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Scoot upsizes Phuket flights to Boeing 787s from November

Scoot will offer wide-body service on its Phuket flights from mid-November, including its Premium Economy-esque 'ScootPlus' cabin.

SIA’s low-cost carrier Scoot is set to provide the only wide-body service between Singapore and Phuket over the coming months, with Boeing 787 flights on the popular holiday route starting from mid-November.

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This will include the option of selecting the airline’s ‘ScootPlus’ cabin, with bigger seats and a complimentary baggage allowance.

It will also have the effect of adding over 650 seats per week in each direction to and from Phuket this winter season, opening up some competitive fares from the airline, starting at only S$63 one-way in Economy Class.

The schedule

For the first couple of weeks of the northern winter season starting on 30th October 2022, Scoot will operate 16 times weekly to and from Phuket, exclusively using 236-seat Airbus A321neo aircraft.

From 14th November 2022 to 25th March 2023, the carrier’s daily TR652/653 flight each evening will be operated by a 329-seat Boeing 787-8 aircraft instead of the A321neo.

Here’s how the airline’s Phuket schedule looks from 14th November 2022, with the Boeing 787-8 flights highlighted.

Singapore    Phuket

14th November 2022
to 25th March 2023

  Days
M T W T F S S
TR658
A321neo
SIN
09:10
HKT
10:05
TR656
A321neo
           
SIN
11:05
HKT
12:10
TR656
A321neo
           
SIN
12:10
HKT
13:10
TR652
787-8
SIN
18:20
HKT
19:20

Phuket    Singapore

14th November 2022
to 25th March 2023

  Days
M T W T F S S
TR659
A321neo
HKT
11:05
SIN
13:40
TR657
A321neo
           
HKT
13:15
SIN
15:55
TR657
A321neo
           
HKT
14:10
SIN
16:55
TR653
787-8
HKT
20:20
SIN
23:15

TR652 may allow you to squeeze in a full day of work in Singapore before heading up to Phuket, if you have an understanding boss, while the return Boeing 787 service TR653 is a good option for maximising your last day on the island.

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This service will be operated by one of the sub-fleet of four Scoot 787s that include crew rest bunks, which cuts down the ScootPlus cabin from 21 seats on the regular 787-8s to just 18 seats. There’s also a reduction in Economy Class capacity from 314 seats to 311 seats, for 329 seats in total.

A Scoot Boeing 787-8. (Photo: Phuong D. Nguyen / Shutterstock)

Those aircraft are normally dedicated to longer Europe flights, but with the carrier planning only two weekly Athens, three weekly Berlin, and four weekly Jeddah services this winter, they are also appearing on the local network, including on routes like this.

SIA is sticking with 737-800s

Last year, Singapore Airlines operated its Airbus A350 Medium Haul and Airbus A350 Long Haul aircraft on the Phuket route over the peak December 2021 and January 2022 period, to take advantage of demand for the “Phuket Sandbox” programme, mostly from transit passengers.

However, as we recently reported there are sadly no such plans this year, with the route set to be exclusively served by ex-SilkAir Boeing 737-800s through to late March 2023 at the earliest.

Singapore Airlines Phuket flights are scheduled to use the Boeing 737-800 until further notice. (Photo: Dillon Chong)

That’s a shame as this represents a downgrade from the latest narrow-body cabin products on the carrier’s Boeing 737-8 MAX jets, making the ScootPlus option potentially worth considering, against SIA’s 737-800 recliner Business Class seat.

ScootPlus cabin option

ScootPlus, formerly known as ScootBiz, offers a Premium Economy-style product in a 2-3-2 layout, including bigger, wider seats.

The ScootPlus cabin is in a 2-3-2 layout. (Photo: Scoot)

Perks also include 30kg of complimentary checked baggage, an in-flight meal and a welcome drink.

For couples in particular, this potentially provides a nice window pair seat option, without going to the expense of forking out for Business Class on SIA.

Further details of the ScootPlus product are available here.

Fares

Based on our searches at the time of writing, Scoot’s one-way Economy Class fares from Singapore to Phuket start at S$81, with ScootPlus fares at S$230.

In the Phuket – Singapore direction, fares start at S$63 in Economy and S$291 in ScootPlus.

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Of course peak periods do cost more, with a one-way Singapore – Phuket fare on Friday 20th January 2023 (CNY weekend) coming in at S$334 in Economy or S$483 in ScootPlus.

KrisFlyer and PPS Club perks when flying Scoot

Earlier this year, KrisFlyer extended some of its benefits for PPS Club members travelling on Scoot flights to all KrisFlyer Elite and PPS Club status holders.

The latest benefits for these travellers now include:

  • Priority check-in and boarding
  • An additional allowance of 5kg with any baggage purchase
  • A one-time complimentary booking change
  • Complimentary standard seat selection
  • 25% more KrisFlyer miles for every mile earned (1.25 miles per S$1 fare)

KrisFlyer members will also earn 2.5 Elite miles for every KrisFlyer mile earned when flying with Scoot.

Unfortunately, lounge access still doesn’t come attached as a perk when flying with Scoot, like it does for Qantas Frequent Flyer status holders travelling on Jetstar flights.

Even Solitaire PPS Club members can’t get into the most basic KrisFlyer Gold Lounge at Changi when departing on a Scoot-operated service.

Other options to and from Phuket

There will be a total of 61 non-stop flights between Singapore and Phuket during the upcoming winter season, almost 80% of the pre-COVID total (78 flights).

As an example, December 2022 flights are shown in the following table.

Singapore – Phuket flights
(December 2022)

Airline / Flight Number Aircraft Days
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is AirAsia_small.png FD377/376 A320 Daily
(7/wk)
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Jetstar_Airways-small-1.png 3K535/536 A320 Mon, Fri-Sun
(4/wk)
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Jetstar_Airways-small-1.png 3K537/538 A320 Tue-Sun
(6/wk)
TR658/659 A321neo Daily
(7/wk)
TR656/657 A321neo Fri, Sun
(2/wk)
TR652/653 787-8 Daily
(7/wk)
SQ726/725 737-800
Daily
(7/wk)
SQ728/727 737-800 Daily
(7/wk)
SQ736/745 737-800 Daily
(7/wk)
SQ740/739 737-800 Daily
(7/wk)

Thailand is back to pre-COVID travel

Earlier this month Thailand dropped all its COVID-19 travel restrictions, which means you no longer need to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination or a negative pre-departure test certificate to enter the country, nor will you be required to self-isolate if you test positive for the virus.

For those taking trips to Thailand from Singapore, it means that from 1st October 2022 the only requirement in addition to pre-COVID norms will be completion of the SG Arrival Card (SGAC) within three days of returning to the Lion City.

Additionally, those who are not fully vaccinated will need to arrange for a pre-departure COVID-19 ART or PCR test within two days of returning to Singapore.

Both Singapore and Thailand already allow inbound and outbound international flights to be mask-optional, with this policy now being followed by Singapore Airlines, Scoot and Jetstar.

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Visa-free travel periods have also been extended this winter, with those who hold one of 64 nationalities eligible for visa exemption when travelling to Thailand, including Singapore citizens, will be able to stay for up to 45 days instead of 30 days.

Travellers with nationalities eligible for Visa on Arrival will be able to stay for 30 days, instead of 15 days.

Summary

SIA’s budget arm Scoot will operate the only wide-body flights between Singapore and Phuket this winter season, with a daily evening Boeing 787 service planned from mid-November on the route.

This will include the ScootPlus cabin, effectively offering a Premium Economy Class option for travellers, something worth considering while Singapore Airlines sticks to its older Boeing 737-800s for these flights.

(Cover Photo: Jerry via flickr)