019.

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Scoot opens another European air link

Scoot, the low-cost arm of the Singapore Airlines Group, has started its third long-haul service – this time to the German capital of Berlin.

The service, which leaves Singapore four times a week, provides yet another well-priced European gateway for people in Asia and Australasia.

Scoot CEO, Mr Lee Lik Hsin, welcomed the continuing growth of the airline’s low-cost long-haul network, following last year’s addition of services to and from Athens and Hawaii.

“Vibrant, creative and steeped in history, we are confident that the city of Berlin will appeal to any market or demographic, and open a new and exciting part of the continent for travellers.”

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Scoot Operating Officer, Vinod Kannan, welcomes passengers and crew on board to Berlin

Scoot currently flies to 65 destinations across 18 countries and territories, with its fleet of 17 Boeing Dreamliners and 24 Airbus A320 family aircraft.

Three more Dreamliners and 39 Airbus A-320neo aircraft have been ordered, with Scoot’s fleet expected to increase to about 70 by 2022.

With the addition of Berlin, the Singapore Airlines Group network in Germany now encompasses four cities, including Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, and Munich, with a total of 29 return services a week.

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People in Travel: growing Scoot unveils new executive

There’s a new face at Scoot, in the Singapore Airlines Group.

Kirsty Lucas has been named National Sales and Partnership Manager, where she will manage exisiting key trade accounts and develop new partnerships as Scoot continues to step up growth in Australia. 

Kirsty has more than 10 years travel and tourism industry experience, including a background in sales, marketing and media.

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She was the Regional Manager, Australia, at TravMedia and previously held positions in a variety of tourism based businesses, including TFE Hotels and Rottnest Fast Ferries in Western Australia. 

General Manager, Jared Simcox, said the appointment was a “direct result of huge growth in trade sales across the region. 

“We’re in an accelerated phase of development and I’m thrilled to have someone with Kirsty’s expertise, passion and inventiveness taking the reigns on key initiatives.” 

Scoot is gearing up to launch its new long-haul services to Berlin via Singapore on June 20, providing Australians with yet another competitively-priced gateway to Europe.

Using its new-generation Boeing Dreamliners, Scoot already flies in and out of Athens, via Singapore – a service that not only provides Australians with a channel to the stunning Greek Island, but also a well-priced European entry.

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Scoot is also now fully on KrisFlyer, the frequent flyer programme for the Singapore Airlines (SIA) Group portfolio of airlines. 

Scoot customers can directly earn KrisFlyer miles when they purchase and travel on Scoot’s flights, as well as redeem their KrisFlyer miles for Scoot flights.

Corporate members of SIA’s HighFlyer programme, for small and medium enterprises, can also now earn HighFlyer points when flying on SIA or SilkAir itineraries with connections onto Scoot.

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Sales are open for new route to Europe

People planning to fly to Europe from Asia and Australia have another option – and tickets are already on sale.

Scoot, the low-cost arm of the Singapore Airlines group (SIA) has launched initial ticket sales for a second long-haul service to Europe.

From June 20, Scoot expects to start non-stop flights from Singapore to Berlin, Germany.

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Brandenburg Gate, Berlin

The airline already operates popular flights between Singapore and Athens, Greece.

And it recently also began long-haul flights to Hawaii via Japan.

Launch fares

Confirming the starting date of the Berlin corridor, Scoot announced promotional fares from Perth, Australia at $379 one way, with additional charges for baggage and food.

Flying in the airline’s premium ScootBiz class, from Perth to Berlin initially will cost $1199 one way.

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Dreamliner magic

Scoot says that flights from Melbourne or Sydney to Berlin are on sale for $439 one-way (bags and food extra) or $1299 in ScootBiz.

Fares from Australia’s Gold Coast initially are $429 (bags and food extra) and $1299 in ScootBiz.

For more on ScootBiz inclusions, see our age-friendly review of the premium service.

The promotional fares are subject to availability and will remain on sale until one-minute to midnight on January 31 in Perth; until 0159 on February 1 in the Gold Coast; and 0259 on February 1 in Sydney and Melbourne.

These fares are for travel between June 20 and October 26.

Scoot is also offering an additional $30 off selected FLYBAG and FLYBAGSEAT fares for people who key in the promotional code GOBERLIN while booking.

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Photo courtesy Scoot

The four-times-weekly Singapore-Berlin return flights will feature ultra-modern, widebody, twin-aisle Boeing 787 Dreamliners, subject to regulatory approval.

See our detailed review of the remarkable Scoot 787 Dreamliner.

Germany applauds new service

Director of the German National Tourist Office in Sydney, Stefanie Eberhard, described the new Scoot flight to Berlin as “fantastic news for Germany”.

“It opens up many new opportunities for Australian visitors and, with additional flights, travellers can easily explore the capital Berlin and nearby cities such as Dresden, Leipzig and Hamburg.

“Berlin is a happening city packed with exciting events, concerts, exhibition and shows all year round. Germany’s focus for 2018 is ‘Culinary Germany’ which aims to introduce travellers to the country’s gourmet highlights”.

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Scoot’s taste of Germany – photo courtesy Scoot

Continuing to expand choices

Scoot’s Chief Executive Officer, Mr Lee Lik Hsin, said the airline’s long haul flights to Athens and Honolulu had lived up to expectations.

“Our guests tell us that the 787 Dreamliner has been key to convincing them to travel long-haul on low-cost.

“With Berlin, we continue our mission to add more choices for great value, long-haul, low-cost travel.”

Scoot currently flies to 63 destinations across 17 countries.

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Powering the Scoot Dreamliner

The airline has a fleet of 16 Dreamliners and 24 Airbus A320’s – with a further four Dreamliners and 39 Airbus A320neo aircraft on order.

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Berlin cathedral

The new Berlin route will be flown four days a week – each Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday.

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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

RELATED ARTICLES:  

See our review of Scoot’s Boeing 787 Dreamliner

See our review of the anti-jetlag features of 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

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Airline Review: can modern planes really prevent jet lag

Courtesy of Scoot Airlines, we tested whether its Sydney-Athens services were age-friendly and offered a viable gateway to Europe.

Scoot opened its doors and allowed us to frankly and objectively experience the service – and report our findings.

FullSizeRender 2.jpgThe results in details are here but, in short, we found that it was a particularly cost-effective and time-effective way of getting from Australia to the capitals of Europe.

Like all flights from Australia, it is a long way but the well priced ScootBiz premium service is so comfortable that the airline really comes into its own for all ages – at a cost comparable to the gruelling Economy experiences of some other long-haul carriers.

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There was one key aspect that we didn’t report on at the time.

The 787 Boeing Dreamliner aircraft are also said to prevent the dry-throat and jet lag that usually accompany such a long flight. We waited a see how we pulled up after the flight before we commented on our experience.

Well… we found that, amazingly, the Scoot Dreamliner ‘s additional humidity certainly prevented flight dry-throat.

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And, frankly, we were nowhere near as jet lagged as usual after returning from Europe.

For a few days, we still woke up in the middle of the night and felt like sleeping in the morning.

But we didn’t experience that woozy ‘drunken’ feeling, or the slight ache in the pit of the stomach.

We’re unsure whether the Scoot Dreamliner’s continual lighting system was the reason ……. but there was a definite difference which we really appreciated.

Our Age-friendliness rating

10/10: From our experience, the anti jet-lag aspect of Scoot’s Dreamliner services is probably effective for all ages. The Dreamliner is a modern marvel and has taken flying ahead in leaps and bounds.

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People you meet on Scoot Airlines

Georgie Montague and Rod English certainly have itchy feet.

Whether driving through the great sand dunes of Namibia, glamping in the wilds of Kenya, exploring the attractions of Morocco or riding the rails in Europe, this Aussie couple sure love to keep moving.

We met them on a Scoot 787 Dreamliner flight from Athens to Singapore,  as they headed home for the first time in eight months.


Swapping stories of life on the road, we were fascinated by the belter skelter pace set by Georgie and Rod after they had left Cairns, Queensland – bound firstly for Western Australia and then South Africa.

Destinations such as Johannesburg, Madagascar, Botswana, Zambia, Namibia, Kenya, Frankfurt, the UK, Rome, Morocco and Athens – to name but a few – rolled off the tongue ….. each with a better story.

We were in awe of their endurance and the fact that much of their trip was totally unplanned – simply meandering where the road and rail took them.

And, of course, they were savvy enough to realise that Scoot’s popular Singapore-Athens service – linked with the airline’s Australian services – offered great value as a gateway to Europe and beyond.

After such a long time on the road, Georgie and Rod said the ScootBiz premium service – with its comfort and legroom – beckoned their aching bones.

Note: The Memorable Destination team travelled to Europe courtesy of Scoot, however all opinions, as always, are ours.

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