SIA’s low-cost division Scoot is increasing its presence in Australia next month, with weekly Boeing 787 passenger flights to both Sydney and Melbourne from 1st November 2020, supplementing its existing services to and from Perth.
These will also join the mainline carrier’s nine times weekly Sydney flights and seven times weekly Melbourne flights during the month, both set to pick up increases to 12 times weekly and 13 times weekly respectively from December 2020 even before Scoot’s announcement.
These will already be Singapore Airlines’ most frequently served current routes come December, with only London Heathrow matching the Sydney total of 12 per week.
Assuming these additional Scoot flights will also operate in December 2020, they will elevate capacity for the group to and from both Sydney and Melbourne to levels not seen since before COVID-19.
Originally a 10 times weekly route for Scoot, the airline’s Boeing 787-9s will operate to and from Sydney just once a week on Mondays from 2nd November 2020, returning on Tuesdays.
This will mark the first regular operation by the airline to Sydney for over seven months, with services suspended in mid-March 2020 as the COVID-19 outbreak took hold.
|SIN ➔ SYD
|SYD ➔ SIN
Flights depart from Singapore at 10am, arriving into Sydney at 8.55pm the same day. The aircraft and crew will then rest overnight in Sydney before returning the following morning at 10am, with a 3pm arrival back in Changi that afternoon.
Scoot previously flew to and from Melbourne 12 times per week, with the last service operating on 21st March 2020 before the COVID-19 axe fell on the route.
The airline will reinstate flights to Melbourne once per week from 1st November 2020 on Sundays, returning on Mondays.
|SIN ➔ MEL
|MEL ➔ SIN
Like the Sydney flight, it’s a morning departure from Changi at 11am, arriving in Melbourne at 9.40pm the same day.
The return flight over 12 hours later following a rest period for the crew (and aircraft) leaves Melbourne at 11.15am for landing at 4.10pm in Singapore on the same day.
Where else is Scoot flying?
These two new cities increase the Scoot network to a total of 18 destinations during November 2020, as shown in the table below.
(Oct – Nov 2020)
|Kaohsiung / Osaka||1/wk||1/wk||789|
|Taipei / Seoul||1/wk||1/wk||789|
|Taipei / Tokyo||1/wk||1/wk||789|
The latest updated schedules including days of operation is available at this dedicated page on the Scoot website.
You may note that Pekanbaru, Palembang and Semarang in Indonesia have been removed from the schedule. Indeed Indonesia has proven to be a bit of a ‘false start’ for Scoot, with only one flight operating to Yogyakarta in October and that city too falling off the map next month, leaving only Surabaya with regular services.
Jakarta and Singapore of course remain reasonably well connected, however this is currently through flights operated by Garuda, Jetstar and Singapore Airlines.
Once Sydney and Melbourne rejoin the network in November, a total of 19 weekly Scoot passenger flights will depart Changi each week, with 20 flights on alternate weeks once fortnightly Tianjin services are accounted for.
In total during November 181 Scoot passenger flights are now scheduled, a 10% increase compared to October 2020, which suffered a decline from original plans due to many of the Indonesia routes failing to materialise.
The airline’s Boeing 787-9 aircraft are also continuing to fly additional cargo-only services to cities like Wuhan, with some cargo-only Airbus A320 flights also operating.
Scoot recently converted an Airbus A320 to all-cargo fit by removing its 180 passenger seats, with a second such aircraft now also modified.
The full Scoot passenger flight schedule for October and November 2020, which is subject to occasional updates, is available here.
Unless Scoot know something we don’t, these Sydney and Melbourne flights will simply increase opportunities for those flying home or still travelling for urgent reasons, including supporting more connecting (transit) opportunities for the SIA group through Changi Airport.
They will also address cargo demand, with the airline deploying its largest Boeing 787-9s with a significant 173 cubic metres of space below the passenger cabin, for anything from electronics to wine, meat and vegetables flying between the two cities.
While passengers originating in Australia are free to visit Singapore for leisure purposes, the government there still prohibits non-essential overseas travel, while at the same time not currently allowing any tourists to enter Australia at the time of writing.
Last week we saw the first leisure ‘Air Travel Bubble’ agreement forged between Singapore and Hong Kong, so there is reason for cautious optimism about a slow reopening of travel for tourism purposes, even if a similar agreement with Australia (and for that matter New Zealand) is unlikely until next year.